Nutrient-lacking and addictive - Animal Crackers are bad for you.
Animal crackers are a tiny treat that may not pose as a threat to some people at first glance. I mean, they’re small, low in calories, and come in immaculate animal shapes and sizes. It’s not like it’s a slice of cake or a sugar cookie, right? Well, they certainly aren’t watermelons or bananas either.
Zoo Animal Crackers are packed in servings of 2, meaning there are 2 servings in each packet. When determining whether something is good for you based on the nutrition facts, it’s important to understand how much is in one serving, and in the case of Zoo Animal Crackers, there are 15 little animals in one serving.
According to Caloriecount.com, your typical serving size of Zoo Animal Crackers contains 130 calories. Which isn't too bad. In perspective, that’s around the same size as a large apple.
Animal crackers are also low in fat: 18 calories come from fat, none of them being saturated.
From the nutrition facts alone, this treat doesn’t look so evil…until you get to the sugar.
Animal crackers are delicious because they are sweet. And they’re sweet because of those 7 grams of sugar contained inside of a 30-gram package. But let us not forget that if you eat a whole packet, you will be consuming 14 grams of sugar. And you may be thinking at this point, that’s not that bad. I mean apples and other fruits have like 20+ grams of sugar. So, what’s so bad about 14 grams?
4 words: high fructose corn syrup
High fructose corn syrup is one of the prominent ingredients in unhealthy foods nowadays. Research has found that as the level of high fructose corn syrup increases, so does the level of obesity.
High fructose corn syrup is pretty controversial. Some don’t want to conclude that it alone is the reason people are obese or make bad decisions. But one thing that’s a fact is that corn is the most genetically modified crop in America. So the verdict: avoid HFCS.
Not to mention, high fructose corn syrup is the fourth ingredient mentioned, right after sugar. So these crackers not only have a controversial genetically modified fake sugar to sweeten the cracker, but they also have actually scientifically proven unhealthy sugar.
What the heck is a natural flavor? It’s not apple or orange juice or cinnamon shavings, because if it was, the packet would have told us, right? They sure weren’t hiding high fructose corn syrup.
The FDA works their butt off trying to increase our awareness of the things we put in our body, but sometimes they allow things to get swept under the rug, like whatever ingredients are umbrella’d under the term “natural flavors.” In reality, natural flavors aren’t that natural at all.
For example, MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a type of “natural flavor,” apparently. But the only thing natural about it is its natural ability to cause hormone imbalances and neurodegenerative diseases.
Natural flavoring can be anything the manufacturers use to add flavor to a product that is derived from a natural source. It could be GMO’s inside a non-GMO pack of paleo crackers. It could be pig’s feet inside vegetarian sushi rolls. It could even be castoreum, which is a mixture of oil and a substance excreted from a beaver's castor sacs, which are located right near its anus. Sure, they may use blueberries or other naturally derived ingredients to add flavor, but they are basically pumped with steroids and chemicals to intensify that flavor.
Animal crackers are a no in our book. The high fructose corn syrup is a dead giveaway of a nutrient-poor product that’s only going to increase your sugar cravings.
Possible short-term side effects
- blood sugar spike
Possible long-term side effects
- type 2 diabetes
- sugar addiction
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- metabolic syndrome
Ingredients to be aware of
- high fructose corn syrup
- natural flavors
- enriched wheat flour (actually white flour)
Organic alternatives (what is this?)
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Written by Blossom O | 08-21-2016
Written by Blossom O
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