I try to not go off on too many rants. They are usually a waste of energy. This one may prove to be as well.
My husband is 6’3″ and 200 lbs. Corn flakes is not a suitable breakfast. There are not enough calories or enough fibre to carry him through the first part of his day. Despite my raves about the granola that I eat, he won’t try it. So I went on a hunt for a new breakfast cereal. Argh.
Even though I know how to read labels, I was still duped by the food industry. This fibre thing really boils my blood.
Fibre is essential to a healthy digestive tract. Fibre has two roles: to create bulk, and to absorb water into the stool. Insoluble fibre, like bran, won’t dilute in water because it’s job is to create bulk. Soluble fibre, like oat bran and ground flax seeds, won’t dilute in water because it absorbs water and forms a gel. Each role is vital to our health.
Food engineers and food marketers realize that people don’t eat enough fibre because they don’t like it. So they made fibre isolates – like inulin, oat hull, and cellulose. These fibres dissolve in water. They don’t change the texture of a food or the flavour like intact fibres do. They also don’t serve either function of creating bulk or absorbing water and therefore do not contribute to a healthy digestive tract!
The most infuriating part of it is that when you look on the nutritional label, intact vs isolates are not distinguished. There is just a total fibre content per serving.
Back to the breakfast cereal…
I bought Fibre One because it has 13 g of fibre per serving. That’s fantastic! Over half of the daily recommended amount of 25 g per day.
Once I’m home, I read the label and the full list of ingredients. Argh! There is that darn inulin. so, how much functional fibre is in this cereal? I don’t know. It’s likely way more than corn flakes so we’re a step ahead. But is it 10 g? 5 g?
Making intelligent choices is getting to be harder and harder. First, you have to understand the mechanics of how it all works. Then, you have to spend a ridiculous amount of time reading labels at the store (which is tricky with a two year old that likes to be on the move).
What makes this so frustrating is that these people are being paid to mislead us. Their job is to lobby against better labeling regulations (and they are doing a great job) in order to fool us.
Is it just me or is this really wrong? Our freedom of choice is being undermined and our government is not only allowing it but actually making it easier for them. Can this be stopped? I don’t know.
I hope to teach my son to enjoy whole food that doesn’t need a label. When we start from scratch, this issue disappears. Trouble is, what will my husband have for breakfast?
till next time,
Kerri Fullerton ND
ps – don’t even get me started on sunscreens…Seth Godin wrote a wonderful blog about this recently.