Love Handles in a Box
You know that kiddie breakfast cereals are just love handles in a box, but "healthy" adult cereals are often just as bad, and sometimes even worse.
These cereals are lot like women you meet at clubs. The outside package looks fine, but look past the padded push-up bra, the Spanx, and the mental disorder she's temporarily suppressed with vodka, and what's underneath is pretty scary.
Cereal manufacturers are masters of label loopholes. The FDA sets strict rules about nutrition and ingredient lists, but it's pretty easy to disguise the facts. For example, ingredient lists are supposed to list things in order of quantity: the first thing on the list should be the most prevalent ingredient.
Fit people know to avoid a packaged food if sugar is listed somewhere near the top of the list. But the fact is, most "healthy" cereals on the market should have sugar listed in the first or second spot. They don't.
How do they get away with it? By including several forms of sugar: organic cane syrup, cane crystals, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrates, honey, African whoopie tree extract, unicorn tears, etc. That way they can break it up and list something like rolled oats at the top when it should be listed behind the real main ingredient: sugar.
What about the cereals with added protein? Well, it's usually the cheap stuff: soy. You know, the protein that's so junky that even quality dog food manufacturers now brag about not using it.
1000 Calories for Breakfast
Then there are the calories. One popular brand of granola with several front-of-box health claims has 220 calories for half a cup. Go measure out half a cup of anything. That's a handful, maybe a few bites. Compare that to oatmeal, where you get a whole cup for about 150 calories.
Cereal makers are marketing their breakfast candy to people who want to be healthier, but also don't know much about nutrition and are too busy to read the back of the box closely. So these folks will probably eat a meal-sized bowl of that granola cereal, about 800 calories before adding milk.
So the nice lady trying to lose weight just had 1000 total calories for breakfast, probably more than half the calories she needs for the day to lose fat. "But, but, the cereal is brown! And it says it's 'heart healthy' right there on the box!" Sheesh.
The "Made With" Scam
One more label shenanigan: the "made with" trick. Yes, your twigs 'n leaves cereal is made with whole grains, but frog shit is "made with" natural fiber. Doesn't mean you should eat it.
"Made with" is code word for "throw a pinch of something in there that average dopes think is healthy so we can brag about it on the box, then fill up the rest with the same crap we put in Captain Clowny's Kooky Krisps." Don't fall for it.
I eat cereal. I get it at the health food store and it comes in a bag. It's puffed rice. It has one ingredient: rice. Nothing else. A full cup has 50 calories. (And by the way, it's dirt cheap.) For "milk" I use a scoop of Metabolic Drive® Protein mixed with ice-cold water. You can buy puffed corn like this too.
No, these cereals aren't quite as delightful as Honey-Cuckled Wheaty Flakes, but I prefer them to the pregnant-male look.
So, flip that box around and check the ingredient list closely. Never assume it supports your goals just because the manufacturer replaced the cartoon character with a leafy-green meadow.