By: Karen CiceroLet’s talk food. I’ve got big news for you about an ingredient found in a lot of products at the health food store. A study from Dartmouth University tested organic baby formula and granola bars made with brown rice syrup and found that they had an extremely high level of arsenic, a cancer-causing element.
The syrup is often used instead of sugar to sweeten organic foods. I immediately checked Earth’s Best for the ingredients list on the cereal bars my daughter, Kate, ate frequently when she was younger. To my great relief, it wasn’t on there. But I did find two boxes of granola bars that are loaded with the stuff.
“Should I throw them out?” I asked Amy Jamieson-Petonic, pediatrician and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “I would eat no more than one or two foods that contained brown-rice syrup per week,” she told me.
Since I don’t keep tabs on everything my 9-year-old snacks on (I’m of the mindset that you stock your pantry and fridge with healthy foods and let your kid decide what she wants), I tossed the bars. And for the same reason, I don’t think I would buy anything else that contained brown rice syrup. There are just too many alternatives. In fact, Jamieson-Petonic says that brown rice syrup is similar to table sugar, so there wasn’t a nutritional advantage to having it there in the first place. Wow.
Have you checked your granola bars’ ingredients for brown rice syrup yet? Talk about what you found below or connect with me @Completely_You
For more great health and lifestyle content, visit the parent site of my blog, Completely You
is Completely You’s Need to Know blogger. A health journalist and magazine editor with more than 15 years of experience, she has contributed to such publications as Prevention, SELF and Health, and she has edited the dental column for Heart & Soul magazine.
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