Canned Tuna Reviews: American Tuna & Wild Planet

Important Disclaimer: Although there are organizations like the MSC (marine stewardship council) that suggest certain seafood choices are sustainable with an abundant supply, I don’t believe ANY seafood or meat can be completely sustainable, because there are just too many people eating it! Restraint is always needed; US tuna should not be taken for granted and shouldn’t be over-consumed even though it’s a much healthier choice than imported tuna.

american tuna canned tuna sandwich

Americans consume approximately 3 lbs of tuna per year. Canned tuna is a billion dollar business, but it remains a confusing food for consumers to purchase.

Most tuna from large commercial brands contain mercury, plus the way these companies catch tuna is deplorable! For skipjack and yellowfin, they use a large net to catch massive amounts of tuna. For albacore tuna, the most used method is a longline. Problem is, other fish like shark, dolphins, & rays plus sea animals like turtles can also be caught using both these methods, and because the fishermen only want tuna, the unwanted fish are thrown (dead or wounded) back into the ocean.

Sustainability conscience companies use the troll and/or poll & line methods. The first method, trolling is a useful way to ensure that younger smaller tuna fish are caught, which are much lower in mercury.

There are only a handful of companies that offer tuna caught in the US. I like the idea of eating US caught tuna. I cringe when I read the label on the can and see “product of Indonesia” or Thailand, or China. Even companies like 365 from Whole Foods don’t offer tuna from the US. I assume the main reason is the expense. Consumers don’t want to pay a premium for premium products!

A can of tuna from Starkist or Chicken of the Sea is under $2 (sometimes under $1), but a can of higher quality USA tuna is $4-$5. Yeah, that’s a big difference! Americans have become so used to cheap food, but they don’t bother to think about the reason as to WHY it’s so cheap. The old saying “You get what you pay for” should apply to our food as well!

Buying American caught tuna is supporting the US, and you’re getting a much higher quality product (lower in mercury, higher in Omega 3 fatty acids). The quality of the tuna can’t be compared. The texture and taste is similar to eating freshly cooked tuna. It does require a little time to get used to the taste of higher quality tuna, as our nation’s taste buds are dulled by the taste (or lack there of) of main-stream commercial brands of canned tuna. But once you learn to appreciate it, it’s so much better. I think it’s worth the extra money.

Another positive aspect of purchasing a higher quality canned tuna is that it’s packed in the tuna’s natural juices, not in water or oil; there is no need to drain the can first. So, what you are paying for is TUNA, not canning liquid like the more popular brands; canning in natural juices also allow for a higher amount of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids to be retained.

Recommended Tuna Brands

I really enjoy two brands of US tuna: Wild Planet (See my update below) and American Tuna

Continue reading “Canned Tuna Reviews: American Tuna & Wild Planet”

Bob Harper Biggest Loser TV Commercial for Quaker Oatmeal Squares Cereal

What’s up with Bob Harper endorsing processed cereal? He’s in a new TV ad for Quaker Oatmeal Squares, trying to convince America how wonderful this processed cereal is. I understand that a person needs to make a living, but it’s very disappointing that he would choose such a poor food product to promote. Shame on Bob Harper!

Take a closer look at Quaker Oatmeal Squares and how outright deceiving the advertising is (including Bob Harper’s enthusiast endorsement!)

The ad proudly states ONE serving has “96% of your minimum whole grain needs” – the small print on their web page states:

**Experts recommend eating at least three one-ounce equivalents of whole grains, or 48 grams daily, based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Quaker Oatmeal Squares has 46 grams per serving.

What does 48 grams of whole grain exactly mean? Well, the total weight of one cup of Quaker Oat Squares is 55 grams. So, minus the sugar, sodium, and other assorted preservatives and chemicals, and you’ll find a net of 46 grams of whole grain.

But Bob Harper doesn’t mention that a bowl of this crap also provides 10 grams of sugar, which is about a third of the suggested refined sugar consumption (Did somebody say Fruit Loops?), along with some lovely BHT and fake food coloring. Don’tcha just love all those wonderful ingredients that you can’t pronounce!

