The other day I read a blog post that infuriated me. Whenever I read a post I don’t agree with I usually just close the window. I don’t need to start an internet fight.
But for some reason this one I couldn’t click away from. I just had to comment. Now, do I have you wondering which post I’m talking about?
It was this post by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff. He is a Canadian obesity doctor. Generally, I like his blog. I admire his ability to think outside the box and challenge conventional wisdom. I am not trying to put him down in any way but this post… this post made me mad.
In case you don’t want to read the article (though its very short and to the point) he made an argument against the Holy Crap cereal by stating that tablespoon for tablespoon it contains the same amount of sugar as Froot Loops.
After reading that brief article, you would probably think wow, I thought I was doing good by eating my Holy Crap cereal. Guess I should go back to Froot Loops in the morning.
Now, to be clear, he wasn’t wrong. If you compare tablespoon for tablespoon the two cereals have the same sugar content
Here is the nutritional facts of the two cereals:
So why does that make me mad? Because the point of his article is to label read and yet this example isn’t how you should label read properly!
You wouldn’t compare these two cereals tablespoon for tablespoon because that’s not how they are eaten. You would never just eat 2 Tbsp of Froot Loops for breakfast. In fact, I can barely imagine anyone eating only 3/4 cup of Fruit Loops at a time. You also wouldn’t eat 3/4 cup of Holy Crap cereal (or you really will be crapping!) Holy Crap cereal has a very small serving size because it’s nutritionally dense. You either add it to water/milk and the chia expands to a larger amount or you could sprinkle it into cereal in place of granola.
Therefore if we compare appropriate serving sizes you see 12 g (3 tsp) of sugar in Froot Loops vs 4g (1 tsp) in Holy Crap. Suddenly, they aren’t the same sugar content.
Additionally, when label reading you should never consider only single nutrients. Looking only at the sugar content would be doing yourself a disservice because the Holy Crap cereal is far superior in protein, fibre and healthy fats. AND (see my use of all caps for anger) the sugar from Holy Crap cereal comes largely from naturally occurring sugar (dried fruit) vs the Froot Loops whose number one ingredient is sugar.
Now my point here isn’t about the cereal, it’s that you should always read everything critically.
Remember, anyone can post anything on the internet. Just because you read it or it came from an expert doesn’t mean it’s true or that the facts aren’t somewhat twisted. Never take anything for face value. Look into the facts and challenge what you read.