Sugar Cereals Aren’t That Bad
I don’t know if anybody else has noticed, but the only cereals that taste any good have a fair amount of sugar in them. But, that’s not really so bad (it’s not good, but it’s not the biggest problem either). It’s not really the sugar I have a problem with; it’s all the artificial food colorings that really bothers me. Almost all cereals in the non organic food isles have artificial colorings. Most people think artificial colors are pretty harmless. They’d be wrong. Yellow 5 and 6, Red 3 and 40, Blue 1 and 2, Green 3, and Orange B have all been linked to behavior problems in children, specifically hyperactivity and the reduced ability to concentrate. The EU has already started to phase out the use of those colors in favor of natural substitutes. Yet, in the United States there is no such attention paid to the research. It’s interesting to notice, and I did not know this before, that in the UK the syrup for McDonald’s strawberry sundaes are colored by using real strawberries. In the US the same thing is accomplished using Red 40. I’ve always known the FDA is useless when a big company is waving money around in front of them. It’s just sad that it is neglecting products that are primarily sold to the youth.
Sugar is the least of our problems in our family. We get plenty of physical activity so nobody has to worry about not burning it off. But, once we consume these dyes and preservatives there is no amount of exercise that’s going to dissipate them. What’s the solution? The cereals from the organic section of the super market don’t typically have artificial dyes in them. The only problem is that they’re overpriced. Cheerios is always cheap and nutritious as is Total cereal. Total has the added benefit of having a bunch of vitamins. It should be noted that laboratory created vitamins may not absorb as well into our bodies as those found in nature, but the jury is still out on that one. We do sometimes buy Kashi cereal because we like the Autumn Harvest and Cinnamon Harvest cereals they offer. There are options. Look at the back of the boxes, disregard the sugar content, and instead look for the presence of artificial colorings. It’s the colorings that’ll make Johnny bounce off the walls all day, not necessarily the sugar (although keeping that to a minimum also might not be such a bad idea).