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When we finished Chareva’s big spring project a couple of years ago, we had two chicken yards and two areas for gardens, all within a big square surrounded by fences. In addition to being talented egg-makers, chickens do a bang-up job of fertilizing the ground. So part of the plan was to eventually rotate the chicken yards and the gardens.

Most of our weekend and evening time lately has been dedicated to the book and the companion film, which is why I’ve only been posting once per week or so. But on Super Bowl Sunday, Chareva asked if I’d mind spending some time before the big game working outdoors, preparing the chicken yards for the big rotation.

“If we’re going to rotate the chickens and the gardens later this year, we really need to break up the ground in those chicken yards so I can plant my vegetables. I know we have a tiller, but it’s just too much of a bucking bronco for a little ol’ gal like me to handle. I need a big, handsome, masculine male to rescue me from this awful situation and tame that beast of a machine. Would you be willing to step into that heroic role for me, my dear, wonderful, impressively strong husband? I’d be ever so grateful.”

That’s not exactly what she said, but it’s what I heard.

So even though the Guinness Extra Stout was already cold and the pre-game shows were already mildly interesting, I replied, “Well now, don’t you worry your pretty head, little lady. I’ll slide on my boots and tame that beast for you.”

That’s not exactly what I said, but it’s what I heard.

The tiller is heavy and doesn’t roll especially well, so I’d already gotten a leg workout by the time I finished dragging it up the steep hill to the chicken yards. The nets I put up over the chicken yards have sagged (raising them will be another weekend project), which means I often had to duck as I took the bucking, jumping tiller for a first pass around one of the chicken yards. As usual when tilling ground in our part of Tennessee, I turned over more rocks than soil.

I was stuffed up from my first real head cold in a couple of years, so I took a break after the first pass to catch my breath. I told Chareva that with the hard ground broken up, I’d take the tiller around a second time. Then I’d do the same for the other chicken yard. Then I’d call it a day and get back to Super Bowl festivities.

“Actually, I only used that story about needing a big, strong man to do the tilling to lure you out here in your work clothes. We’ve had hay piling up in the chicken coops for two years, and now it’s thoroughly mixed with with chicken $@#% and urine. That’s perfect fertilizer for the gardens. So even though you have a runny nose and sound a bit like a deep-voiced Elmer Fudd with your cold and all, I want you to stop the relatively pleasant job of tilling the ground and spend a couple of hours in the chicken coops — stooping of course, since you can’t possibly stand up in there — and use a pitch fork to dig up all that $@#%-soaked hay and toss it outside so I can start spreading it on the ground.”

That’s not exactly what she said, but it’s what I heard.

“Are you @#$%ing kidding me?”

That’s exactly what I said.

She explained that it had just occurred to her that yes, we should till the chicken yards, but we should get the large loads of chicken-generated fertilizer out of the coops first.  That way we could till it into the soil.  I tried to think of a reason her explanation didn’t make perfect sense, but couldn’t.  After all, our old chicken yard in the front pasture became a jungle once we moved the chickens out back. That’s how fertile the ground is now, thanks to all the chicken droppings.

So I grabbed a pitch fork and squeezed myself into the first chicken coop, then began excavating layers and layers of old hay. I banged my head and elbows a few times in the tight quarters, which gave me the opportunity to hear what a deep-voiced Elmer Fudd sounds like when saying words the Warner Brothers censors would have never allowed in a cartoon.

The chickens were delighted by the whole process and jumped on each new pile of hay I tossed out the doors, looking for (and apparently finding) yummy grubs and bugs to eat. They also began spreading the hay around for us by kicking and scratching at it.

Meanwhile, Chareva took some of the hay and spread it over what will be her spring gardens. The current chicken yards will become summer gardens, and we’ll build new coops and hang new nets before moving the chickens up the hill.

I finally finished pitch-forking and shoveling the old hay out of the coops sometime in the mid-afternoon. By the time I sat down in front of the TV with my first cold Guinness, I was pretty sure I’d earned it.

