The truth about the so-called ‘Super Food‘ of the Century
Breakfast cereals have never been more popular than they are today. Packed with vitamins and minerals, they promise power, health and vitality, especially to the young generation. There is hardly a commercial breakfast cereal in the world that does not seem to contain everything a child needs to receive the ‘perfectly balanced’ dietary nutrition. However, despite this ‘valuable’ contribution to family health, a frightening number of children show signs of ill health and lacking immunity. The vitamins that are added to the cereals supposedly protect the child against the vitamin-destroying sugar, but it seems that this guarantee is no longer guaranteed.
Besides cornflakes, which still top the list of American and European breakfast cereals, the sales of new ‘tasty and healthy’ breakfast foods soar as never before. The main marketing targets for these ‘healthy’ breakfast foods are children. Research suggests that as many as 79 percent of all households use ready-made breakfast cereals to start the day. Children are usually very keen to try the latest cereal model, which contains essentially the same ingredients as all the other types but comes in a different shape and color. The well designed packaging depicting a healthy-looking family or natural scenery promises the parents that the contents are of pure and natural origin, often organically grown, and good for the entire family. The kids love the happy friendly figures on the cardboard. “If Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny, or the strong Dinosaurs like the cereal, then it must be good for me, too,” some children might argue.
Packaging has a powerful manipulative influence on children. Researchers at Packard Children’s Hospital in California asked 63 children, ages three and five, to taste-test servings of hamburger, French fries, chicken nuggets, baby carrots and milk. Some of the servings were wrapped in containers with a McDonald’s logo, and some were wrapped in containers with no logo. As expected, most of the kids thought the food in the McDonald’s containers tasted better than the identical food with no logo.
It doesn’t take much to convince an unsuspecting mother that the beautifully packaged foods are actually good for her children. The mother, who naturally wants to secure the best possible nutrition for her child, finds her mind put at ease when she learns about the high nutritional value of the product in the food table. It convincingly states that the cereal has the balanced amounts of carbohydrates, protein and fats, and is most importantly enriched with all the essential dietary supplements. If the right amount of milk (mostly pasteurized and homogenized, which is the wrong choice) is added to the super food, the child would have the best possible start of the day that nature could provide, or so she may believe.
Yet the reality of the matter is quite the opposite. An American team of researchers decided to prove to the world once and for all that factory-made breakfast cereals are truly man’s super-food. So they fed the common breakfast cereals enriched with the most important vitamins and minerals to young, healthy laboratory rats. The researchers divided a total of 240 rats into two groups; one group received cereal and water and the other one normal food and water. The experiment lasted for 45 days. The result was totally unexpected and devastating. The rats that were fed with cereals, which according to common nutritional sense and advertising should have turned them into strong and vital grown-up rats, were close to death. They suffered from fatty livers, anemia and high blood pressure. In a separate experiment, rats were fed with cornflakes, which consisted of useless cornstarch and white sugar. In this group some of the animals died.
The researchers had expected that the animals would grow faster with cereals, yet they did not grow at all, and some of them even lost weight. Especially the rats which received cereals with high sugar content (sugar is thought to be fattening), had the least growth rates. This is a summary of the results:
- The products that contained the least amounts of fat significantly increased the cholesterol levels of the rats. Some products were able to lower the rats’ cholesterol levels but also caused fatty livers.
- Those rats that were fed with cereals containing only small amounts of salt increased their blood pressure whereas the ones that received cereals with higher salt contents lowered their blood pressure.
- Some of the products were enriched with iron, which should have raised hemoglobin concentrations in the blood of anemic animals. However, the results took the researchers by surprise:
a) There was no connection between higher intake of iron and hemoglobin levels. The rats stayed anemic despite ingesting large amounts of iron.
b) Those rats that had little iron in their blood deposited excessively large amounts of iron in their liver, which led to worsening of anemia (for a similar reason it is very questionable to give extra iron to people who suffer from anemia).
The main conclusion we can draw from this experiment is that the purely theoretical approach to diet and nutrition (using food tables and daily nutritional recommendations) has not only been insufficient to raise the standard of health in the population but has in fact caused more harm and confusion than is currently assessable.
Sanctified by theories of nutrition, which in actuality contradict the body’s natural responses to
There is no legislation to test man-made foods on animals before giving them to millions of human beings. The average consumer takes it for granted that the food produced by a reputable company must be safe for human consumption, even if it contains plastic (using animals to find out whether these foods are poisonous or not is cruel and I don’t advocate animal testing. I have reasons to believe that all man-made foods have harmful effects on the human body, and I therefore recommend that you avoid eating them).
Not all governments support this disconcerting trend. According to an August 2004 issue of the Guardian, some few health-conscious governments in Europe that are less dominated by the food industry and big pharmaceutical companies, are beginning to protect their people from obvious harmful practices.
Health officials in Denmark recently banned the addition of vitamins and minerals to 18 varieties of breakfast foods and cereals produced by Kellogg Co. The reasons given include increasing evidence that eating those products regularly can ruin the health of children and pregnant women. Cereal is one of the first solid foods introduced to babies, and pediatricians typically encourage parents to start feeding cereal to their babies from between 4 and 6 months. Their advice grossly contradicts findings from a study that cereals introduced in the diets of babies increased the risk of insulin-dependent diabetes in the children.
Kellogg had hoped to add iron, calcium, folic acid and vitamin B6 to some cereals and cereal bars, as it is so common in other countries. However, Danish health officials believe that these toxic additives in the cereals can seriously harm the livers and kidneys of children as well as unborn fetuses in pregnant women. A government laboratory delivered the ban after examining the ingredient lists provided by Kellogg.