Sunday, December 22, 2013

Reading Cereal Labels!

We make changes all the time in our diets when we find out new information.  For instance, to be on the safe side, many people avoid aluminum cookware because all Alzheimers’ patients are found to have excess aluminum in their brains, even though they have not made a positive link to food or cookware.  I easily made the switch to non-aluminum baking powder, which works just as well.  Recently, I also stopped taking vitamins because a buildup of copper, iron and other metals can also accumulate in the brain.)  Now I must work on my choices of cereal to consume, and this is turning out to be more of a challenge!

I used to eat any vegan cereal including Reece’s Puffs and Life.  Then I became concerned about the hydrogenated oil in the cereal, the sugar and especially the BHT.  BHT has been linked very remotely to Cancer, but even remotely is enough for me to want to avoid it.  I loved Life cereal because of the name.  But after I took home two boxes from WalMart that smelled like they had been stored for three years in a mildew filled room, I switched to the generic version, which to my surprise was lower in oil and sugar, and didn’t contain any BHT!  I thought I was all set – until I heard about folic acid.

Folic acid is added into just about every carbohydrate due to the worry that pregnant women were not getting enough folate and that lack could cause birth defects.  Folate is good for you and is found in plants naturally, but folic acid is when they take folate and extract it and then put it back into carbohydrates in concentrated form.  Recent studies suggest it might constrict arteries!  Ugh!  Why did they have to add folic acid to my favorite food!

I started combing the cereal aisle, reading labels, and found cereals with 100% folic acid like boring Bran Flakes!  That’s not good!  What about Shredded Wheat?  60% folic acid!  Any cereal I found that was lower in folic acid was higher in sugar and oil!  Only one cereal in all of WalMart was really low in folic acid, 6% , and was also low in sugar.  It also tasted like it was low in everything and was too bland to stand! 

I walked around the cereal aisle in a daze, forgetting what I was looking for on the labels: fat, sugar, BHT, folic acid?  Sigh.  My favorite comfort food had suddenly become difficult.
Was I resigned to eat oatmeal all the time?  I really love my cold cereal – I must search on! 

Continuing over at Kroger I looked at some Mom’s Best Cereals, the Toasted Wheatfuls, the Safari Cocoa Crunch and the Toasted Cinnamon Squares.  None of them have any folic acid added!  I also bought Golden Grahams because it has 25% folic acid and I figured I could mix it with the Mom’s Best cereals and still have a lower folic acid count.  But I forgot about the BHT!  Golden Grahams will be off the list as soon as I finish the box.  So about those yummy sounding Safari Cocoa Crunch and Toasted Cinnamon Squares cereals: one has 6% saturated fat, and the other 5% total fat.  It’s a toss up whether I was doing better way back at the beginning with the generic Life cereal called Crunchy Oat Squares with 60% folic acid, because it was low in fat and sugar.  Maybe if I just combine it with the Mom’s Best Toasted Wheatfuls for a treat, and do some cereal rotations with cereals at 25% folic acid combined with the Wheatfuls.  Oh, this is too much like Chemistry!   

Now to check my crackers and breads.  Here we go again!

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