Sometimes farm work is chicken-$@#% work. But that goes with the territory. I’m pretty sure the fresh vegetables will be worth it.

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Well, I guess fans of the Atlanta Falcons are stuffing themselves with saturated fat today.  Meanwhile, fans of the New England Patriots – who saw their team stage the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history – are probably cutting back on saturated fat and possibly losing a few pounds by eating less overall.

I know this because of a study I stumbled across in my database.  Here are some quotes from an NPR online article about the study:

Backing a losing NFL team isn’t just bad for your pride.  It’s bad for your waistline.

A study that links sports outcomes with the eating behavior of fans finds that backers of NFL teams eat more food and fattier food the day after a loss. Backers of winning teams, by contrast, eat lighter food, and in moderation.

Dangit.  Since Atlanta is in Georgia, this is going to add fuel to that whole “southerners are fatter than northerners” myth.  It is a myth, by the way.  As I explained in a previous post, the belief that southerners are fatter is the result of those danged Yankees lying about their weight in phone surveys.  But back to the NPR article:

After a defeat, the researchers found that saturated fat consumption went up by 16 percent, while after a victory it decreased by 9 percent. “After a victory, people eat better,” says Pierre Chandon, a professor of marketing at the business school INSEAD in France. “After a defeat, people eat a lot worse.”

In many ways, the research fits with what we already know about the psychology of eating. When many of us feel miserable, we’ll down a big bag of candy. Call it a form of self-medication – when your happiness levels are low, junk food and high-calorie food provide the brain with much-needed pleasure.

Wait a minute … something here doesn’t quite make sense.  Let’s put toggle back and forth between two of those sentences:

Backers of NFL teams eat more food and fattier food the day after a loss.

When many of us feel miserable, we’ll down a big bag of candy.

Backers of NFL teams eat more food and fattier food the day after a loss.

When many of us feel miserable, we’ll down a big bag of candy.

I could’ve sworn people eat candy for the sugar, not the saturated fat.  And yet the study seems to be saying people comfort themselves after their NFL team loses by eating more saturated fat.  Let’s read on.

Chandon and his co-author Yann Cornil, also at INSEAD, find the same thing happening with sports defeats. They tracked the eating behavior of people in cities with NFL teams and measured how eating changed after victories and defeats.

Chandon says the connection between eating and sports outcomes was off the charts in the cities where following the local football team was tantamount to a religion.

“When we look at the behavior of people living in cities where football is really important — places like Green Bay, Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, then the performance of the team has an even greater impact on what they eat,” Chandon says.

After a loss, people in those cities eat 28 percent more saturated fat. A win swayed them over to eat 16 percent less saturated fat. “So, in those cities, people are even more responsive to the wining or the losing of the football team,” says Chandon.

Maybe that’s why the people in San Diego didn’t vote to build the Chargers a new stadium.  Given the team’s lousy record in recent years, perhaps voters figured they’d eat less if the Chargers did their losing somewhere else.

In one part of their study, the researchers found that asking people to remember terrible sports defeats had even bigger effects on what they ate – defeats lead to a 45 percent increase in saturated fat consumption.

Well then, for heavenssakes, don’t ever talk to me about the 1984 Cubs, the 1989 Cubs or the 2003 Cubs.  I might go crazy on saturated fat.

The most interesting part of Chandon’s research might not be the effects of defeats, but the effect that victories seem to have on fans. Winning seems to make people think long-term – they look forward to the next match, for example. The satisfaction of winning increases the capacity of people to withstand difficult choices – to pick the salad over the fries.

Now that you mention it, I finally began to truly appreciate the taste of lettuce right after the last play of the 2016 World Series.  I just didn’t make the connection.

