I think I am going to faint! An article about the new kid's "lower sugar" cereals had the following quote:
The reduced-sugar versions of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops; General Mills’ Cocoa Puffs and Trix; and Post’s Fruity Pebbles all have the same number of calories per serving.
Blame the calorie woes on crunch. To preserve cereals’ taste and texture, sugar is replaced with other carbs that have the same calories as sugar and are no better for you. (emphasis mine)
That’s also why not even diabetics benefit from these cereals. The body treats all refined carbohydrates the same, whether they are sugars or grains, said Dr. Lilian Cheung of the Harvard School of Public Health.
“The changes don’t buy you anything,” she said. “From a health point of view, I really can’t see the difference.”
Please, take these quotes and put them on the refrigerator! Pass them around the Internet! Write up an article in your school newsletter! Tell your pediatrician to post it in every waiting room and exam room! Tell everyone you know! This is the fundamental point that is lost on most of the populace! By just reducing sugar and keeping or adding carbs, the food is no healthier! And this is what the major food companies are trying to do to hoodwink low carb consumers! Don't fall for it!
My own son got me to fall for this.... once. We bought the 1/2 Sugar Fruity Pebbles as a dessert just on Saturday night. (I never give my kids cereal as a breakfast -- unless it is the Special K low carb.)
And one thing I want perfectly clear. I am not against junk food. If people want to eat junk food, that is just fine. But at least be as clear with nutritional information so people can make that choice with their eyes open. THAT is NOT happening in the US with that new food pyramid (please read the link for a full picture and then come back here.) Notice how the food companies with 1/2 sugar cereal offerings are playing up one of the two half-way decent points but by no means the whole story: One, whole grain is better than refined grain. Two, reduce sugar intake. General Mills moved to whole grain cereals. The other cereal makers cut sugar. I say, so what.
BECAUSE the US Food Pyramid did not state what that nutritionist stated above, the food companies are going to get away with this for another five years until the science is so overwhelming that it cannot be ignored. And if you or your children, if you have any, are susceptible to carbs, and you don't know the true facts, then you are just out of luck.
And this brings me to my next rant. While whole grain is better than refined grain, I look at the whole grain labels and see a minimal amount of fiber in most of these products. The food companies are trying to pull another one over on us, I'm sure. And the federal government is letting them get away with it with that flawed food pyramid. Government-sanctioned cover for selling low cost manufactured foods with a high gross margin that effectively keeps obesity levels high for a good section of the populace. Low carb food is just more expensive to produce.
Furthermore, by giving a one size fits all diet that is not based on an individual's metabolism, genes, and lifestyle, dietitians and doctors are basing those recommendations what they think is the "greatest good for the greatest numbers based on existing science." Forget about the new studies, forget about the individuals. It is the consensus. See! The consensus is there, right there, in the US Food Pyramid, holy writ! As Michael Crichton says:
I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.
Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.
In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of. Let's review a few cases.
In past centuries, the greatest killer of women was fever following childbirth . One woman in six died of this fever. In 1795, Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen suggested that the fevers were infectious processes, and he was able to cure them. The consensus said no. In 1843, Oliver Wendell Holmes claimed puerperal fever was contagious, and presented compelling evidence. The consensus said no. In 1849, Semmelweiss demonstrated that sanitary techniques virtually eliminated puerperal fever in hospitals under his management. The consensus said he was a Jew, ignored him, and dismissed him from his post. There was in fact no agreement on puerperal fever until the start of the twentieth century. Thus the consensus took one hundred and twenty five years to arrive at the right conclusion despite the efforts of the prominent "skeptics" around the world, skeptics who were demeaned and ignored. And despite the constant ongoing deaths of women.
There is no shortage of other examples. In the 1920s in America, tens of thousands of people, mostly poor, were dying of a disease called pellagra. The consensus of scientists said it was infectious, and what was necessary was to find the "pellagra germ." The US government asked a brilliant young investigator, Dr. Joseph Goldberger, to find the cause. Goldberger concluded that diet was the crucial factor. The consensus remained wedded to the germ theory. Goldberger demonstrated that he could induce the disease through diet. He demonstrated that the disease was not infectious by injecting the blood of a pellagra patient into himself, and his assistant. They and other volunteers swabbed their noses with swabs from pellagra patients, and swallowed capsules containing scabs from pellagra rashes in what were called "Goldberger's filth parties." Nobody contracted pellagra. The consensus continued to disagree with him. There was, in addition, a social factor-southern States disliked the idea of poor diet as the cause, because it meant that social reform was required. They continued to deny it until the 1920s. Result-despite a twentieth century epidemic, the consensus took years to see the light.
And the US food pyramid is the one of the biggest political footballs out there.