Pass the Bar

By Dean L. Jones

March is National Nutrition Month, designed to get more of us thinking specifically on better nutrition.  This year’s theme is ‘Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,’ which is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), who feels that the more Americans develop a healthy lifestyle, the less likely we are going to get sick, thereby more likely reducing national health care costs.

Accordingly, the Nestle USA corporation announced how they are removing harmful artificial colors and flavors from their confection products.  This includes replacing ingredients like Red 40 and Yellow 5 in its Butterfinger candy bar and replacing artificial vanillin in Crunch bars with natural vanilla flavor.

As a consequence, we will probably start noticing advertising messages from Nestle stating how there are no artificial flavors and colors in their candy bars.  The mystic surrounding foodstuff never ends where one might think it is okay to munch a snack or two when there is less harmful processed ingredients.

While, nine of Nestlé’s chocolate candies still contain caramel coloring, as the slow removal of the toxic caramel coloring is that the familiar taste will be lost, followed by an anticipated trend of lost revenue.  Nonetheless, certain types of caramel color have confirmed research showing a link to causing cancer due to 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI), a chemical byproduct formed when certain types of caramel coloring are manufactured.

Now add to that the problems sugar and processed fructose in particular cause to our liver organ, which has a limited capacity to metabolize excess sugar.  Consequently, it is metabolized into body fat, which is known to contribute to causing chronic metabolic diseases, including but not limited to, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, dementia, and various cancers.

Science shows how people who consume 21% or more of their daily calories in the form of sugary filled items are two times more likely to die from heart disease, compared to those who got 7% or less of their daily calories from added sugary foodstuff.  This risk is nearly three times more likely for those who consume 25% or more of their daily calories from added sugar.

Bear in mind, Nestlé’s original sized Butterfinger bar contains 29-grams (7+ teaspoons) of processed sugar.  The suggested 1/4 serving of a Butterfinger giant size bar contains 16-grams (4 teaspoons) of processed sugar, which means when you eat the whole thing 16-teaspoons of processed sugar are consumed.

Commonly, business offices host honor snack tables, which are set up to leave specified money for taking a candy bar and/or other similar snacks.  Sadly, too many do not pass the [candy] bar eating experience, hence neglecting the negative health ramifications from routinely devouring sugary-filled foodstuff.  Health risks are directly associated with regularly eating candy bars and/or combined with other sugary beverages and foodstuffs with artificial ingredients, so live SugarAlert!
Dean Jones is an Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributing his view on certain aspects of foodstuff.