But I still don’t see why the researchers focused so much on saturated fat.  So I took a peek at the study.  Here’s the relevant portion:

We examined two measures of unhealthy eating: saturated-fat consumption and total food-based caloric consumption, both of which are major contributors to cardiovascular diseases and obesity (Hu et al., 1997).  Unlike other macronutrients, which are present in all kinds of foods, saturated fats are present mostly in highly processed, calorie-rich, nutrient-poor “junk” food (e.g., pizza, cakes and cookies, dairy-based desserts).

Well, there you have it.  Unlike the other macronutrients (which would be protein and carbohydrates), saturated fat is present mostly in highly processed junk foods, according to the study authors.

The only things wrong with that statement are 1) saturated fat isn’t a macronutrient (fat is), 2) saturated fats are present in all kinds of unprocessed and natural foods (meats, eggs, whole milk, yogurt, cheeses), and 3) carbohydrates are most definitely present in countless processed junk foods … including pizza, cakes and cookies, dairy-based desserts.

In fact, I’m going to step out a limb here and say that when people eat comfort foods like pizza, cakes and cookies, dairy-based desserts, etc., it’s because they want the sugar and flour.  After all, plenty of cakes and cookies these days are made with vegetable oils.  And as the article said, When many of us feel miserable, we’ll down a big bag of candy.

So the researchers made the usual guilt-by-association mistake:  they see people stuffing themselves with foods that contain saturated fat and sugar, or saturated fat and white flour, or saturated fat and sugar and white flour, and assume the problem is the saturated fat – because the stuff is so unhealthy, ya know.  Dr. Hu at Harvard said so, which means it must be true.

Chandon says he had seen the effects of the research firsthand. The same thing applies to soccer, he explains: “As a Frenchman, both the performance and the behavior of the French soccer team were so distressing, I’m sure it’s part of the reason why I gained so much weight lately.”

Let me offer some advice, Professor Chandon:  the next time the French soccer team loses, skip the pizza, cakes and cookies, diary-based desserts, etc., and just eat more bacon.  I promise you won’t gain any weight.

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Interesting items from my inbox and elsewhere …

Let’s not rush in to regulate sugar.

I was already a fan of Nina Teicholz because of her book The Big Fat Surprise and her critique of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines that appeared in the British Medical Journal (which upset The Anointed very, very much).  I gained even more respect for her after reading a recent piece in The Atlantic titled The Limits of Sugar Guidelines: Is there a danger in governments offering too-specific advice on sugar consumption?

I’d recommend reading the entire article, but here’s the gist of it: Yes, many of us now believe sugar is the main driver of obesity and other metabolic diseases.  But let’s not jump the gun on imposing new guidelines and regulations.  We’ve made that mistake before.

Here are some quotes:

While the evidence to date shows zero benefit from sugar and a clear signal of harm, there hasn’t been enough time to fund and conduct definitive trials. Meanwhile, governments naturally feel they can’t wait. Facing panic over the continued, relentless climb in obesity and diabetes rates with no solution in sight, they’ve gone ahead and passed sugar guidelines pinned to exact thresholds, of 10 percent or 5 percent of calories. This advice is clearly well-intentioned. Yet if, as the Annals paper concludes, experts are skirting scientific norms by passing guidelines based on weak evidence, the whole process of guideline-making is effectively watered down.

Government officials, of course, are driven by a belief that no problem will ever be solved unless they by gosh DO SOMETHING!  It’s the old problem of when you’re holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Government’s hammer is regulation.  More government officials should heed the advice Lee Marvin’s first acting teacher gave him: don’t just do something, stand there.

As Americans well know, there have been many reversals in our guidelines in recent years—on dietary cholesterol, on total fat, on whether to eat breakfast to maintain a healthy weight. These were all official guidelines based on weak evidence that, when actually tested in clinical trials, were found to be unjustified. It turned out that people had been avoiding egg yolks, lobster, and fat, generally, to no avail, and that skipping breakfast altogether might actually be the best option for weight loss.

