Friday, November 9, 2018


You are consciously watching what you eat, checking the side panel for the nutritional information and daily value.  However, you are being deceived. Yes, it is important to read the nutritional facts panel on the food label.  Food manufacturers try to fool you into eating high fat foods and high sugar foods by listing the percentage of fat/sugar by weight or volume and also by disguising ingredient names to add to the confusion.

To get a clear picture of what you are eating it’s best to calculate the  percentage of calories in a food that come from Fat or Sugar by using the following formula;

(i),        Look at the number of grams from fat or sugar on the label
(ii),       Multiply the number of grams  by 9 to get the number of fat calories or
Multiply the number of grams by 4 to get the number of sugar calories.
(ii)        Divide that number by the total number of calories to find the % of calories from fat or sugar.

As an example, I am using a popular Kellogg’s“Nutri Grain”Cereal Bar ;

For Fat Content
            (i)         3 gms of fat in one serving totaling 130 calories.
(ii)               3 gms of fat  times  9*  =  27 Calories from Fat 
(iii)             27 divided by 130 Total Calories = 20.7% fat
*there are 9 calories in a gram of fat
As you can see in the example,   the actual percentage of fat you are eating is 21% and not the  5% you are misled to believe.

For Sugar
(i)                 13 gms of  sugar in one serving totaling 130 calories.
(ii)               13 gms of sugar  times  4*  =  52 Calories from Sugar 
(iii)             52 divided by 130 Total. Calories = 40% Sugar
*there are 4 calories in a gram of  Sugar
Here the actual percentage of sugar is 40%,  not the 9% daily value listed.

Because food companies list Fat and Sugar percentage by volume, by weight, or by “daily value” this reflects a very small serving size. Using the above formula is helpful in clearing up such misleading information.

According to Kellogg’s: website the Nutri-grain bar is….“Made with invigorating whole grains and the delight of a delicious filling made with strawberry to help you move at the speed of morning”  6

According to, this product rates a Cminus.   

Personally I think Fooducate is being generous in it’s rating…..

Let’s dissect this a bit more.

In the above example, you are eating 130 calories – not much of a Breakfast for the most important meal of the day….

40% is made up of sugar with no nutritional value.  You are eating 3 1/2 tsp of sugar per bar. And according to Kellogg’s “smartlabel” ALL of the sugar is added –none comes from natural  sources. 6 -  So much for Real Fruit…Oh wait, Kellogg’s website states that it only “tastes” like real fruit.  

This is a HIGHLY PROCESSED product.  Many of the ingredients are used to increase the shelf life and improve flavor.  Flavor yummmmm......

Natural and Artificial Flavour
Added flavorings are created in a lab to compensate for flavor loss during processing. 
“Natural Flavorings”  contain animal products, glutamates – including MSG and other allergens – sorry vegetarians & vegans, so much for the environment….

8 grams of Whole Grains per bar
Focusing on the fiber band wagon, there is no knowledge of the percentage of whole grains in thIS bar.  Although whole grains is better than processed grains, only 100% whole grains should be consumed.  So much for wholesome…..

Artificial Colors
Food looks nicer and sell better  when cheap artificial dyes are added.  Unfortunately they pose a risk for hyperactivity in children, allergic reactions, and cancer.

Wheat Gluten –causes inflammation in both stomach linings and the brain.

Contains Zinc Oxide Zinc oxide is an inorganic compound  used as an additive in various products  including rubbers, plastics, ceramics, glass, ,paints, ,adhesives, sealants, and  batteries – to name a few.  Banned in Canada, it is still listed on Kellogg’s US website.

Contains Glycerides
Used to "improve" quality in baked goods,  glycerides  are created by using  partially hydrogenated oils or animal fats. Glycerides are synthesized into phosphates which is a potential environmental hazard. 

Cereal is one of the most profitable businesses for food manufacturers.  They can turn an inexpensive ingredient (processed grains) into a pricy commodity.  

So, what about another Breakfast favorite – Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats?
Well, with icing sugar being the second ingredient on the label, that 11 grams of sugar per serving amounts to eating a dose of  23% sugar.
What is more concerning is that it contains BHT - Butylated hydroxytoluene a chemical preservative that has shown to cause cancer and thyroid changes in animals. 7

Quaker Instant “Super Grains” Oatmeal – is not much better.  It still contains 23% sugar per serving and uses sodium sulphite as a preservative.  As this is not organic, all the “super grains” would contain the weed killer – glyphosate, a known cancer concern.

