Food Is Not Your Enemy

New Nutrition Facts Labels on the Way
February 27, 2014, 4:21 pm
Filed under: Dairy, food politics, Fruits, Sweets, weight loss | Tags: , , ,

Good news–over the next two years, the nutrition facts labels will change on our packaged foods. Most significantly, serving sizes will become more realistic, calorie counts will be larger and bolded, and added sugars will get their own category. You’ll now be able to see how much sugar in your yogurt, for instance, occurs naturally in the yogurt itself or the fruit added to it, and how much is added sweetener. Given that added sugars are a very large part of why our nation is suffering from an obesity crisis, this is a really positive change. You can read all about the new labels and see a graphic of what one will look like here.

Cheerios Not a Wonder Drug After All
May 13, 2009, 2:33 pm
Filed under: Grains | Tags: , , , ,

General Mills, maker of the world’s best-selling cereal, Cheerios, got busted for making claims, in violation of federal law, that Cheerios will lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, according to a warning letter posted on the Food and Drug Administration’s Web site yesterday, as reported by

Turns out there’s insufficient scientific evidence for these grand promises, and the cereal’s packaging and Web site don’t include the mandatory disclaimer which should say that Cheerios will have these effects if eaten in conjunction with an overall healthy diet rich in fiber, fruits, and vegetables.

In other words, if your diet consists solely of McDonald’s and Cheerios, your heart disease risk does not decrease.

The warning letter represented the FDA’s first action against a “mainstream food product” in more than nine years and showed the agency is exerting its authority under President Barack Obama, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

This is good news. It’s about time the food industry is taken to task for making these kinds of shaky health claims. Even the most sugary, junk cereals now appear to be healthy based on box messages that tell us all about their “guaranteed whole grains!” The miniscule amount of whole grains added to these cereals does not suddenly negate all the sugar and additives.

While regular Cheerios are totally fine as a breakfast choice, it’s just good to know that the government is putting it out there that Cheerios are a cereal, not a drug.