Instances of flip-flopping on nutritional advice not only erode the public trust, but make people think that the basic science itself is flawed—which, for the most part, it’s not. Instead, the central problem has been that experts and policy makers have passed judgment before that good science was done. And once a judgment is codified as policy, it’s hard to repeal. This was the case, for instance, with the low-fat diet, which although adopted as a U.S. guideline in 1980, wasn’t actually studied in trials for another decade-plus. This kind of mistake, at its very worst, is potentially deadly: Indeed, the low-fat advice, by shifting consumption to carbohydrates such as grains and sugar, is now regarded as a probable cause of the obesity and diabetes epidemics.

I’d bet dollars to donuts (and you can keep the donuts) Teicholz believes sugar is driving obesity and diabetes.  So it takes integrity to urge waiting for solid proof before taking action.

Of course, taking action doesn’t always work so well anyway …

Soda Taxes failing to reduce consumption.

Here are some quotes from a Reason magazine online article:

If 15 major cities adopt a sugary drink tax of just 1 cent per ounce, diabetes could be slashed, more than 100,000 cases of obesity prevented and 3,683 deaths averted according to a new report from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The report claims extraordinary health benefits for close to zero cost except that of administering the tax. So just how do the eminent researchers at Harvard find so many health-related benefits from just a 1 cent per ounce tax?

The answer is what Healthy Food America, who asked the researchers to conduct the study, call an “evidence-based, peer-reviewed computer model.” Unfortunately for soda tax advocates, the model collides head-on with the cold hard reality that there is not yet a single real world example of a soda or sugar tax reducing obesity.

Mexico, which was hailed by public health activists and the editorial pages of The New York Times as an example to follow, has so far proved a huge disappointment to anti-obesity campaigners.

Mexico slapped a 1 peso per liter tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in 2013, with health benefits promised to follow. The tax took effect in 2014 and after an initial decline in the average purchases of taxed sugary beverages of six percent, sales are on now on the up again.

The article goes on to cite examples of the same cycle: a tax on sugar is imposed, consumption dips for a bit, then goes back up.  According to classical economic theory, we’d expect a higher price to mean lower sales.  So why doesn’t it work that way with sugar?

Because as books like Predictably Irrational explain, classical economic theory assumes people are rational — and they usually are when making decisions like which insurance policy or TV to buy.  But when it comes to things that tickle our reward centers — sex, drugs, and perhaps rock ‘n’ roll – dopamine overrides rational thinking.  People feed their addictions even when it makes no economic sense.  That means the people who are most likely to overindulge are also the least likely to be discouraged by sin taxes.

Not only did the tax have close to zero impact on calorie consumption, but those homes with an obese head of the household were actually the least likely to cut back on soda.

I suspect many of The Anointed in government know soda taxes don’t actually change behavior.  But I suspect they also know this:

The one area the tax has achieved its goal is in the area of revenue. The Mexican government raked in more than $2 billion in soda taxes from January 2014. But since soda taxes hit those with the lowest incomes hardest, one would think this is hardly something to celebrate.

“There is no real world evidence that they have the slightest effect on calorie consumption, let alone obesity. They are stealth taxes which allow governments to pick the pockets of the poor,” says Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs.

But sometimes the taxes aren’t so stealthy.  Case in point …

Philly mayor outraged by basic laws of economics.

Some quotes from another Reason magazine article online:

After driving up the cost of soda and other sugary drinks with a new tax, the mayor of Philadelphia is now trying to blame businesses for charging higher prices (and for the outrage those prices have generated).

Mayor Jim Kenney, who proposed the soda tax and championed its passage through city council last year, told reporters on Tuesday it’s not the new 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax that’s making it more expensive to buy a can of Coke in Philly. No, according to the mayor, those higher prices are caused by city businesses price gouging their customers in order to stir up opposition to the tax.

