Sunflower Seeds: The Latest Energy Food Debacle

Despite growing health problems associated with excessive caffeine consumption, processed food manufacturers keep ignoring the danger signs, if any possibility exists that there's cash to be made. One South Dakota company has even gone as far as introducing a sunflower seed product, not only infused with caffeine but other harmful energy drink ingredients.

In development by Dakota Valley Products for the past year, Sumseeds are beginning to hit the market in the Upper Midwest and Southeastern United States. Its targeted audience: Males between ages 18-30 who play sports and sleep-deprived truck drivers.

Dakota Valley's clever sales pitch for Sumseeds -- "super-charged" with caffeine, ginseng, lysine and taurine -- competes squarely against energy drinks, emphasizing the huge sugar load a patient consumes within minutes after consuming one, versus a bag of their processed sunflower seeds that contains only 5 grams of sugar.

Apart from all the potential health risks associated with consuming chemically-enhanced foods to boost your energy levels, sunflower seeds -- enhanced or not -- contain significant quantities of omega-6 fats, along with pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and pecans, and should be avoided in striving to achieve your body's proper balance of omega-3 fats.

Yahoo News May 1, 2007