Healthiest Cereal?

A granola declared “healthiest cereal” by a healthy lifestyle magazine claims to be high in omega-3 and antioxidants, low in sugar, etc.

It depends how you define “healthy” and how many nutrition labeling regulations you want to violate. This product manages to violate several across their packaging, Web site and press releases, starting with “healthy,” which is a regulated term that can’t be used for this product due to disqualifying levels of fat and saturated fat. Secondly, there are no claims allowed for omega-3 when it’s from non-fish sources. Third, antioxidant claims must specify which antioxidant, and the product doesn’t. Since the cereal is not even a “good” source (at least 10% of DV) for vitamins A, C or E, that leaves selenium as the antioxidant, which is found in sunflower seeds (the only likely ingredient that could provide enough), but the amount of sunflower seeds in the cereal (based on the ingredients listing) doesn’t appear to be sufficient. Then there are the sugar claims. “Low in sugar” is not a defined or allowed claim, and even if it were, this product (with 14 g sugars per serving) would not qualify, even though the sugar is coming from fruit and “unrefined” sweeteners (misleading, because neither brown rice syrup nor molasses are found in nature... they are produced through various refining processes). They also claim that only the “heart-healthy” fats from nuts are present in the cereal. That’s impossible, unless they somehow extracted the saturated fats from nuts – they contain both kinds. The bloopers for this product go on and on.

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