Cereal Labels

March 7, 2011


What is real food and food-like product on food labels?

Since it is morning, let’s begin with looking at breakfast cereal. You may think you are doing a very good thing nutritionally for yourself and your family by purchasing vitamin fortified cereal. Think again. Let’s look at a couple of cereals and their ingredients. I have pulled the ingredients list directly from the manufacturers.

First let’s look at General Mills’ Total Blueberry Pomegranate Cereal. You would expect this to be a very wholesome cereal. Blueberries and pomegranates are great foods. The box looks very inviting. It says, “100% Nutrition” – “Whole Grain” – “crispy whole grain flakes and crunchy fruit flavored clusters” Sounds great. Let’s look.

Ingredients
Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Barley Malt Extract, Brown Sugar Syrup, Wheat Flakes, Malt Syrup, Rice Flour, Salt, Oat Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Canola Oil, Natural and Artificial Flour, Red 40, Blue 2 and Other Color Added, Soybean and Corn Oil, Sucralose, Molasses, Honey, Corn Starch, Nonfat Milk, Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) and Bht Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin E Acetate, A B Vitamin (Niacinamide), A B Vitamin (Calcium Pantothenate), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), A B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3. Contains Wheat and Milk Ingredients.

Where are the blueberries and pomegranates? You must read the label. The label indicates “crunchy fruit flavored clusters”. Fruit flavored is the key term on the package. Nowhere on the package does it say that this product contains blueberries and/or pomegranates. Quite deceiving if you ask me.

Even Special K has ingredients that are difficult to understand and contains high fructose corn syrup.

RICE, WHEAT GLUTEN, SUGAR, DEFATTED WHEAT GERM, SALT, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, DRIED WHEY, MALT FLAVORING, CALCIUM CASEINATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), ALPHA TOCOPHEROL ACETATE (VITAMIN E), REDUCED IRON, NIACINAMIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), VITAMIN A PALMITATE, FOLIC ACID AND VITAMIN B12.

Wheat Chex
Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Salt, Molasses, Trisodium Phosphate. BHT Added To Preserve Freshness. Vitamins And Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Iron And Zinc (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), A B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), A B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.
While the Wheat Chex is a bit better, it still has added isolated vitamins and what is trisodium phosphate? It does not sound like a food to me.

Of the grocery store brands, here is one that I found that actually has an understandable ingredients list.

Post Shredded Wheat.
Whole grain wheat. BHT is added to packaging material to preserve product freshness. Contains: wheat

These four cereals begin to show you how complicated finding real food can be. Through my postings, I hope to show you how to understand the labels and how to sort through the grocery store and find high quality whole foods.

If you would like more information or would like to talk with me or make an appointment, please call 231-348-0838 or email me at pattonwendy@gmail.com
Nutrition is the Key to Wellness

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