Eating Special K to lose weight? Splurging on the chocolate version? You might want to read the label. Our sisters at ShopSmart (also published by Consumer Reports) took a look at a variety of “junk” health foods for the June issue and discovered that “Special K Chocolatey Delight” isn’t that different from Cocoa Puffs.
If you reach for the Special K with those little chocolatey chunks thinking it’s more healthful than a kid’s cereal, you may as well fill your bowl with Cocoa Puffs. The nutritional contents of both cereals are pretty similar. Cocoa Puffs are actually slightly lower in calories, fat, and sodium, though Special K wins in the protein department by 1 gram.
A better bet: Get your chocolate fix from real chocolate. Go for the heart-healthy dark type. Just be sure to limit it to 1 ounce a day.
We suppose one could argue that, on the other hand, this could mean that Cocoa Puffs are slightly better for you that we thought. However, neither of them are as delicious as actual dark chocolate, the most amazingly wonderful substance in the universe.
ShopSmart also compared sweet potato fries to plain old non-sweet ones and found that regular fries have less sugar, fat, and calories. Ouch.
Jif “reduced fat” peanut butter also lost out to the regular old normal kind.
“Yes, it contains less fat (12 grams per serving compared with 16 grams in regular peanut butter), but that comes at a price. The reduced-fat version has about twice the carbs (that means added sugars) and a lot more sodium, plus the ingredients list is quite a bit longer. reduced-fat food usually needs more chemical doctoring to meet taste and texture expectations.”