Quaker Oatmeal Squares Ingredients:

WHOLE OAT FLOUR, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, BROWN SUGAR, SUGAR, MALTODEXTRIN, MALTED BARLEY EXTRACT, MOLASSES, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, REDUCED IRON, SODIUM ASCORBATE, YELLOW 5, NIACINAMIDE*, ZINC OXIDE, BHT (A PRESERVATIVE), VITAMIN E ACETATE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, YELLOW 6, THIAMIN MONONITRATE*, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE*, RIBOFLAVIN*, FOLIC ACID*.
*ONE OF THE B VITAMINS.

Compare Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal to REAL old fashioned steel cut oats from Bob’s Red Mill, which contains, hmm, say it with me… OATS!

One 1/4 cup (dry) of gives you just about the same amount of “whole grain” goodness @ 44 grams. Even when you add a tsp of sweetener and a pinch of salt, you still come up healthier with less calories, less sugar, and less sodium, compared to the Quaker Oatmeal Squares. And the bonus is you leave out the chemicals, preservatives, and other assorted ickyness that Bob Harper endorses.

Too bad Bob Harper didn’t choose a company like Bob’s Red Mill to support, but then again, they don’t have a huge marketing budget like Quaker and their parent company Pepsico!

Bob Harper is raking in the big bucks but, to me, he’s looking like the Biggest Loser!

Oprah and Her Harpo Staff Going Vegan for 7 Days

Much hoopla was made about Oprah and her staff challenging themselves to live vegan for a week. I just watched the show on my DVR and here are some of my thoughts.

The show opens with a video of last week’s Harpo staff meeting and the challenge to go vegan for a week – that means no meat, eggs, & dairy. Immediately all you see is Kashi logos! Kashi is everywhere, on the bags they’re handing out to staff members, later in her office, Oprah even mentions how much she loves Kashi products. Yuck. Doesn’t anyone realize that Kashi is Kelloggs crap in disguise? sigh. It’s highly processed, sugarly, full of soy! STOP with the Kashi!

Michael Pollan

I loved seeing Michael Pollan. I adore him. He has so many good ideas, and his books “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” and “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual” truly changed my life!

So, he advises that it’s okay to eat meat, just don’t eat a lot of it! That is how I am slowly trying to live. (Baby steps, baby steps!) Be a conscience eater! Be aware about where your food is coming from!

Michael states that the American diet is now a catastrophe. 75% of our healthcare spending is on chronic diseases linked to diet and it’s bankrupting us. Too many calories, too much processed food, tons of refined carbs (sugar, white flour).

Unfortunately, the show was interrupted for a few minutes by an important ABC news special report on the situation in Egypt, and I did miss a chunk of Michael’s interview, but I found a video on Oprah’s web site:
http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Michael-Pollan-on-Eating-Meat-Video/topic/oprahshow

Behind the Scenes @ Cargill

Next, was a video segment on how beef is produced. The video starts at Timmerman Feedlot in La Salle, Colorado, where cows eat corn and corn by-products for 200 days until they are fat enough for slaughter. They gain about 3 pounds per day. The video shows the following day at Cargill Meat Solutions in Fort Morgan, Colorado, the largest producer of ground beef in the world.

Cargill was portrayed as a “kind” beef slaughter house (that sounds like an oxymoron) and I immediately recognized the handling system, designed by Temple Grandin to keep the animals calm. I suppose if you have to die, the way they do it seemed to be fairly respectful.

They filmed the process except when the animals were struck with the 4 inch metal bolt and killed. They showed skinning, sawing, and other assorted beef processing.

Unfortunately (as pointed out on the show) a lot of the slaughter houses are not as kind or clean, especially when it comes to poultry. It’s too bad that Oprah didn’t show a poultry plant, but I imagine not many of them were too eager to be filmed.

I would be a hypocrite if I said I never bought feed-lot beef, but it really doesn’t seem like a healthy, happy way for a cow to live for 200 days, stuck in a lot, eating corn. Thankfully, Whole Foods always has freshly ground 100% grass fed beef, so I never have to purchase beef ground in a factory.

