Saturday, October 31, 2009

Breaking it Down for Moms #3

Pantry Label Decoder

Organic Junk Food:

Kraft Organic Mac and Cheese

Claims to be USDA organic but the truth is that for an extra 60 cents a box, consumers save 20 calories and 1 gram of fat. They also gain 2 grams of sugar, 1 gram of fiber, 50 mg of sodium and lose 6% of daily iron. The point is, even organic junk food is still junk food. Your body processes organic refined flour and powdered cheese the same way it does conventional, so at the end of the day it's still a high-cal, low-nutrient letdown.

If you must have mac, go for Annie's line of Mac n' Cheese, which cuts the fat by 72% over Kraft Organic

The Vitamin Vacuum:

Kellogg's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pop-Tarts

Claims to be a source of 7 vitamins and minerals. 5 of those 7 vitamins come from the enriched flour that is this product's first ingredient. That's the code word for "refined flour that's had nutrients added to it after it's been stripped of fiber."

The Cereal Conundrum:

Kellogg's Smart Start Cereal

It claims to be "lightly sweetened." Unregulated by the USDA, the word "lightly" gets tossed around like a Frisbee in the food packaging world. Always take it with a grain of salt. Lightly in this cereal means 14 g of sugar from 5 different sources, all of which adds up to a cereal with more added sugars per serving than Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes or Apple Jacks.

What you really want is a cereal with less than 10 g of sugar per serving (ideally less than 5), with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

The Fat Fake-Out:

Smucker's Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter

Claims to be 25% less fat than regular PB. It's true that Smucker's has removed some of the fat, but they've replaced it with maltodextrin, a carb used as a cheap filler in many processed foods. You're trading the healthy fat from peanuts for empty carbs, to double the sugar, and only saving 10 calories.

What you really want: The real stuff, no fillers, oils, or added sugars. Just peanuts and salt.

Bogus Bread:

Home Pride Wheat Bread

Claims 1 gram of fat per slice. Claims to be wheat bread.

This bread tries to distract you from the fact that each slice has 3x more sugar than fiber. Whatever wheat went into this bread was stripped of all meaningful nutrients. Tere are more than a dozen ingredients listed, many unpronounceable, chemicals, and additives.

What you really want: Ignore fat when it comes to bread. There's rarely enough in a slice to make a big difference. More important, seek out bread with more fiber per slice than sugar and with as few ingredients as possible.

Taken from pages 99-101 in Eat This, Not That, by David Zinczenko


Heather said...

Just the idea of a chocolate chip cookie dough pop tart sounds a little like a oxymoron to me. :)

LS said...

I agree! I thought the same thing Heather. Not something I would normally buy, but I have bought reduced fat stuff and Smart Start (with coupons deals!).

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