Tag Archives: Center for Science in the Public Interest

The Worst Food For You is…Granola?

Well, not exactly. Perhaps some explanation is in order.

There’s a list cicrulating on the internet. Perhaps you’ve seen it, perhaps not. It lists, in order, 10 Foods that you should never eat. Written by Center for Science in the Public Interest, it lays out a list of really, really bad food, and states why these foods just happen to be bad for you. As far as lists go (and remember, lists like these are often either simplifications, generalizations or speculations), it’s not bad. A tad obvious, and a little hyperbolic, but not bad.

The list includes some common sense items, such as Entenmann’s Frosted Donuts (loads of trans fats), Nissan cup o’ noodles (cooked in palm oil), and Frito-Lay’s Wow! Potato Chips (Contains the literally gut wrenching Olestra).

But the surprise is what’s at #1: Quaker 100% Natural Oats & Honey Granola.

It turns out it’s number one, not because it’s granola, but instead granola with lots and lots of sugar and lots and lots of trans fats.

Although I find this list in the vein of “Hmmm, well that’s slightly interesting”, these folks do straddle the line of falling under the category of “alarmist food police”. Not that that’s a bad thing, just something to keep in mind when taking in their information. Besides, I can think of many foods worse than some of the ones listed here. Like Pound Cake; Yummy, delicious, butter enriched pound cake.

Keepers of the Food

I’m a Democrat…I think regulation of some industries is a good thing. But even I think that a call for government regulation of salt is just downright silly.

The big three components when it comes down to stuff-in-food-that-may-be-bad-for-you-if-you-over-indulge include salt, fat, and sugar. Of those three, sugar is the one that may actually cause the most damage over time. Ironically, sugar is the one product which is relatively new to our diet, becoming a staple sometime in the 1500′s if memory serves correctly. Both salt and fat have been part of our diets since…well…since we started getting fish out of the oceans.

Another issue here is that salt may not be the end all be all problem that the Center for Science in the Public Interest think it is. As an article in the Guardian notes, it’s quite possible that some of us can eat above average amounts of salt without living dangerously. There are as many studies showing a relationship (not a causality, which is something entirely different) between high sodium intake and hypertension as there are studies that show that hypertension is based off of appetite, genetic inheritance and environment.

In short, the results on salt aren’t in yet.

Besides, even if it were shown conclusively that salt was responsible for high-blood pressure, should I, as an informed consumer, be willing to subject myself to the risk that it may cause, instead of an advocacy group telling me that I can’t?