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Low-Sugar Cereals With Splenda Aren't Good For You Either!

You may recall all the attention General Mills received last month about the alleged increases in the fiber content of its cereals. Even though the actual fiber content increased little, if any at all. An Associated Press report discovered, as I suspected, another broken promise made by cereal manufacturers in a comparison of "low-sugar" products: None of them offer any significant nutritional advantages over their sweetened counterparts.

Scientists at five universities found the amount of calories, fat, carbohydrates, fiber and other nutrients between both kids of cereals was identical. Why? Manufacturers substituted sugar with refined carbohydrates to preserve a cereal's crunchiness. (In some cases, Post and General Mills replaced refined sugar with Splenda!)

The defense of cereal manufacturers was as simple and untrustworthy as you'd expect. They claimed to be responding to parents' demands for products with less sugar and aren't claiming these cereals are any healthier than the originals. In fact, on some boxes, the "low-sugar" claim is nearly as big as the product logo. And, if you took the time to compare the nutritional facts labels on various boxes, you'd find there was little difference between them.

One Harvard scientist summed it up brilliantly: Not even diabetics benefit from eating low-sugar cereals because the body treats all refined carbohydrates the same, no matter if they're grains or sugars.

That's why I believe so strongly most Americans would benefit from severely limiting or eliminating all sugars and grains from their diets.

Lexington Herald-Leader March 21, 2005

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