Note to Mayor Kenney: buy a book on basic economics and read it.  Or perhaps just be honest with the public.  I know it’s popular among politicians to promise people goodies and insist those bad old business will pay the bill, but that’s not how it works in the real world.  Businesses pass the bill along to their customers in the form of higher prices.  Here’s why:

Newswork’s Katie Colaneri visited Carbonator Rental Services in Philadelphia to break down the math.

The distributors sells five-gallon boxes of syrup that can be used in soda fountains, and each box costs a retailer about $60. Thanks to the city’s new tax, though, retailers have to pay $57.60 in taxes for each of those boxes of syrup.

“We’re not talking about a couple of bucks on a $60 item,” Andy Pincus, who owns Carbonator Rental Services, told Newsworks. “We’re talking about $57.60 on a $60 item. It’s too big not to pass on.”

Pincus says he can’t absorb the tax because he makes less than $20 in gross profit—the difference between how much he paid for the box of syrup and how much he sells it for—on each box. Out of that money, he has to pay all his employees, buy gas for delivery trucks, and cover all the other costs of doing business. So, he increased the price he charges to retailers buying syrup from his business. Those retailers, who are operating under similarly small margins, are doing the same thing and increasing prices charged to consumers.

This is why I hate observational studies.

Over the years, we’ve been told all kinds of foods might be the key to a longer life. Now chili peppers – yes, chili peppers – might join the list.  Here are some quotes from an article titled Eat hot peppers for a longer life?

Like spicy food? If so, you might live longer, say researchers at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, who found that consumption of hot red chili peppers is associated with a 13 percent reduction in total mortality — primarily in deaths due to heart disease or stroke — in a large prospective study.

If so, you might live longer, say researchersHead. Bang. On. Desk.

Did the researchers conduct a carefully controlled, long-term study in which eating chili peppers was the only variable?  Of course not.

Using National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) III data collected from more than 16,000 Americans who were followed for up to 23 years, medical student Mustafa Chopan ’17 and Professor of Medicine Benjamin Littenberg, M.D., examined the baseline characteristics of the participants according to hot red chili pepper consumption. They found that consumers of hot red chili peppers tended to be “younger, male, white, Mexican-American, married, and to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and consume more vegetables and meats . . . had lower HDL-cholesterol, lower income, and less education,” in comparison to participants who did not consume red chili peppers. They examined data from a median follow-up of 18.9 years and observed the number of deaths and then analyzed specific causes of death.

“Although the mechanism by which peppers could delay mortality is far from certain, Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels, which are primary receptors for pungent agents such as capsaicin (the principal component in chili peppers), may in part be responsible for the observed relationship,” say the study authors.

No, I’ll explain the mechanism:  First, highly unreliable data on what people eat was gathered.  Then it was compared to medical records.  Then, as chance would have it, the researchers found a meaningless association between chili peppers and mortality.  Then they high-fived each other and ran off to write up the study results.  Then they probably proposed doing further research.   In fact, I’m sure they did.

“Because our study adds to the generalizability of previous findings, chili pepper — or even spicy food — consumption may become a dietary recommendation and/or fuel further research in the form of clinical trials,” says Chopan.

I’m reminded of the tongue-in-cheek paper Dr. John Ioannidis wrote in which he demonstrated that 80% of the ingredients in a common recipe book have been linked to higher rates of cancer.  Or lower rates of cancer.  Or both.  It just depends on which observational study you dig up.

And that’s the state of nutrition science.

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Well, it was certainly fun to point out all the processed carbage sporting health claims like 100% WHOLE GRAINS on the package.  But now let’s turn to the flipside:  more evidence that people are ignoring the arterycloggingsaturatedfat! and healthywholegrains! nonsense promoted by The Anointed at the USDA, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, etc.

First, let’s take a trip to the grocery store … not a Whole Foods, but a local Kroger.  As I’ve mentioned before, Kroger introduced a line of minimally processed foods under the brand name Simple Truth.  Here’s what Fortune magazine had to say about the brand’s success:

Shoppers are still shopping, but they’re often turning to brands they believe can give them less of the ingredients they don’t want—and for the first time, they can find them in their local Safeway, Wegmans, or Wal-Mart. Kroger’s Simple Truth line of natural food grew to an astonishing $1.2 billion in annual sales in just two years.

