Reading List: Grocery Store Showdown, Detox Truths & Hershey’s New Candy

by in Food News, February 19, 2010

In this week’s nutrition news: How to detox safely, the story behind Kellogg’s tainted waffles and new reports show up to 10% of college students have high cholesterol.

Food Fight: Walmart vs. Whole Foods
When you think about healthy grocery stores, I am sure that the popular Whole Foods Market usually comes to mind (and maybe some less pricey stores). But now Walmart is giving Whole Foods a run for its money. Walmart Supercenters now carry fresh produce from local farmers. This produce comes straight from nearby farms, so it doesn’t sit on trucks for days in transit, making the produce fresher and tastier AND at a reasonable price. Sounds like a winning combination!

Detox: Fact or Fiction?
Detox diets are popular these days, and tons of books and supplements supporting this craze are popping up on store shelves. Many of my friends ask me if detoxes or cleanses work and wonder if they’re safe? This excellent Chicago Tribune article really gets into these questions. The bottom line: If you’re turning to supplements and cleansing drinks to clean out your system, save your money. That’s your liver’s job and it doesn’t need any help. If you’re overloading on processed foods and caffeine in your diet or just want to cut back, load up on whole grains, fruits and veggies and your body will cleanse itself.

College Students With High Cholesterol
I’ve seen kids as young as seven years old with high cholesterol, a problem that often stems from unhealthy diets and lack of exercise. It was no surprise that a recent survey conducted by the University of Georgia’s Health Center found 4% of college students had high cholesterol. Other studies have found that up to 10% of students could have this risk factor for heart disease — a scary thought for such a young population. In response to their survey, the university’s health center is offering students free cholesterol screenings. The good news is that you can improve and even prevent high cholesterol by eating a healthy diet and getting your body moving.

FDA Warned Kellogg’s About Tainted Waffles
Another week, another recall — frozen waffles! But this time the FDA warned Kellogg’s that their food safety measures weren’t enough! The agency sent a letter to Kellogg’s in January after the health department found Listeria bacteria (which can be fatal) in their Eggo Buttermilk Waffles during an August inspection. Although Kellogg’s stated that they took corrective measures, the FDA says it wasn’t enough. Listeria is typically found in hot dogs and meats. It affects pregnant women, young children and the elderly.

Hershey’s Introduces Smaller-Sized Candies
Hershey’s has responded to the recent calorie-counting craze by creating smaller-sized candies. Aside from the traditional Reese’s Pieces candies, you can now purchase Almond Joy Pieces, York Pieces and Hershey’s Dark Pieces. Although the Hershey’s spokeswoman says, “Consumers needed something that was easy to snack on when on the go,” don’t be fooled into thinking that this is the best alternative for great snack; chocolate is still not a healthy choice for snacking. If you are craving that sweetness, though, you could toss in a few tablespoons of chocolate pieces into a nut and dried fruit mixture for a delicious snack mix. For more information on shopping for candy and chocolate, check out our helpful tips.

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Comments (3)

  1. stanmrak says:

    Cholesterol screenings are designed to solicit new customers for the pharmaceutical industry more than anything else. Have you noticed how the recommended numbers keep dropping? Lower numbers mean more customers! There is NO scientific evidence that high cholesterol numbers are associated with heart disease – NONE!


  2. Julie says:

    I can't imagine how Wal-Mart can offer its low, low prices and still pay local farmers' a good price for their products. It just doesn't add up. It seem like buying local produce at Wal-Mart prices is a good way to hurt your neighbors (the farmers) while patting yourself on the back for buying locally grown food.
    Most people that care about locally grown food also care about paying a living wage to their neighbors. I can't imagine how this works.
    Also, locally grown produce at Wal-Mart won't hurt Whole Foods. (Whole Foods' stock is still going up despite this alleged challenge.) We buy produce at Whole Foods to get organic, local and nutrient-dense vegetables. I might be able to get local food now at Wal-Mart, but the organic offerings are still small and I don't expect to fine vitamin powerhouses like kale on Wal-Mart's shelves.

  3. Philip123 says:

    The Framingham study evidence underlying the “lipid hypothesis” was never strong to start with. Since then a massive lipid lowering campaign has shown no effect on heart disease rates. While an elegant and seemingly intuitive hypothesis, more and more openly people are rightly questioning the wisdom of the cholesterol lowering campaign. Cholesterol is an essential component of every cell membrane and important for myriad physiologic functions. When Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, MD PhD looked at the medical literature he found something quite surprising had been documented there. On average people with higher cholesterol live longer.
    The side effects of statins are myriad, rhabdomyolysis, (muscle injury), liver damage, in Crestor's case kidney damage. Dr Duane Graveline an MD and former NASA astronaut has also compiled extensive data on a more rare statin side effect, global transient amnesia, which afflicted him and many others, he has written a book on it, "Lipitor thief of memory". Don't forget co-enzyme Q depletion. All this while the "lipid hypothesis" is falling like a house of cards as decades of intensive lipid lowering efforts have done nothing to improve heart disease rates. This latest push to expand statin drug marketing to children is crass, greedy, dangerous and repugnant.

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