Kellog’s has created the new craze for breakfast… Unicorn Cereal! Beautiful picture of a very lively colorful and cute unicorn on the box cover! What kid wouldn’t like to have their Mom buy that box? Well, let’s take a look at the ingredients of this new Kellogg’s cereal!
Cereal manufacturers are experts at marketing, especially toward children. They use bright colors and popular figures to attract children’s attention, and studies show this actually affects taste preferences.
Sugar, Corn Flour Blend (Whole Grain Yellow Corn Flour, Degerminated Yellow Corn Flour), Wheat Flour, Whole Grain Oat Flour, Contains 2% Or Less Of Vegetable Oil (Hydrogenated Coconut, Soybean And/Or Cottonseed, Palm), Oat Fiber, Salt, Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Vitamin B1 [Thiamin Mononitrate], Vitamin B2 [Riboflavin], Folic Acid), Soluble Corn Fiber, Natural Flavor, Wheat Starch, Red 40, Cornstarch, Blue 1, Color Added, BHT For Freshness, Yellow 6
Vitamins And Minerals: Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate And Ascorbic Acid), Niacinamide, Reduced Iron, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3
Sugar is the first ingredient, meaning this is the ingredient that this product contains the most of.
Breakfast cereal is made from refined grain, often by a process called extrusion. It is highly processed, and many ingredients are added. Parents might think they’re keeping their kids healthy by saying no to sugary candy and cookies – but what about breakfast? Many children’s cereals contain loads of sugar, even more than some desserts, according to a new study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Most Cereals Are Loaded With Sugar and Refined Carbs! At the top of the list of ingredients is “SUGAR!” It is making us fat and unhealthy, and most people are eating way too much of it! Breakfast cereals are some of the most commonly consumed processed foods that are high in added sugars.
Starting the day with a high-sugar breakfast cereal will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.
A few hours later, your blood sugar may crash, and your body will crave another high-carb meal or snack, thus creating a vicious cycle of overeating. Excess consumption of sugar may also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer!
In addition to the enticing marketing towards children, these same products often have misleading health claims. This includes misleading claims like “low-fat” and “whole grain.” But when you look at the ingredients list, the first few are often refined grains and sugar.
Food marketing is even considered to be a risk factor for childhood obesity and other diet-related diseases. The colors and cartoons are there to convince the children this stuff is good for you and fun to eat. The health claims are there to make the parents feel better about buying this stuff for their kids, plus it is a real convenience!
These are highly processed foods that are loaded with added sugars. Small amounts of whole grains do not negate the harmful effects of the other ingredients. The major problem is that people actually believe these claims. Studies have shown that these health claims are an effective way to mislead people into believing that the products are healthier.
RED 40 is another ingredient in Kellogg’s Unicorn Cereal! Why is this a focus and why should you care?
Foods With Red Dye 40. Red dye 40 is an ingredient in many foods with a strawberry, cherry, berry or even orange flavor: fruit snacks, yogurt, breakfast cereals, jams and jellies, candy and even cereal bars and toaster tarts. Red 40 also known as Allura Red, it’s the most common artificial food coloring (AFC). You’ll find it in candy, baked goods, and cosmetics. There are plenty of claims that AFCs can be toxic, so just how harmful is Red 40?
Red 40 is a certified color that comes from petroleum distillates or coal tars. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates that it has to be listed by name on food and product labels.
Research shows they can also cause hyperactivity in children and immune system tumors in mice. Red 40 contains p-Cresidine, which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says is “reasonably anticipated” to be a human carcinogen.
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Red 40 and other AFCs can cause allergic reactions in some people. Other entities claim it is highly toxic, most importantly because people are unaware of how much they are exposed to it.
Red 40 goes by the following names:
✧Red No. 40
✧FD & C Red No. 40
✧FD and C Red No. 40
✧Allura Red AC
✧C. I. 16035
✧C.I. Food Red 17
“These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody,” Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the nonprofit group, said in a written statement. “The Food and Drug Administration should ban dyes, which would force industry to color foods with real food ingredients, not toxic petrochemicals.”
Jacobson is co-author of a new report entitled “Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks.”
The group says the three most widely used dyes – Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 – are contaminated with cancer-causing substances. Another dye, Red 3, has been identified as a carcinogen by the FDA but is still in commercial use.
Other dyes have been linked to allergic reactions, the group says, and studies show that dyes can cause hyperacitivity in children.
The continued use of food dyes presents “unnecessary risks to humans, especially young children,” James Huff, associate director for chemical carcinogenesis at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ National Toxicology Program, said in a statement. “It’s disappointing that the FDA has not addressed the toxic threat posed by food dyes.” Read Full Report
Yellow 6 is another ingredient in Kellogg’s Unicorn Cereal. One of the 3 artificial colors that has been under attack due to the side effects it can create amongst children. Particularly children diagnosed with ADHD.
The nonprofit Washington, D.C.-based consumer-watchdog group, Center for Science in the Public Interest has asked the Food and Drug Administration to ban them. Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40—contain compounds, including benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, that research has linked with cancer.
Research has also associated food dyes with problems in children including allergies, hyperactivity, learning impairment, irritability and aggressiveness.
A 2007 British study found that children who consumed a mixture of common synthetic dyes displayed hyperactive behavior within an hour of consumption. (These children had not been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.) The results, published in The Lancet, prompted Britain’s Food Standards Agency to encourage manufacturers to find alternatives to food dyes. In July 2010, the European Parliament’s mandate that foods and beverages containing food dyes must be labeled as such went into effect for the entire European Union.
“We see reactions in sensitive individuals that include core ADHD symptoms, like difficulty sitting in a chair and interrupting conversations,” says David Schab, M.D., M.P.H., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and co-author of a 2004 meta-analysis that found food dyes promote hyperactive behavior in already hyperactive children.
“Foods with dyes are often riddled with other nutritional problems, like excess calories and fat,” says Schab, who points out that childhood obesity is a far greater public health concern.
If You Must Buy Cereal, ignore the health claims on the front of the box, and make sure to check the ingredients list. The first two or three ingredients are the most important, as the product contains the most of these. Read your Labels! Choose a breakfast cereal that contains less than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Breakfast cereals that contain at least 3 grams of fiber per serving are optimal.
Milton Stokes, M.P.H., R.D. – Eating Well