The Veganist, Kathy Freston

Oprah’s next guest was Kathy Freston, the “Veganist”, her book “Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World” was just released. Kathy led the week long Vegan challenge, and offered a lot of advice to the staff.

I love the new buzz word “veganish” – that’s a lifestyle that perhaps I can someday see myself living. From the Urban Dictionary: Veganish: An eating practice for people who kinda want to be vegan, but sometimes just need to eat some cheese or chicken.

Michael Pollan voiced a concern about going “all the way vegan”, as opposed to someone that eats meat occasionally: first “these great farmers we have in this country who are doing really good work” going on to say we need to reform the meat system not eliminate it. He also worries that getting off meat entirely that you “end up on a lot of processed foods” and he praised Kathy’s book for warning about this danger.

Sounds promising, you don’t need all that processed “meat and cheese alternative” junk! I like what I’m hearing!

…until a later segment where Kathy’s shown going grocery shopping with Jill, an Oprah producer. What do you think she’s suggesting to them? Processed meat/dairy alternatives!

Shopping For Vegan Friendly Processed Foods

Suggested dairy alternative: Daiya Vegan Cheese Products, made from tapioca. Here’s a list of ingredients:

Filtered water, tapioca and/or arrowroot flours, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and /or non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, vegan natural flavours, inactive yeast, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor).

Still processed, but not too bad; I might actually try this food. I like that they clearly state that there’s no GMO canola or safflower. And they are soy free! And yes, this cheese substitute can be easily frozen!

On the negative side, yeah, there are some ingredients that my grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food (Food Rule #2) and there is no calcium, like normal cheese.

Next recommendations are meat substitutes. Did you notice the camera paused effectively on the Kellogg’s Boca Burger package? hmm.

Oprah producer, Jill chooses a box of Hickory Smoked Tofurky Deli Slices. Okay, so it’s made from organic tofu and there’s no GM oils, but nutritionally, what is the difference between that and a package of Hormel turkey slices? Wouldn’t it be better to just tell people to eat a (natural) nut butter and (lower sugar) jelly sandwich, and get off the deli meat all together!?

So, Kathy Freston then recommends Gardein products. Although this product line is not as horrible as the Boca burgers (Kraft) and Morningstar Farms (Kelloggs), it’s still a highly processed food.

Here is the ingredient list from Gardein™ chick’n filets:

water, soy protein, vital wheat gluten, ancient grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet and kamut®), natural flavors (from plant sources), potato starch, expeller pressed canola oil and/or safflower oil, pea protein, modified vegetable gum, carrot fiber, organic beet root fiber, organic evaporated cane juice, yeast extract, vinegar, sea salt. rub: spices, red bell pepper flakes.

First, there’s a good chunk of processed soy and processed wheat (TVP) which is probably genetically modified, along with canola/safflower oils and sugar from cane juice. Why do we need sugar in chicken? Hmm, could it be the product tastes so bad, it needs a boost of sugar (and salt) to make it taste better.

“Ancient grains” are on their list of ingredients, but the pessimist in me thinks these buzz word grains are added just so the product looks healthy and “modern”. And sorry, their beef alternative products really look scary!

Non-dairy milk is next. Kathy grabs a carton of Almond Breeze chocolate milk. Okay I have used unsweetened Almond Breeze milk before, but why is she recommending the chocolate flavor? Yeah, of course it tastes great because it’s loaded with sugar!!! Duh! I wish she verbally suggested the SoDelicious unsweetened coconut milk, but at least the camera focused on their products.

Of course veganaise and earth balance are next on her shopping list. I might actually buy the grapeseed veganaise product, because it’s soy and canola free – update: I took a look at the ingredients at the store, and it DOES have soy, so nope, I won’t be purchasing this. I previously considered buying the soy-free Earth Balance, but it still includes canola oil, so I just choose organic whipped butter instead. Simple, fresh, and less fat/calories.

