While Froot Loops do contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, their primary ingredient is sugar. A 29 gram serving of this cereal contains 10 grams of sugar, which means one-third of what you are eating is sugar. The high sugar content, combined with numerous dyes and hydrogenated oil are the reasons Froot Loops get a near-failing grade.
Kellogg’s Froot Loops are a popular breakfast cereal for both kids and adults. When you look at the box, it’s easy to think they are good for you since they call out some nutritional benefits. There’s a tag claiming they are “A Good Source of Fiber & Made with Whole Grain” and another that says “Natural Fruit Flavors”. While these are true statements, they don’t mean that Froot Loops are good for you.
The best indication that Froot Loops may not be the best breakfast choice comes when you look at the list of ingredients. The first ingredient listed is sugar. A one cup serving contains 10 grams of sugar, which is equal to a little more than two teaspoons - not a healthy way to start your day. One of the more concerning things sugar does to your body is that it raises your triglycerides, or bad cholesterol. This puts you at high risk for heart disease. Eating foods high in sugar is also known to cause obesity, which is linked to diabetes. Children who eat sugary foods are at risk for childhood obesity and hyperactivity.
Other ingredients in Froot Loops that you should be wary of are the dyes. This cereal contains Red 40, Yellow 6, and Blue 2. Red 40 and Yellow 6 are believed to be tainted with cancer-causing contaminants. While not proven, evidence suggests that Blue 2 can cause cancer in animals. Additionally, research has shown links between food dyes and health concerns in children such as allergies and behavioral issues. A U.S. study published in Science magazine found a correlation between hyperactivity and high consumption of food dyes.
The final ingredient of concern in Froot Loops is the hydrogenated oil. The process of hydrogenation heats oils to temperatures of 500-1,000 degrees. At this high level of heat, the oil breaks down and its structure is changed creating an extremely thick and viscous product. The density of hydrogenated oils causes changes in the blood, making it thicker which can lead to high cholesterol and cardiovascular problems.
The only redeeming qualities of Froot Loops are the high levels of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that it contains. The vitamins and minerals are not naturally occurring at these levels in any of the ingredients. This is a fortified cereal and the vitamins and minerals are added. However, because it is made from corn and wheat, it does contain a significant amount of naturally occurring fiber. A single serving contains three grams of fiber, which is 13% of the recommended daily allowance.
Possible short-term side effects
- behavioral problems
- learning problems
Possible long-term side effects
- cardiovascular disease
- non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Ingredients to be aware of
- high in added vitamins and minerals
- 3 grams of fiber per serving, 13% of rda