Friday, August 17, 2007

Toss those D*mn Starbursts

I can never remember the name of that fake sugar our bodies can't process for energy and so must store as fat. Today I needed that name, so I asked my daughter to grab one of the bags of candy her grandpa had given her on a recent visit and read me the ingredients. I was sure Twizzlers would have it, but to my surprise that turned out to not be the case.

She grabbed the happy-yellow bag of Starbursts donated by the aforementioned, indulgent grandpa. Lo and behold, after the 1st two sugar ingredients, the 3rd ingredient is HYDROGENATED PALM KERNEL OIL. For those who don't know: that's TRANSFAT, people! You know, the stuff that raises bad cholesterol, helps plaque build-up in arteries and sets us up for future heart attacks.

On the package, Starburst lists the amount of Trans Fat as 0g. They're allowed to do that as long as each serving contains less than .5g of those life-shortening oils. But kids can eat a lot of little candies, not to mention all the fried foods, cookies, crackers, chips, pastries and snacks that have 0g Trans Fat in this formula where 0=.4 or less.

Do yourselves and your kids a favor. Toss anything with the words "Hydrogenated" or "Partially Hydrogenated" or "Shortening" listed in the ingredients. Toss the Starbursts. I did. Sorry, Dad.