Oprah’s Real Objectives

The problem with shows like Oprah, is they try to nudge people into making choices for a healthier lifestyle, but stop short of revealing the whole picture. Sure, it’s a great idea to eat meatless whenever you can, but to replace meat with highly processed soy products isn’t helping our health or our environment. (Read the “beef vs veggie burger” article at Mother Jones)

The show was supposed to be about being conscience of where your food comes from. Do you know where soy protein and canola oil comes from? Most of us might know how a pea comes to our table, it’s grown in a farm, but how is pea protein created and what impact does the process have on our environment and health?

My guess is they couldn’t really tell the truth because the episode was heavily sponsored by Kelloggs (ending titles credited Kashi with partially funded the show’s production)! So, they left out important details about these processed vegan-friendly foods.

Unfortunately, a lot of Oprah groupies will buy anything that she and her guests’ recommend. I can hear roar at the grocery store, followers stocking up on any and all meat/dairy alternative products without even a glance to the list of ingredients and/or nutritional data. They’ll be replacing their normal processed foods with other processed foods and think they’re making a healthier choice!

All in all, it was a decent show, and it was great to hear the experiences of some of the staff members. But I wish they didn’t put so much emphasis on the processed alternative foods, after all the show was supposed to be about being conscience about where your food comes from. I wanted to see more discussion on whole grains, beans, nuts, fruit and vegetables!

Hungry Girl First Show Premieres on the Cooking Channel

So, I watched the first episode of the new TV show, Hungry Girl (with Lisa Lillien) on the Cooking Channel, and I admit, some parts might be helpful to someone trying to lose weight, but most of it was pure Hungry Girl, suggesting unhealthy processed foods, instead of fresh whole ingredients.

This first episode was all about pizza, and she power-promoted Turkey Pepperoni, which by the way is full of dangerous chemicals and tons of sodium. Her recipe calls for only 4 little pepperoni pieces, so truthfully, why bother!? Why temp yourself with the stuff you shouldn’t be eating, like processed meat? Wouldn’t it be better to load up the pizza full of yummy mushrooms, onions, peppers, garlic, and heart-healthy olives.

Since the show is geared toward those that want to lose weight, her recipes typically yield only one individual serving, but you could probably double or quadruple them if feeding more.

My main gripe is that her portions appear unrealistically small. 200 calories for one small crispy tortilla pizza? 200 calories for lunch or dinner would never fill me up! And sorry, if I am splurging at the pizza parlor, I am not going to just eat one slice, like she suggests.

But I do really like that she measures ingredients! I think using a kitchen scale and measuring cups/spoons is really an important part of long term weight loss, especially in the beginning.

Truthfully, her recipes are nothing special, but since she has so many adoring fans, my guess is the show will be a hit. Personally, I would rather watch a show highlighting fresh ingredients for a long term healthier lifestyle; instead, Hungry Girl endorses junk food replacements and swaps.

From her show’s main page: “Enjoy eating whatever you want — including Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcakes — without any of the guilt.” Hmm, maybe guilt is good when it comes to some foods! Ha!

Speaking of junk food, most of the recipes are listed for future shows on the cooking channel web site, except the show named Chocolate 911.

Chocoholics rejoice – Hungry Girl shows you how to enjoy your favorite indulgences guilt-free including Chocolate Marshmallow Mississippi Mug Pie, Madness Cupcakes, an over-the-top dessert drink, a Mounds Bar Martini, and to top it all off: a non-alcoholic Hot ‘N’ Nutty Liquid Brownie. In addition, Lisa searches for the dessert of her dreams!

Can you say S-P-L-E-N-D-A ? And that is when I really get discouraged!

PediaSure SideKicks – Who Feeds This Stuff to Their Kids?

I saw a TV ad for PediaSure Sidekicks last night. I’m sure it’s been on a million times, but this time I really paid attention.

http://pediasure.com/kid-nutrition-products/sidekicks-commercial

Two moms were watching their kids play soccer on the field, and one mom says that her son is sluggish and maybe they shouldn’t have stopped off at the drive-thru before the game. He’s wearing a big French Fry costume, and the other mom says “Well kids are what they eat”

Then the Voiceover states:

Introducing great-tasting PediaSure SideKicks, from the #1 pediatrician recommended brand. With 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber in every bottle.

