It seems like every product is full of whole grains now a days. It started with breads, and then cereals, now it’s even in your corn chips and snack foods. But what does this term ‘whole grains’ even mean? Well that’s the problem; it can mean a lot of things.
Whole grains: are cereal grains that contain all three parts of the grain: the germ, endosperm, and bran.
Now keep in mind a product can say that is contains whole grains and still not be good for you. My case in point: Froot Loops. I think it’s fair to say any product that tries to identify with a member of the food group and still opts to spell the word differently should be called into question (ie/ Cheeze, Chik’n)
There was a commercial on the last few months for Froot Loops where this adorable little child is playing doctor and his friend or patient has a sad tummy because, as his doctor friend diagnosis, HE’S NOT GETTING ENOUGH FIBRE! Well have no fear my little troubled patient, I have just the solution: Froot Loops! Because Froot Loops contains a whole 2g of fibre and is made with whole grains. So it will make both your tummy and your mommy happy!
Well that’s terrific! Those whole grains will clearly help this child get off to a healthy start. There must be an awful lot of them in this cereal for them to brag about it on TV right? Right?
Here’s the ingredients list on a fruit loops box:
SUGAR; WHOLE GRAIN CORN FLOUR; WHEAT FLOUR; WHOLE GRAIN OAT FLOUR; OAT FIBER; SOLUBLE CORN FIBER; PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (ONE OR MORE OF: COCONUT, SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEED OILS)†; SALT; SODIUM ASCORBATE AND ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C); NIACINAMIDE; REDUCED IRON; NATURAL ORANGE, LEMON, CHERRY, RASPBERRY, BLUEBERRY, LIME AND OTHER NATURAL FLAVORS; RED #40; BLUE #2; TURMERIC COLOR; YELLOW #6; ZINC OXIDE; ANNATTO COLOR; BLUE #1; PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6); RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2); THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1); VITAMIN A PALMITATE; BHT (PRESERVATIVE); FOLIC ACID; VITAMIN D; VITAMIN B12.
† LESS THAN 0.5g TRANS FAT PER SERVING.
Ingredients on a label are organized in order from most weight to least weight in the product. So in this case, the first three fabulous ingredients are sugar, whole grain corn flour and wheat flour. Three things which I have to say don’t have a lot of fiber in them. Notice that it says ‘wheat flour’ and not whole wheat flour or whole grain flour. Odds are that this ingredient is white flour. So there you have it. Our youthful little doctor has prescribed his patient a big bowl o’ sugar, starches wrapped in an edible food dye rainbow. No better way to start off your day!
As a guideline a good source of fiber in a cereal would be 4 grams of fiber per serving.
So always read the labels. Look at the actual ingredients in the product and if it seems too good to be true. There is a very good chance they are just dressing it up for you.