Friday, January 18, 2008

Heart and Stroke Thinks Cookies are Grains!

Yup, cookies.

If you click on the image above you'll see a screen capture of Health Check's nutrient criteria page for groceries. The column where I've highlighted cookies is their grain column and yes indeed, if you look carefully at the screen capture up there they also for reasons beyond me, consider potatoes a grain (last I checked they were a starchy tuber).

But let's get back to the cookies.

In what alternate universe would cookies qualify as a grain choice?

Interesting thing about cookies, Health Check and Canada's Food Guide. You see the Heart and Stroke Foundation are now on record stating that my concerns with Health Check are because I don't like Canada's Food Guide (published yesterday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal). And it's true, I don't like Canada's Food Guide, yet here's a statement that may shock you coming from me,

Canada's Food Guide does a far better job than Health Check's criteria at steering people to healthier choices.
Here's what the Food Guide has to say about cookies and a few other tidbits,
"Limiting foods and beverages high in calories, fat, sugar or salt (sodium) such as cakes and pastries, chocolate and candies, cookies and granola bars, doughnuts and muffins, ice cream and frozen desserts, french fries, potato chips, nachos and other salty snacks, alcohol, fruit flavoured drinks, soft drinks, sports and energy drinks, and sweetened hot or cold drinks."
So not only does the Food Guide not think that cookies are grains, it recommends that they be limited. It also recommends that muffins, granola bars, ice cream, french fries, fruit flavoured drinks and sweetened hot or cold drinks be limited.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation?

They use their Health Check logo to deceive Canadians into thinking that muffins, cookies, ice cream, french fries, granola bars, slush puppies and sugar sweetened milk are not only choices that shouldn't be limited but rather choices that are
"'nutritious', 'healthy', 'good for you' or 'approved by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.'"

- Carol Dombrow Registered Dietitian and nutrition consultant for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Press release explaining how consumers interpret the Health Check
So again I've got to point out, if shopping with the Health Check is like shopping with the Heart and Stroke Foundation's dietitians, and if the Heart and Stroke Foundation's dietitians think cookies and potatoes are grains, that french fries, sugar sweetened milk and slush puppies are healthy, don't you think it's time for them to hire some new dietitians?

Oh and Heart and Stroke Foundation, please stop hiding behind the Food Guide because the fact is you don't even manage to follow the Food Guide's albeit meager nutritional recommendations.

Regular readers, this is indeed Funny Friday. It's one of those schadenfreude ones where cookies have magically become grains.

What a train wreck.

Have a great weekend.

UPDATE: July 23rd, 2009. In their newest (July 09) criteria Health Check has finally realized that cookies and potato chips aren't healthy! They've removed them from the health check program!

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:32 pm

    This stretches it a bit (a lot), but some home-baked "healthy applesauce-and-oats"-based "cookies" might be considered OK to straddle the grains and sweets columns. They're still high in sugars, but you can pack an awful lot of fiber, dried fruit, nuts, etc. into them (if you're the cook). Most commercial varieties do not do that, so I agree with your assessment. Government agencies seem to care too much about ensuring the health of the economy by getting people to buy stuff , even if the stuff destroys the health of the consumer.

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