I found the ingredients list for PediaSure Sidekicks, and it ain’t pretty. In fact, it would seem that the other child drinking this crap should be dressed as big lolipop because it’s loaded with sugar. It’s basically water, milk and sugar with some chemicals and other nasties. Soy oil? soy protein isolate? soy lecithin? Who said it was good to add these to a something a child drinks?

Here’s the list of ingredients for PediaSure Sidekicks vanilla:

WATER, SUGAR (SUCROSE), MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SOY OIL, SHORT-CHAIN FRUCTOOLIGOSACCHARIDES, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE; LESS THAN 0.5% OF: CELLULOSE GEL, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, POTASSIUM CITRATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SALT (SODIUM CHLORIDE), POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, CELLULOSE GUM, CALCIUM CARBONATE, CHOLINE CHLORIDE, ASCORBIC ACID, CARRAGEENAN, SOY LECITHIN, MONOGLYCERIDES, m-INOSITOL, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, TAURINE, FERROUS SULFATE, dl-ALPHA-TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, L-CARNITINE, ZINC SULFATE, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, NIACINAMIDE, MANGANESE SULFATE, THIAMIN CHLORIDE HYDROCHLORIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, RIBOFLAVIN, CUPRIC SULFATE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, FOLIC ACID, CHROMIUM CHLORIDE, BIOTIN, POTASSIUM IODIDE, SODIUM SELENATE, SODIUM MOLYBDATE, PHYLLOQUINONE, VITAMIN D3, AND CYANOCOBALAMIN.

Since when is it better to drink a meal instead of actually EATING a meal? How about some natural yogurt along with some scrambled eggs and a bowl of oatmeal. Hmm no, let’s just open up an 8 oz bottle of sugary milk instead. No, don’t worry, your kid won’t become obese later in life? Or get diabetes or heart disease! Ha. Makes me sick!

Edited to add actual nutritional data from their web site: (I mistakenly posted the nutritional data for Pediasure, not the “Sidekicks” – I’m sorry for any confusion this error might have caused. The nutritional data is now correct.)

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1 bottle (8 fl oz)
Servings 1
Calories 150
Calories from Fat 45
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 5g 8%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: <5mg <2% Sodium: 90mg 4% Potassium: 390mg 11% Total Carbohydrate: 21g 7% Dietary Fiber: 3g 12% Sugars: 17g Protein: 7g 14% Vitamin A 10% • Vitamin C 40% • Calcium 25% • Iron 15% • Vitamin D 40% • Vitamin E 20% • Vitamin K 20% • Thiamin 40% • Riboflavin 30% • Niacin 10% • Vitamin B6 30% • Folate 15% • Vitamin B12 25% • Biotin 15% • Pantothenic Acid 25% • Phosphorus 20% • Iodine 15% • Magnesium 10% • Zinc 10% • Selenium 10% • Copper 10% • Manganese 20% • Chromium 10% • Molybdenum 10% • Chloride 8% • Choline 15%

Local Bakery Bread – READ LABELS!

I was visiting my mom, and took a glance at the ingredients on the loaf of bread she just purchased from the local bakery. What triggered my curiosity was that their bags were pre-printed, just like the grocery stores’ bread.

Lo and behold! Partially hydrogenated soybean oil (worst oil possible!), dextrose (sugar), soy fillers, chemicals. It was horrible! Worse than anything found at the grocery store. She thought she was doing the right thing by purchasing from a local bakery, but she ended up getting bread loaded with unhealthy ingredients! How can they call themselves a bakery when they are using ingredients like that?

And then I was making my dad a sandwich and I took out the jar of Hellman’s “Low Fat” mayo from the fridge. OMG. High fructose corn syrup? and a list of chemicals and additives so long I didn’t have time to read them all!

INGREDIENTS: WATER, MODIFIED CORN STARCH*, SOYBEAN OIL, VINEGAR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP*, EGG WHITES, SALT, SUGAR, XANTHAN GUM*, LEMON AND LIME PEEL FIBERS*, COLORS ADDED*, LACTIC ACID*, (SODIUM BENZOATE*, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA) USED TO PROTECT QUALITY, PHOSPHORIC ACID*, NATURAL FLAVORS. GLUTEN-FREE.
*INGREDIENT NOT IN MAYONNAISE.

