Monday, September 10, 2007

American Heart Association loves sugar and butylated hydroxytoluene

So Cheerios has recently launched a new cereal entitled, "Fruity Cheerios" and smack on the American website is its AHA "Heart Check" endorsement.

So what's a Heart Check? Well it's pretty much the same thing as the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check.

According to the AHA's website,

"We know grocery shopping isn't always easy. With so many food product options, it's hard to spot healthful choices without spending a lot of time. That's why we created our Food Certification Program. We wanted consumers like you to be able to quickly look for a simple symbol that means a food product is heart-healthy.

You can rely on our mark because the American Heart Association is your most trusted source of heart-health information. Before our mark can be displayed, a food must pass nutritional guidelines and reviews as well as meet all appropriate governmental regulations. The distinctive heart-check mark on a package assures you that a food meets criteria for heart-healthy levels of fat, saturated fat and cholesterol for healthy people over age 2
So what kind of nutritional wonder makes up Fruity Cheerios?

Well each serving has over 2 teaspoons of sugar made up from 4 different sources:

  • Sugar (2nd ingredient)
  • Corn Syrup (4th ingredient)
  • Orange Juice Concentrate (6th ingredient)
  • Dried Corn Syrup (7th ingredient)

  • In a cup per cup comparison with Froot Loops, Fruity Cheerios only has 1 gram less sugar and 7 fewer calories.

    What else is in Fruity Cheerios? Well like Froot Loops it's also got such yummies as Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1 and butylated hydroxytoluene (listed as BHT on the box).

    What's BHT?

    Well BHT is produced by an alkylation reaction of p-cresol with isobutylene and it's used not only as a food additive, but also in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, jet fuels, rubber, petroleum products, and embalming fluid (according to Wikipedia). As a food additive BHT has been banned in Japan, Romania, Sweden, England and Australia and the Center for Science in the Public Interest recommends it be avoided whenever possible.

    So the American Heart Association basically recommends that you feed your toddlers Froot Loops with a questionable food additive for breakfast?


    I wonder how long before it gets a Heart and Stroke Foundation Health Check?