Basic Biological Nutrition Awareness: Cereals, Ingredients, and Labeling

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Navigating the world of biological nutrients inside cereals can be daunting. Trying to figure out what types of sugars they contain, or making a valid assessment of nutritionally sound, quality ingredients can be a puzzle, thereby deceiving people about their overall sugar consumption. Despite packaging labels and claims, actual ingredients and nutritional benefits – versus packaging labels on cereals – can be worlds apart. This short report focuses on three main areas. The first compares or contrasts three brands of honey-flavored cereals giving descriptions about claims and ingredients, and explains which is believed to be 'healthiest' and why. Secondly, a comparison of the full-fat, low-fat, fat-free, and reduced-fat versions showing nutrition and ingredients among examples. Choose from this list the healthiest. Thirdly, five different types of products are named giving sweeteners used, and sweetness by weight intensity. The fourth minor category uses the United States Food & Drug Administration to define the terms: sugar-free, reduced sugar, no sugar added, and light. An example of each product respectively befitting its terms shall be given. 

The three brands of honey-flavored cereals include “Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Golden Honey Nut Cereal,” “Kashi Honey Sunshine Squares,” and “General Mills Cascadian Farm Honey Nut Os.” The Kellogg's cereal lists ingredients milled corn, sugar, peanuts, honey as major ones. The nutritional label includes 10% to 25% of Vitamins A, C, D, B6, B12, and iron. It has 10 grams of sugars, but no indication what kind of sugars. Adding milk boosts Vitamin B12 levels to 35%. There is no indication of what kind of sugars. Kashi's major ingredients are organic yellow whole-grain cornmeal, organic cane syrup, whole wheat/corn flour, and bran. Nutrition from the Kashi cereal lists 100 calories, 5 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar, 2 grams protein, 20 grams whole grains, 1 gram fat, 4% iron, 25% carbohydrates, and 135 grams sodium. General Mills' Cascadian brand has 89% carbohydrates, 7% protein, and 3% fat. Kashi or Cascadian seem the healthiest. To clarify Kashi’s strengths, its combined natural source of low 6-gram cane sugar, bran fiber, low fat, and calorie count make it a preferred choice. 

A four-group analysis of three Kellogg's brands (Crunch Nut, Low Fat Granola, and Special K) compares to Kashi's reduced fat brand as follows. Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Golden Honey Nut Cereal contains 1 gram of fat per ¾ cup and 135 mg sodium, 40 grams potassium and about 25% of essential vitamins. Their low-fat cereal, “Low Fat Granola With Raisins Multi-Grain” cereal has ingredients and nutrients of whole grain rolled oats, whole grain wheat, sugar, and rice. Sodium content is 150 mg, sugar 17 grams, and about 25% of most essential vitamins. Kellogg’s “Special K” as fat-free contains rice, wheat gluten, and sugar with 23 grams of carbohydrates, and 15% to 100% of essential vitamins. Kashi cereal may represent a reduced-fat cereal product, and an example of their ingredients is mentioned above.  

Five products having artificial sweeteners include diet soft drinks, pasta sauce, pop tarts, hot chocolate, and ketchup. Regarding sweeteners by weight, involves density. Aspartame is 80 to 200 times the weight intensity of sucrose. The FDA defines each sugar extensively by statute title codes; for example “Sugar-Free” is defined in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The verdict stipulates such designation of the sugar content of fewer than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving. Furthermore, required highlighted statements on food labeling accordingly must indicate, orders the FDA, if it has ‘negligible’ or ‘trivial’ amounts of sugar. Samples of products and labels can be found on your grocer's shelf. Despite the fact there is a molecular mass calculation for table sugar (sucrose) weight, the detailed and tedious chemistry is detailed and has been omitted.

Works Cited

Cereal: Find The Best. General Mills Cascadian Farm Honey Nut Os. Web. 22 Sept. 2013. 

Kashi. Kashi Honey Sunshine Squares. Web. 22 Sept. 2013.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Guidance for Industry and FDA: Dear Manufacturer LetternRegarding Sugar Free Claims, 2007. Web. 22 Sept. 2013.

Kellogg's. Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Golden Honey Nut Flakes cereal. Web. 22 Sept. 2013.