Our local Kroger also proudly displays big posters telling us where they get their produce:

I’ve mentioned the Boulder Canyon line of chips, which contains just three ingredients:  potatoes, sea salt, and a natural oil:

A reader emailed some pictures of other foods he found at his local grocery store.  I went and found the same foods at Kroger:

Who the heck would have bought riced or mashed cauliflower 20 years ago?  Now Kroger is obviously catering to people who want convenience, but also want to reduce their starch intake.

I also found several flavors of stevia-sweetened soft drinks at Kroger:

The folks who make Zevia sodas don’t use any artificial ingredients, so those colas are clear as water.  I guess the color of Coca-Cola isn’t natural.

So the food choices I’m seeing at grocery stores are evidence enough that the times, they are a-changing.  But a couple of recent media articles also drive home the point.  Here are some quotes from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle titled Fats find favor on U.S. tables again:

In recent years, many prominent scientists, journalists and diet gurus have been sounding the alarm that our decades-long obsession with choosing carbs over fat is only making America more unhealthy, and that the government has overplayed the role of dietary fat in heart disease and obesity, among other chronic illnesses. Like almost everything in nutrition science, the issues are far from settled, but the new ideas about fat are taking root in grocery shopping.

Petaluma dairy producer Clover Stornetta Farms saw that trend play out in sales of organic full-fat milk, yogurt and other dairy products, which saw double-digit increases in 2015 and 2016. Because organic products are typically bought by more health-conscious shoppers, the attraction to these products is probably due to the fact that they are less processed, director of marketing Kristel Corson says.

Yeah, maybe.  But I think it’s also because health-conscious shoppers have gotten the message that arterycloggingsaturatedfat! and other pearls of dietary wisdom from The Anointed in government are nonsense.  To underscore that point, here are some quotes from a Mintel.com article on consumer attitudes about food quality and health:

Today’s health-conscious consumers are staying away from products containing high-fructose corn syrup (50 percent), sugar (47 percent), trans fat (45 percent) and saturated fat (43 percent). What’s more, over one quarter (28 percent) believe a food is unhealthy if it has artificial ingredients, with consumers actively avoiding products with elements described as “artificial,” such as artificial sweeteners (43 percent), artificial preservatives (38 percent) and artificial flavors (35 percent).

Okay, you probably noticed the bad news within the good news: 43 percent of health-conscious consumers still believe saturated fat is bad for them.  But that’s less than half.  I’d bet dollars to donuts (and you can keep the donuts) that 30 years ago, closer to 90 percent of health-conscious consumers would say they avoid saturated fats.

And now for the really good news.  As I’ve been saying ever since Fat Head was released, my goal isn’t to convince the USDA to change its advice. My goal is to convince people to stop listening to them.  So check out this quote:

What’s more, a mere one quarter (23 percent) of consumers agree that the US Dietary Guidelines are good for them.

I’m not religious, but that quote makes me want to jump up and down and shout HALLELUJHA!!

We’re winning.  Better yet, The Anointed are losing.

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Actually, it’s two brief progress reports.

After some initial feedback from our local expert on books for kids (our daughter Sara), Chareva and I put the book through another round of edits.  Chareva altered some graphics Sara thought might be a bit confusing, and I rewrote some sections to explain the same concepts in fewer or simpler words.  That’s why I haven’t written a post in nearly two weeks.

I’m pretty sure the book is about 95% ready at this point, but we still have to create the copyright page, the table of contents page, etc.

As I mentioned in my first post of the year, I managed to gain 12 pounds during the holiday season, thanks largely to indulging in too much good booze.  I weighed myself at the gym today (we don’t have a scale at home), and I’m happy to report five of those pounds are now gone.  I just had to get back to doing what I know works for me.