Does any of the above even resemble food? Not a chance! Oh and it’s only 15 calories. The consistency is so watery, it’s gross!

And my parents think they are doing a good thing by eating something that’s Light or Low Fat. They fell right into the “Big Food” marketing ploy that I have been complaining about for months! Low Fat/No Fat foods are full of chemicals. Eat REAL food!!!! Ugh!

I did mention something to her about the bread, but I didn’t want to keep nagging at her, so I didn’t mention anything about the mayo. That’ll be a lesson for next time perhaps. It’s sad because I know they are trying to eat healthier, but they just don’t know how bad the big food companies are.

Hood Calorie Countdown Dairy Beverage

Ha! They can’t even call this product “milk” – it’s a “dairy beverage” – that should tell you right there that there’s a problem. Sort of like American Cheese is not really a cheese, but a “cheese product”.

So, I hadn’t even heard of this product, but I just read a post on a forum about it, so of course I had to google.

First, let’s look at the ingredients of Hood real non-fat milk:

Continue reading “Hood Calorie Countdown Dairy Beverage”

Beware! Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta Changes Their Ingredients!

Yuck!

Most of the time, I use Ronzoni Healthy Harvest whole wheat pasta, but sometimes you just want something that tastes like good old fashioned white pasta, so I also keep Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta in the pantry.

I just finished off a box, and glanced at the ingredients list before I tossed it into recycling. What? Something is very wrong here! BHA & BHT along with Fractionated Coconut Oil?? I know I would never have purchased a product with those kind of ingredients! What happened?

I looked at another box, and those ingredients were not listed! The only difference between both boxes was it was now listing “Now With Vitamin D” – so to include Vitamin D, they have to also add icky toxic preservatives and Fractionated Coconut Oil*?! Not happy Ronzoni!

The reason I am not happy about “fractionated” coconut oil is because it’s refined with heat, not cold pressed. I like coconut oil, but it’s gotta be extra virgin for me to consume it!

Here is a full list of both the old and new versions:

Older without Vitamin D:

Semolina (Wheat), Durum Flour (Wheat), Modified Wheat Starch, Calcium Phosphate, Niacin, Iron (Ferrous Sulfate), Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid

New with added Vitamin D (highlighted bold text signifies a new ingredient)

Semolina (Wheat), Durum Flour (Wheat), Modified Wheat Starch, Dicalcium Phosphate, Niacin, Iron (Ferrous Sulfate), Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Food Starch Modified, Vitamin D3, BHA & BHT perservatives, Fractionated Coconut Oil

Out of protest, I will not be purchasing ANY Ronzoni products! It’s sneaky and deceitful how they dramatically changed the product like that! Once the cupboard needs a pasta refill, I will switch to a more reputable brand!

Note: Their parent company is New World Pasta

Brands include Healthy Harvest®, Ronzoni®, Smart Choice®, San Giorgio®, Creamette®, American Beauty®, Skinner®, Prince®, Catelli® and Lancia®.

In 2006, the Company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ebro Puleva, S.A., one of the world’s leading food companies. Ebro Puleva’s other subsidiary in the United States, Riviana Foods Inc., has such well-known brands as Mahatma®, Carolina®, Success®, Minute® and Gourmet House®.

So, needless to say, I will also be staying away from their other products as well, not that I buy any of them now, but I surely won’t in the future!

Ronzoni stinks! :P Blah!

UPDATE May 12, 2010:

I happened to be at the grocery store the other day, and I noticed the Smart Taste pasta. I was curious, so I took a look at the ingredients again.

Wow! No more BHA & BHT perservatives, Fractionated Coconut Oil. Amazing!

I still don’t trust them, since they added these ingredients in the first place without warning, so I am still staying away from their products. They really never should have added these bad ingredients, but it’s nice to see them taking them out of their pasta!

Ronzoni Smart Taste NOW

ronzoni smart taste pasta nutritional data

ronzoni smart taste pasta updated ingredients

Cheerios Aren’t What They Used To Be

Today Hungry Girl posted a question on her Facebook Page:

Anyone out there try Chocolate Cheerios? Whatd’ya think of ’em?
http://www.facebook.com/HungryGirl?v=feed&story_fbid=266498302257

No surprise, of course, her loyal followers were gushing all over them! One naive woman even compared them to cocoa puffs, thinking they were healthier.

Are people really that stupid, or is it just laziness? Do people even bother to read labels anymore? What, so it carries the Cheerios name, and it automatically HAS to be healthy right? WRONG!

Take a look at the ingredients for both Cocoa Puffs and Chocolate Cheerios, and try to figure out which is healthier. Same calories and portion size. The Chocolate Cheerios have a little less sugar and fat. The Cocoa Puffs have more fiber along with more fat, but it’s mono-saturated fat.

The ingredients list on both products is almost identical. But because one is named “Cheerios” people automatically assume it’s healthy.

Chocolate flavored cheerios is not healthy, it's just as bad as cocoa puffs

Chocolate Cocoa Puffs are just as bad as chocolate Cheerios

My big problem with Hungry Girl and sites like hers, is that her followers are substituting so-called bad foods with what they think are better alternatives, instead of figuring out how to reduce the bad foods, and only eat them occasionally as a treat.

Why not just reward yourself with real chocolate once or twice a week, but just in a smaller portion? For about 100 calories I can eat 6 squares of Green & Black Milk Chocolate and it satisfies my sweet craving and I am not putting dangerous chemicals like BHT into my body.

I just don’t eat chocolate every day! But these people are eating Chocolate Cheerios every day for breakfast and/or snacks. And then everyone wonders why the US is so overweight and obese. Hmm, and kids are eating this crap too! Not good.

The Biggest Loser Cookbook Book Review

I really like watching the Biggest Loser on TV, so I was curious to read the The Biggest Loser Cookbook: More Than 125 Healthy, Delicious Recipes Adapted from NBC’s Hit Show (2006).

I started reading and I knew this book wasn’t for me when I read the recommendation to use low fat and fat free mayo. Has anyone read the ingredients in fat free products!? Yuck!

I was immediately turned off!

On Page 3, fabulous fruits and vegetables: thumbs down to the white potato and don’t eat more than a few weekly servings of pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, and yams. Nope, don’t agree with that advice either!

Then there was my recommended daily calories! Ha! At 170 lbs x 7 = 1190. Under 1200! No way! This would definitely be a “diet” not a lifestyle change, something I could never do long term.

I was very happy to see that they initially didn’t recommend using artificial sugars, but then the first recipe included reduced fat peanut butter and artificially sweetened yogurt! In fact, the breakfast recipes are full of sugar free food products like syrup and splenda. Very conflicting!

I did find the Biggest Winner Breakfast Sausage recipe to be very interesting, and might try it!

http://www.recipezaar.com/Biggest-Winner-Breakfast-Sausage-240739

The Muscling-Up Meatballs recipe also sounded yummy good!

http://www.biggest-loser-cookbook.com/meatball-sandwich.htm

New Fashioned Meatloaf:

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=2258722623&topic=2369

and Better Blueberry Pancakes:

http://www.prevention.com/health/weight-loss/diets-getting-started/biggest-loser-recipes/article/d8791e1a2faa5110VgnVCM10000013281eac____

The Biggest Loser Cookbook: More Than 125 Healthy, Delicious Recipes Adapted from NBC’s Hit Show is definitely not a book I’d recommend to a clean foods health nut! I don’t think I would even recommend it to anyone actually, because it promotes unhealthy processed foods, but it’s a good base to work from, sort of like Hungry Girl.

Most of the good recipes can be found online, so don’t waste your time buying the book.

I just picked up the Biggest Loser Family Cookbook: Budget-Friendly Meals Your Whole Family Will Love (2008) at the library this afternoon, so we’ll see if that has any improvements.

Read my review on Amazon.com

Disclaimer:
I love reading cookbooks, like some people love reading novels! I am inspired by recipes, and enjoy learning ideas from cookbooks; I like putting my own spin on a recipe rather than exactly following it. Please keep in mind that my opinions might be completely different from the other home cooks.