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Major Brands Accused of Turning Health Food into Junk Food

Discussion in 'Nature/Habitat/Garden Corner' started by KTdid, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Major Brands Accused of Turning Health Food into Junk Food

    A new report, Culture Wars: How the Food Giants Turned Yogurt, a Health Food, into Junk Food, issued by The Cornucopia Institute, accuses Dannon, Yoplait, Chobani and other major marketers of misleading parents, who are looking for healthier foods for their families, into purchasing yogurts loaded with sugar and containing a myriad of questionably safe artificial sweeteners, colors and emulsifiers.

    The group alleges that agribusiness, in their marketing approach, has capitalized on yogurt’s historic, well-deserved healthful reputation while simultaneously adulterating the product, sometimes illegally, to gain competitive advantage and popular appeal.

    In addition to The Cornucopia Institute’s comprehensive report on the yogurt industry, they also released a related scorecard and buyer’s guide rating 114 brands and separating the truly healthy options from those that would be found on any dietitian’s shortlist of foods to avoid.

    One of the most cost-effective and advantageous choices for consumers, especially parents, is to purchase larger containers of plain organic yogurt and mix them with fresh fruit and/or granola.

    “This makes an incredibly wonderful snack for a child’s lunchbox,” said Cornucopia’s Kastel. “All it takes is a few reusable containers and two minutes of your time to throw in some blueberries, strawberries, peaches or other sliced fruit. To retain its crispness, granola can be included in a separate small container large enough to be mixed with the yogurt at mealtime.”


    SCORECARD > http://www.cornucopia.org/yogurt-scorecard/

    In addition to the synthetic sweeteners, and sometimes cane sugar, many yogurt products also contain high fructose corn syrup, some with exceptionally high levels of fructose.

    “This highly refined sweetener, also controversial with many dietitians, is misleadingly labeled as ‘fructose’ on ingredient lists, leaving off any reference to corn syrup,” added Dr. Dixon.

    In a Harvard study released October 13, and published in the Journal Molecular Metabolism, researchers found that fructose may promote obesity and diabetes by overstimulating a hormone that helps regulate fat accumulation.

    “There is no question that fructose is a sugar that promotes fat storage in the liver,” researcher Christopher Newgard told the New York Times. “In that sense, it’s a sugar that is a bad actor in the development of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes.”

    The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that no more than 5% of calorie intake come from added sugars. That means limiting added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons for men.

    The AHA says that most Americans consume between 22 and 30 teaspoons of added sugars per day. The entire recommended daily limit can come from a single serving of sweetened yogurt.

    As an example, Fage 0% fat, honey flavor yogurt contains the equivalent of 9.34 teaspoons of sugar, with Yoplait’s Go-Gurt Blueberry Blast coming in at 7.07.

    There is also some question as to whether some sweeteners and other artificial ingredients added to yogurt might disrupt the microbiome in the gut, which, for many, eating yogurt with live cultures is an attempt to beneficially support.

    In another gut-wrenching twist of irony, many people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or other intestinal maladies, eat yogurt because it is cultured with beneficial bacteria. However, independent, peer-reviewed published research indicates that carrageenan, included as a thickener in some yogurt, can greatly exacerbate the conditions. Some manufacturers, including WhiteWave (Horizon), have recently announced that they are removing carrageenan from their natural and organic products.

    Additionally, vegetarians may be surprised to find that many yogurts contain gelatin, a byproduct of slaughtered animals, which is also added as a thickening agent.

    When commenting on the plethora of sweeteners and natural and artificial flavors found in processed foods, including yogurt, former FDA chief Dr. David Kessler lamented, “We’re living in a food carnival …. These flavors are so stimulating they hijack our brain.”


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