I stumbled upon a recent General Mills commercial the other day and never realized just how misleading they were. They claim to deliver vitamins, minerals, whole grains, and calcium…part of their logo now shows a large white check mark to indicate that it contains ‘whole grains.’ Their ads show kids wearing medals and flexing their muscles…attributing their winnings and strength to Trix and Lucky Charms. Wheaties are apparently the ‘breakfast of champions’ and Trix cereal is ‘fun and fortified. I remember as a kid being drawn to those colorful boxes and catchy ads, but my mom wouldn’t buy them for us…I thank her today for that. Have you really looked at the ingredients on the Lucky Charms box? Check it out:
Whole Grain Oats, Marshmallows (Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Gelatin, Calcium Carbonate, Yellows 5 & 6, Blue 1, Red 40, Artificial Flavor), Sugar, Oat Flour, Corn Syrup, Corn Starch, Salt, Trisodium Phosphate, Color Added, Artificial Flavor, Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), A B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), A B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTkfZMsCyHY (General Mills Commercial)
I decided to Google some of these ingredients….
Trisodium Phosphate – according to Wikipedia, it is a cleaning agent, food additive, stain remover, and degreaser. It’s in all General Mills cereals and is used as an emulsifier and stabilizer. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to eat something that is also used as an industrial cleaner.
Red 40, Yellow 5 & Yellow 6 – common food dyes that have absolutely no nutritional value. These appealing dyes contain known carcinogens that could have some harmful effects…hyperactivity in children, allergic reactions, and an increase risk of cancer. Can you imagine these big name companies actually using natural foods to add color (strawberries, pomegranates, turmeric, etc)?
The serving size is 3/4 cup and contains 11 grams of sugar (essentially 3 teaspoons of sugar). Who really sticks to the serving size though? These so-called cereals are loaded with sugar and refined carbohydrates. Did you know that the average person consumes 240 lbs of sugar per year?!? Don’t be fooled into believing that Wheaties is the ‘breakfast of champions’ because it contains the same ingredients as Lucky Charms (minus the food dyes). Oh, but it also contains BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), which is used to extend the shelf life. BHT is also used in cosmetics to preserve the fats and oils. There’s controversy surrounding the health effects of BHT – some studies have linked it with an increase in tumors and malignant cancers, while others have suggested that it may help to protect the body from free radicals which cause other cancers.
Here’s a little blurb I found regarding cereal and milk…pretty interesting:
“Whole grains, the blight of modern man. For 2 million years we didn’t eat whole grains, then about 10,000 years ago we genetically engineered a hard shell into a soft-shell and we figured out how to get the wheat kernel to stay on the stalk. Modern agriculture was born and we’ve been eating grains ever since.
We still cannot digest these grains unless they are processed first. So we harvest them and grind them up into flour and make all kinds of things that are supposed to be good for you. In the last 100 years we have taken this processing to new heights and produce all kinds of so-called foods out of this flour. Pastas, breads, noodles, cakes, pies, chips, cereals, etc etc etc. It has become big big business worth billions of dollars a year, so much so that the Federal government recommends you get so many servings per day to stay healthy.
But is it really healthy for you? Consider this one fact; if you take wheat flour and add water what do you get? Paper Mache! Do you think that would eventually plug you up if you ate it everyday?
Then we are told we need to consume dairy foods to get enough calcium and build strong bones. But they process this milk through pasteurization and destroy its nutritional value. The process renders the calcium unabsorbable and destroys all the vitamins and minerals. It kills all the good bacteria and enzymes that would help us digest it since at about the age 5 we lose the ability to digest dairy foods. It turns the fats into toxic substances that produce toxins and free radicals in the body. It is now so acidic the body actually leaches calcium from the bones to counteract the acidity and this gives you osteoporosis in time. There are other uses for milk, like taking the milk and adding a little acid to make Elmers glue.
We sit down every morning to our bowl of whole grain cereal with milk and a piece of toast. Down goes the paper mache with the milk into the stomach. Our acid production kicks in to start the digestive process…what happens to the milk? It turns to Elmers glue and glues the paper mache into a nice little mess that is passed into the intestine. Many of us then wash this mess down with more milk, which turns to glue.
In the intestine our friendly bacteria try to break down this sludge along with pancreatic enzymes. If their numbers are great then they can have success but bacteria constantly die. We also abuse and kill them from taking prescription medicines that can wipe them out in days. It can take the human body a year to recover from taking one course of antibiotics for two weeks alone.
This mess passes into the colon where more bacteria try to break it down even further to be disposed of. They’re fighting a losing battle, contrary to popular belief there is no fiber that feeds the bacteria to boost their numbers. They do have some success but this sludge is moving so slowly and now you just ate pasta for dinner so now we have another mess to digest and dispose of. The next thing the bacteria know is, there are 8 meals backed up on them that need to be processed instead of the normal 3 if you were eating like humans did prior to 10,000 years ago.
Oh no! We’re constipated today! Help help help! But there is no help coming, they’re it. The bacteria can’t keep up and some of this mess ends up stuck to the colon walls. It will be there forever unless this person does something about it. Very soon the bad bacteria and yeast move into these breeding grounds and the bacterial war begins. Good bacteria against bad bacteria and yeast.
Eventually the toxins in these pockets break down the colon wall and it begins to stretch and leak. And here you are…. with leaky gut syndrome and a chronic yeast infection and all the problems that go right along with it.
You don’t have to have candida yeast to get leaky gut syndrome; you just have to eat the wrong foods that keep you backed up long enough.” – http://www.yeastinfectionadvisor.com/leakygutsyndrome.html
Now that you’re stuck with that horrible image in your head….sorry for that. Here’s something that I occasionally eat for breakfast….all raw and packed with tons of vitamins, minerals, and healthy nutrients…and absolutely NO added sugar:
1 or 2 packets of Trader Joe’s frozen mango puree (it’s just pure mango…nothing added)
1 large Granny Smith apple
1 frozen banana (optional) can use frozen berries instead
fresh nutmilk (I prefer hazelnut) or water
Blend all the ingredients until smooth, adding nutmilk/water, and ice to your desired consistency
Transfer to bowls and top with fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries, goji berries, raw granola (I’ll post a recipe for that soon), ground vanilla, maca, mesquite, and I love cinnamon on mine!
Here’s the final look:
I prefer to use Sambazon’s acai packets in place of the mango, but they’re rather expensive…a wonderful treat though. So that’s one way I start my morning…either a fruit bowl with raw granola or a superfoods smoothie/drink.
I’ll leave you with two great Food Rules by Michael Pollen:
#11 “Avoid foods you see advertised on television”
#36 “Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk”