health

Functional foods gain in popularity, but health claims on most brand-name groceries mislead consumers

Monday, July 19, 2004
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: functional foods, food politics, food manufacturers

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Delicious
Functional foods are gaining in popularity: big-name grocery product manufacturers like Kraft are making huge R&D investments in bringing these nutritionally enhanced foods to market. Likewise, customer demand for healthier, enhanced foods is surging.

But here's the real story on functional foods: most health claims on brand-name grocery store products are hogwash. Here's what I mean: take the most popular brand of strawberry milk powder. It's made primarily with refined white sugar, an ingredient known to promote obesity, diabetes, mood swings and ADHD in children. On the front label of this product, you'll find a claim about how it provides 100% of the daily requirement for calcium. This claim makes the product appear healthy when, in fact, it's a product made with ingredients that directly promote chronic disease. If anything, the label should say, "Diabetes in a can!"

Most of the health claims on brand-name functional foods are, in fact, misleading. The typical processed food product contains refined carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, and various chemical additives like aspartame, MSG or artificial coloring. You can't make this product healthy by adding a tiny dab of calcium, iodine or lutein. The product is inherently unhealthy, and enhancing it with a few milligrams of something that's good for you doesn't offset the product's fundamental potential for harming your health.

In fact, the big food manufacturers really just exploit these health claims to sell more products, not to fundamentally make their foods healthier. They can take a highly toxic, disease-promoting manufactured food item, dose it up with extra calcium or soy, and slap a healthy-sounding claim on the front label, all with the full approval of the FDA.

If anything, food manufacturers hide behind these health claims, using them to camouflage unhealthy foods by adorning them with labels and claims that make them appear to be healthful. Meanwhile, the truly healthy foods aren't allowed to make any claims whatsoever. Spirulina, for example, which is an extraordinary health-enhancing superfood that contains phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and abundant protein, can't be sold with any health claims whatsoever. Yet instant chocolate milk made primarily with sugar can. How's that for food politics?

This is why I think health claims on brand-name foods are worse than useless -- they're actually misleading to consumers. But they're great marketing gimmicks, and people believe the claims, which is why the big food makers want to keep slapping these claims on their food products. The truth, however, is that virtually all the grocery products manufactured by the big, popular food producers are extremely bad for human health. They're made with an alarming variety of metabolic disruptors -- ingredients that interfere with normal human metabolism. Tossing in a few milligrams of ground of sea shells (calcium powder) doesn't materially improve the health of these products.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.

In late 2013, Adams launched the Natural News Forensic Food Lab, where he conducts atomic spectroscopy research into food contaminants using high-end ICP-MS instrumentation. With this research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products to low levels by July 1, 2015.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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