Eating Cheerios Reduces Cholesterol in 30 Days, says General Mills. [Brings World Peace in 3 months, too]

A box of Cheerios breakfast cereal.

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Add this to the ever growing list of ridiculous health claims from food manufacturers. General Mills, one of the breakfast cereal quartet (Post, Quaker, and Kellogg’s are the other 3), has published a press release:

Research presented today [...] revealed Cheerios can help lower cholesterol by 10 percent in one month.

The study, which was conducted and presented by Provident Clinical Research, found that eating two 1 1/2 cup servings of Cheerios daily, as part of a reduced calorie diet low in fat, lowered LDL or “bad” cholesterol about 10 percent in one month. Cheerios is the only leading ready-to-eat cereal clinically proven to lower cholesterol.

“We monitored the diets of study participants for 12 weeks, and a clinical evaluation of their cholesterol levels showed coupling Cheerios with a reduced calorie diet significantly helps lower LDL cholesterol levels,” said Kevin C. Maki, Ph.D. of Provident Clinical Research. “We were impressed with how effectively eating Cheerios daily as part of a reduced calorie diet lowered bad cholesterol. These are simple changes that are easy for most people to make.”

Read the entire propaganda…

What you need to know:

Cheerios is definitely one of the better choices in the breakfast cereal category, as it is made from whole wheat and is very low in sugar.

But don’t buy into the marketing claims disguised as scientific research. Here is why:

1. The research was conducted by Provident Clinical Research, a for-profit institute that gets paid by General Mills and other manufacturers to design, implement, and analyze tests that will always shine a bright light on the product in question.

2. There is no mention of how the test was conducted, on whom, was there a control group, etc… How scientific could this test be if the information is not disclosed.

3. The subjects tested changed their diets not only by eating Cheerios twice a day, but by switching to a reduced calorie low fat diet. No doubt, dietitians helped these people make smart choices over the 12 week test period so that cholesterol would shoot down. But just how much did the Cheerios themselves contribute to the cholesterol reduction?

What to do at the supermarket:

Don’t base your purchasing choice on marketing hype and health claims that are worthless. In the cereal aisle, look for cereals made with whole grains and low amounts of sugar (less than 6 grams per serving). Cheerios definitely makes the grade, but not because of the silly paid-for science report they have brought to the public’s attention.

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  • Rhomboid

    I think it’s worth mentioning that only the classic Cheerios is low in sugar. All of the flavored varieties have tons more sugar (as much as ten times more!) coupled with the fact that all of the flavored varieties list a reduced serving size of 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup for the regular kind. Sugar amounts per 100g of cereal:

    Apple Cinnamon: 43g
    Frosted: 43g
    Team: 37g
    Yogurt Burst: 33g
    Honey Nut: 32g
    Berry Burst: 31g
    Multigrain: 21g
    Regular: 4g

    This was a bit of a shock to me when I realized how much worse the flavored varieties were; it felt like General Mills was trying to pull a fast one by putting out these sugar-o’s and using the good name of the original to try to paint them as healthy.

    Moreover, the flavored varieties have clearly been processed more: for example per 100g the regular Cheerios has 10g fiber while Frosted and Apple Cinnamon both have 4g. It’s laughable when you consider the fact that the very cholesterol reducing capacity of the cereal that they tout so much is in the soluble fiber from oats — most of which has been processed out in all but the original kind! Woe to the consumer that buys into the cholesterol lowering claims but chooses Frosted or Apple Cinnamon because they don’t like the boring regular kind.

    Somehow I don’t think that you’ll ever see something like “Ten times the sugar and 40% of the fiber of the original!” on the box of Frosted Cheerios but it’s the truth.

  • http://twitter.com/Emmi134 Emmi Bances

    Well i dont believe in all these, how physical active are you, that only matters!!!

    Foods that lower cholesterol