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Don't Flip Out Over Flipside Crackers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Friday, 28 March 2008 11:20

The food industry has done it again. It has spent its valuable time, energy and money in the development and introduction of two new and much-needed products to help Americans combat the obesity, diabetes and other major health problems that plague us.

Keebler, which is owned by Kellog's, just introduced its latest food product, Keebler™ Town House® Flipsides™ Original Crackers. As its website states, New Town House Flipsides combine the versatility of a cracker with the taste of a pretzel.

And thank god for that! I can't tell you how many times I was looking for a snack and couldn't decide whether I wanted a cracker or a pretzel, and had to choose between one or the other. Now, thanks to the efforts of Keebler, I can have both at once!

But, let’s take a closer look.

A serving is 5 crackers, which is 15 grams or approximately 1/2 ounce. Now, this is interesting because the typical serving size of a cracker is 1 oz. So, why would they reduce it to 1/2 ounce?? The reason will become clear in a minute but first, let's look at the rest of the nutritional information.

Calories: 70

Fat Calories: 30

Sat Fat: .5 grams

Trans Fat: 0 grams *

Sodium: 200 mgs

Fiber: Less than 1 gram

The product is 43% fat which is over 2x my guideline of 20% for packaged products. The sodium at 200 mgs is almost 3x my guideline of the sodium in mgs being no more than the calories per serving. Not good on either account. In addition, the product is 2000 calories per pound which makes it very high in calorie density, way too high for a "safe" snack.

Now, let us look at the ingredients.

Ingredients: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [vitamin b1], riboflavin [vitamin b2], folic acid), vegetable oil (soybean, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil with tbhq for freshness)†, sugar, salt,corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, whey, soy lecithin.

contains two percent or less of leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate),

So, we have refined white flour, followed by oil and possibly hydrogenated oil. Now why would any company come out with a product in March 2008 that contains hydrogenated oil? As the saying goes, where there is smoke there is usually fire. Well, where there is hydrogenated oil, there is usually trans fat. But the Nutrition Facts label lists 0 trans fat. How can that be?

Have you figured it out yet?

Next in the ingredients we have sugar, salt, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup.

So, basically we, once again, have just another food product made from white flour, hydrogenated oil, salt and sugar.

Now, let us figure out the little mystery about the trans fats

In the Nutrition Facts label next to trans fat there is a 0, there is an asterisk, which refers us to the bottom of the label where the package says...

*less than 0.5g trans fat per serving.

Figures. As I said, where there is hydrogenated fat, there is trans fat. If there is hydrogenated fat in the ingredients, regardless of what the marketing or label says, there is more than likely trans fat in the product.

The reason the Nutrition Facts label says 0 is because the FDA guidelines allows companies to round down to 0 if the amount of trans fat per serving is less than .5 gram

But, remember, they also adjusted the serving size down. A typical cracker serving is 1 oz. but these are 1/2 ounce. Why did they do that? Because there is enough trans fat in the product that if they used the typical serving size of 1 ounce, they would then have to list the amount of trans fat, as it would be more than .5 gram.

So, if a person were to consume 4 of these “reduced size” servings, which would be 2 typical servings, they could be getting in almost 2 grams of saturated fat, which is above the upper safe limit. Don't forget, because of the harmful nature of trans fats, some health organizations have said there is no safe level of intake.

So this is what these major food companies are spending all their time, energy and money doing? Creating more junk food made up of nothing more than the same 4 ingredients, refined flour, refined sugars, salt and harmful fats?

Maybe the ones made with cheddar cheese are better. :)


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