I’ll keep you posted.

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Millions of people swear every January they’re going to improve their health. I’ve assumed for years that achieving that goal requires paying careful attention to what we eat.

Apparently I was wrong about that. Turns out countless processed foods are actually good for you. I learned that glancing at a bunch of labels and packages recently in the cafeteria at the building where I work.

I usually bring lunch from home or skip eating lunch entirely, so it’s been years since I took a good look at what’s on the shelves.  Imagine my surprise when I saw healthy offerings like this:

Whodathunkit? Swiss Miss hot chocolate is actually good for you! After all, it provides as much calcium as an 8-ounce glass milk! And if we turn that package over …

… we see the calcium comes with sugar, corn syrup (in case the sugar isn’t sweet enough), and hydrogenated coconut oil. Small price to pay for the health benefits of all that calcium.

Moving along, I found chips that contain 30% Less Fat or even 65% Less Fat than the leading Potato Chips – and as we know, anything lower in fat will make you healthy.

Here are the healthy ingredients in those Oven-Baked Lays:

Awesome. Corn oil, corn starch, sugar and soybean oil. Good thing they contain 65% less fat than regular potato chips, or I’d almost wonder if they’re good for us after all.

Of course, as the overlords at the USDA have been reminding us for years, one of the keys to better health is to eat more whole grains. I found several foods that fit that bill, such as these Veggie Wheat Thins that provide 100% WHOLE GRAIN WHEAT.

And here are the ingredients:

Wheat flour, canola oil, sugar and cornstarch. So they’re not just low in fat; the bit of fat they do contain comes from heart-healthy canola oil! Man, if we all could develop the discipline to live on foods like this, the nation’s health bill would plummet.

If you prefer breakfast foods while eating more whole grains to improve your health, Raisin Bran is a Good Source of FIBER & Made with WHOLE GRAIN.

Best of all, there are only 68 carbs in that little serving of whole-grain goodness.

Froot Loops are also good for you because, as you can see, they provide WHOLE GRAIN 14 g or more per serving.

With all that whole-grain goodness, it probably doesn’t matter that the primary ingredient is sugar. Grab the skim milk, pour it on that whole-grain cereal, and let’s get healthy!

But wait .. what if we don’t have any skim milk? No problem. Kellogg’s makes a healthy cereal bar. I know it’s healthy because Nutri and Grain are both in the name.

And as you can see, there are only 12 grams of sugar and a whopping two grams of protein in one of these nutrition-packed powerhouses.

There’s also a wee bit of fruit. And since fruit in any form is good for us, I was totally jazzed to find these Fruit Medleys, which are Made With REAL FRUIT JUICE and have Colors From Natural Sources. Boy, that’s got to be good for you.

I even found the REAL FRUIT JUICE in the list of ingredients, right after corn syrup and sugar.

Fruit juice is great, but if you want to get really healthy, you need some whole fruit. Luckily, I found these Pop-Tarts, which are Baked with Real Fruit!

Along with the real fruit that’s baked in, you can power up with some wheat flour, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, sugar, and modified food starch. The real fruit that’s baked in is listed down there in the contains less than 10% or less section … but it’s real fruit, so it’s got to be good for you.

So there you have it. Accomplishing your New Year’s goal of becoming healthier has never been easier. Just grab some Froot Loops or Pop-Tarts for breakfast, and you’ll put some real fruit or those all-important whole grains into your body. If you feel like a snack a few hours later (a near-certainty if you eat cereal or pasty for breakfast), you can grab some Wheat Thins for a dose of 100% Whole Grain Wheat. Then wash ‘em down with a yummy cup of Swiss Miss hot chocolate, and you’ll strengthen your bones with as much calcium as an 8-ouce glass of milk.

With all these healthy choices sitting on the shelves in grocery stores and cafeterias all over America, I predict the nation’s diabetes crisis will soon be nothing but a bad memory.

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