Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Health Check vs. Guiding Stars Round 3: Canned Produce

Up today? Canned produce. And while I know you'd think this would be an easy one, you'd be wrong.

First up Health Check peaches with one Guiding Star vs. non-Health Check'ed peaches with two Guiding Stars:

And that's of course the peril of not scoring every item in the store with your front of package program - healthier products may be right in front of your eyes but given that Health Checks are only allowed to be displayed on products that pay the Heart and Stroke Foundation for that right, you might miss up on better options.

Next up are Health Checked canned tomatoes with zero Guiding Stars (containing for whatever culinary reason - added salt) vs. Health Check'ed canned tomatoes with 3 Guiding Stars (with no salt added).

Same brand of tomatoes. Same Health Check. Zero vs. 3 Guiding Stars. Oy.

Ironically want to know where I didn't see a single Health Check but did see a galaxy of Guiding Stars?

The actual produce section pictured up above, and more thoughts on that tomorrow along with soup.

And if you missed it, you can click here for further background.

Bookmark and Share


  1. Its curious that the peaches canned in juice concentrate received more stars than the peaches canned in water. Any explaination as to why?

    1. Yup. They had 1gm of fibre listed, while the others didn't.

    2. Thanks, very interesting. I'm loving this series, by the way. Not sure if its possible but it would be great to also see a picture of the nutrition panel/ingredient list, for the curious among us.

    3. Sorry, I was in a rush rolling through the store and consciously decided to halve the number of pics I needed to take. Am guessing many can be seen if you head to the company's websites though.

    4. Hence the need to do your own analysis. Im my opinion, the mound of sugar in the juice/syrup isn't cancelled out by a measly 1g of fibre. Or, as Yani mentions at the bottom, the produce section is full of winners!

    5. Also, if you look, the Del Monte peaches are sweetened with sucralose...maybe that's why? Funny, the delicious fresh peach I had this morning had no need for any sweetener/sugar whatsoever....

    6. Anonymous10:04 am

      Yoni, I'm just curious about the peaches. I prefer the ones packed in juice because I don't like the artificial sweetner taste of the water ones. Before I eat them, however, I always put them in a collander and rinse the juice off of them. Is that a "healthy" alternative when fresh peaches aren't readily available such as in the winter?

    7. You can't go too wrong with rinsed off many worse snacks around I certainly wouldn't nit pick on peaches packed in juice.

  2. Anonymous9:29 am

    I just wanted to take a second and thank you Dr Freedhoff for all the hard work you do! I am an avid reader of your blog and your hard work is much appreciated.
    I am enjoying this series, great info and well-rounded assessment of the two programs.

    You're truly making a difference!

  3. Loving this series as well as the parental "no" files. Great stuff you're blogging about. You've really brought insight to the way I think about nutrition and marketing. Keep it up!

  4. Thanks all for the kind words.

  5. I thought of you when I was in Loblaws the other day. I was looking for examples and found myself in the cereal aisle. Multi-Grain Cheerios has the Health Check symbol and one Star. Loblaw's Blue Menu Multi-Grain Os has 2 stars (and obviously, no HC symbol). I was looking at the Nutrion Facts, trying to figure out what the difference was. I *think* it's because the PC cereal has 7g of fiber, whereas the MG Cheerios only has 3g.

  6. Anonymous9:10 pm

    Im curious as to whether there's a real difference in the fiber. There certainly will be I the texture; any home canner knows that the sugar helps preserve both color and texture, though you don't need a heavy syrup to achieve it.

    I'm not going to get all excited about the added salt in the tomatoes u til I know how much it actually is...

  7. There are many factors when buying a certain product, some people would prioritize the price then its benefits or quality and some will only prioritize the benefits or the quality whatever would be the prize.