Christina Wolfgram
November 14, 2015 12:09 pm

Have you ever bought a certain kind of food because it seems healthy, but then you realize it might be the exact opposite? For instance, one time I bought gluten free pizza crust thinking I would eat it and wake up looking like Gigi Hadid. Upon closer inspection of the label, once I’d already gobbled it down, of course, I realized that each slice was 500 calories. I’d eaten two slices!

Figuring out that your “health” food is packed with sugars and hidden calories can feel like big time betrayal. Folks at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) are so upset about their discovery of extra sugar in Cheerios Protein, they’re suing General Mills!

“The overall impression of the box is that the cereal has a lot more protein than traditional Cheerios, but when you look at the nutrition label, it’s clear that Protein Cheerios has only a little bit more protein, and a lot more sugar,” Michael Jacobson, president of CSPI, told a newspaper in St. Louis. “We think that’s very deceptive.”

Pretty much any flavour of Cheerios has more sugars than the original – with names like Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, and Chocolate Cheerios, that extra sweetening isn’t much a of a surprise. CSPI does have a point: Cheerios Protein implies that only protein, not sugar, has been added to the cereal. It sounds like something an Olympian would eat.

Here are the nutritional stats for Cheerios and its Protein promising cousin: a regular serving of Cheerios is 28 grams of cereal and contains 3 grams of protein, and only one gram of sugar. On the other hand, Cheerios Protein’s serving size is 55 grams, which adds up to 7 grams of protein and a whopping 17 grams of sugar.

A glance at nutritional information for the two cereals, which is available on General Mills’ website, reveals that a single serving of Cheerios Protein has 7 grams of protein and 17 grams of sugar. A serving of the original Cheerios, meanwhile, has 3 grams of protein and only a single gram of sugar. That’s definitely not a lot of added protein. What a good reminder to read the label … before you spend all of your hard earned money on gluten free pizza crust Cheerios Protein and guzzle down half of your daily calories in one sitting!

General Mills is poo-pooing the lawsuit, calling it, “publicity seeking.” Meanwhile, the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee has yet to comment.

(Image via Shutterstock.)

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