A New York woman is suing General Mills for misleading and false advertising. The products in question are Fruit Roll-Ups, which are sold through General Mills’ Betty Crocker subsidiary. The complaint – while the products are marketed as healthy, they contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (a source of trans-fat).
Lets take a look at an example: “Fruit by the Foot”.
What you need to know:
Here’s what you get in the ingredient list:
Pears from Concentrate, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil. Contains 2% or Less of: Carrageenan, Citric Acid, Acetylated Mono and Diglycerides, Sodium Citrate, Malic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Potassium Citrate, Natural Flavor, Color (Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1).
Sugar galore, trans-fat through the partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and an assortment of artificial colors (see yesterday’s post).
Although the nutrition facts panel says the tran-fat content is nil, it’s because of an FDA loophole that lets manufacturers round down the value to zero if it is less than 0.5 grams per serving. Unfortunately, no amount of trans-fat is healthy, even 0.45 grams.
What to do at the supermarket:
When buying fruit products such as dried fruit and roll ups, look for minimally processed items. The sugar in fruit makes them sweet enough, and when dried, the sweetness is even more concentrated.