Well,  what do I eat?
Organic Steel cut Oatmeal, with REAL fruit, nuts and seeds  (Chia, Pumpkin, Hemp).
One bowl is a complete breakfast with only 4% being natural fruit sugar. 
½ cup of Bob's Red Mill Organic  Steel Cut Oats
½ cup of Moov Organic Berry Cherry Blend
1-2 tbsp of Hemp Hearts
1 tsp of Flaxseed (ground roasted)
1/3 cup of Pumpkin Seeds/Mixed Nuts (Cashews,almonds,walnuts)
1 ½ tbsp. of organic Chia Seeds

820 calories with 50% Fat, 4% Sugar and 16% Protein.
FAT:    46.25 gms, or 416 fat calories = 51% Fat
SUGAR:         7.5 gms or 30 sugar calories = 4% Sugar
PROTEIN:      33.5 gms or 134 protein calories = 16%.

One bowl has 820 calories, half of my breakfast is made up of healthy fat. Even with  half a cup of real fruit, there is no worry of my pancreas working overtime to keep blood sugar normal. Fat - not carbohydrates is the preferred fuel of human metabolism.  Our bodies thrive on "good fats" and cholesterol.  Although vegetable fiber is the best for the body, the fiber from oatmeal helps slow down insulin output, causing a funneling of glucose into the bloodstream over a longer period   Plus the protein consumed helps build and repair tissue, produce enzymes and hormones  and manage weight loss and muscle gain.

Now back to the facts -  as you can see, Food Manufacturers do NOT have your best interest at heart.  According to the BEUC (European Consumer Organization) 3-, three of the most common misleading practices include
·                     labeling products as 'traditional' or 'artisanal';
·                     displaying fruit pictures on packaging for products that have little or no actual fruit content;
·                     labeling as 'whole grain' products with barely any fiber

Back in the 1960’s the sugar industry paid scientist to down play the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit. 5-  Now, people these days are more concerned about carbs and sugar intake.  Rightfully so, added Sugar is hiding in 47% of packaged foods! 1

And, there are at least 61 different names for sugar listed on food labels!   Although some sugar occurs naturally in fruit, the majority is added.     Some common names include sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, glucose, fructose, dextrose, maltose, lactose,  barley malt, brown rice syrup, agave nectar, etc  From the example above, of the 13 grams of sugar listed, all of  it was added..

Manufacturers use several different kinds of sugar so they can hide the real amount.2
As the  main ingredient is listed first on the label, disguising sugars as different names seperately  is one way that manufacturer’s deceive consumers.  A food may contain lactose, high-fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, barley malt, and evaporated cane sugar –all different names for the same thing – Sugar.

 Sugar-free products aren’t much better.  Although sugar-free products may have less sugar per serving than the regular version, they do contain sugar alcohols (mannitol, xylitol, sorbitol) –at roughly 2 calories per gram, and not only add up in calories but can cause bloating and diarrhea…4-

According to Robyn AO’Brien, Author of “The Unhealthy Truth-How our Food is making us Sick…”  a major problem in our diet is our reliance on processed foods.  We deprive ourselves of nutrients that are vital to our health.  With processed foods you are getting the fat, calories and carbs but NOT getting the nutritional building blocks that we need.  The micronutrients, which contain no calories, and come in the form of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals or other types of plant-based chemicals  only come in natural foods. 

There are many chemical reactions created in industrial processing of goods.  Sugars reacting with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperature have dire consequences - as they are potential cancer-causing agents.

So, in summary, Nutritional labels are confusing and health claims by companies are misleading so “Buyer Beware”..  

The most effective way to remain healthy is to know what you’re eating and STOP eating packaged and boxed foods.  Not only will you reduce your sugar and bad fat intake, but you reduce the intake of chemical additives and preservatives that are bad for the body.

If you are serious about you and your family’s health, eating whole, natural and unprocessed foods is the only way to go.  Real Foods IS the ingredient!!




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