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DECONSTRUCTING LABELS – How Healthy is your food?

April 5, 2012


I often get clients asking me what I think of the snacks they’re eating, specially the ones that claim to be healthy.

So, I’ve decided to start a Deconstructing Labels series on our blog. Once a month I will disclose the nutritional value and potential toxicity of ingredients, specifically of products that claim to be healthy, and help you on your weight loss journey. Of course I must admit I’m biased since I believe that there are few products that come out of a package that are anything but fake food. But all bias aside, it’s all about the ingredients on the label, and educating yourself.

Today I will be deconstructing Thinsations by Kraft. A picture of the label is included so that you can see the ingredients for yourself.

First off, lets start with the fact that their version of health is based on calorie counting. If you know me at all you know that I think calorie counting is a waste of time. It is not based on nutrition, do you think that primitive societies cared about calories! No, they cared about getting enough nutrition so that they could survive. Were they overweight? Did they die of heart disease? Weigh themselves every day? No, No and No!

Let’s get to the dirty parts of the label. I will list them in the order in which they appear, and I will only list the ones that are unhealthy or cause a health hazard:

1)   Enriched wheat flour – highly processed and therefore high glycemic. Like I’ve said before, if it’s not whole grain it may as well be sugar.

2)   Sugar, Glucose-Fructose – Second two ingredients are none other than sugar! This product is doing great already. It may be low in calories, but it sure is going to spike your blood sugar,  which will only  leave you hungry, feeling lethargic, and irritable, because what your body really wanted was food and it’s still hungry!

3)   Canola Oil with TBHQ – I won’t delve too deep into why canola oil is not good for you as I have addressed it in other posts. In a nutshell it is highly processed , genetically modified, and a carcinogen (rancid). TBHQ or (Tertiary Butylhydroquinone), is a chemical which is a form of butane and used to extend storage life. The FDA limits the amount that can be used in food, but why limit something that is ‘harmless’? Consuming between 1 & 4 grams can cause nausea, delirium, collapse, ringing in the ears, and vomiting. In children it may also cause rhinitis, dermatitis, asthma and hyperactivity. (Source: http://www.naturalnews.com

4)   Ammonium Bicarbonate – Used as a raising agent by the food industry. And according to Wikipedia it’s not so great for us. This is straight from their site: “Ammonium bicarbonate is an irritant to the skineyes and respiratory system. Ammonium bicarbonate from China used to make cookies was found to be contaminated with melamine, and imports were banned in Malaysia for the 2008 Chinese milk scandal.”

7) Colour – Since they don’t provide full disclosure on exactly what colour enhancers their using, its hard to say what the negative effects may be, but many food colour additives have been shown to cause cancer, as well as reproductive and autoimmune disorders.

8) Artificial Flavours – Again no full disclosure, so could this be MSG in disguise? MSG is used as a taste enhancer and is an Excitotoxin. Want to learn more about MSG visit this link from Dr. Mercola’s site:

9) IL# 020105 – Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything on this. But personally I wouldn’t trust anything that is written in code. If anyone can shed some light on this one please let us know!

So there you have it.

Thinsations get a big fail as a “healthy” snack in my book. You’re obviously craving something sweet if you’re reaching for these, so grab some fruit and some raw nuts and seeds instead.
Those will actually fill you up while providing energy and nutrition.

Have a happy and healthy day!


PS – If there’s a particular food you want deconstructed email me and I’ll be happy to post it on the blog.

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