How have you all been? I know you and I have shared a formal yet loving e-relationship and it breaks my heart to do this to you, but there is no other way. After today, you won’t want to stay in any form of contact with me… ever. I wish there was a way around this… I really do. But,as fate would have it (and as it has turned out to be the case multiple times in the past) – I’m here to expose the crap that you are (mostly unknowingly) doing to your kids and you’re here to, well, hate me, live in denial for a bit and eventually come around and thank me for being the ass that I am.
So, take care you. It was fun while it lasted. And by the way, firstname.lastname@example.org is where you want to send your hate mails and that will be the same ID you would have to email later to apologize, thank etc.
- – - – - x – - – - -
As we all know, health drinks like Complan, Bournvita, Boost and Horlicks are common ‘health food drinks’ in most houses today as they has been for a few decades now. That’s just awesome right? I mean, kids don’t get much nutrition these days and, as a parent, making sure they get the required nutrients is at the top of your priority list I’m sure. You, parents, are of course super busy throughout the day with work and meeting, and health drinks manufactured by, well, someone somewhere, that provide kids with everything they need to grow into strong healthy adults, is definitely a convenient way of ensuring quality nutrition.
What is so good about these health drinks anyway? What do the good-hearted manufacturers say about these?
Complan is a trusted, fortified dietary supplement formulated to provide high quality nutrition. It provides a balanced mix of high-quality, essential protein, fat and carbohydrate to provide energy, as well as an extensive range of vitamins and minerals, and it provides a useful boost to energy even in small servings.
Drinking a mug of Horlicks is the natural choice when you want to relax before going to sleep, so you awake feeling refreshed and revived
Boost is the secret of winning energy!
And this is what you read on the boxes, hear them say on TV, read on papers etc and hence, this is what you know. As a result, you buy boxes and boxes of these each year and even force feed your kids to drink them. But do you know if these claims are true? Are these ‘health’ drinks truly healthy? It isn’t for nothing that these companies claim that their drinks are filled with health. Right? I mean, these companies are not going to blatantly lie to us are they?
Ummm… I don’t know. My guess is as good as yours really. I, too, was told that they’re very good for me and, since they were delicious, I drank (and ate) them in massive quantities! So why don’t we try and figure out the truth together. Mmmmkay?
As a first and most basic step, let’s look into the ingredients of some of these health drinks.
Horlicks - Malted barley, milk solids, sugar, wheat flour, malted wheat, minerals, protein isolate, emulsifier, salt, acidity regulator, vitamins, natural color
Bournvita - Malt extract, sugar, cocoa solids, milk solids, caramel, liquid glucose, permitted emulsifiers, vitamins, minerals, raising agent, salt
Complan - Skimmed milk, lactose, vegetable oil, maltodextrin, sugar, glucose syrup, fat reduced cocoa powder, dextrose, flavourings, magnesium sulphate, thickener (xanthan gum), vitamin mix, mineral mix.
Boost - Malted barley, wheat flour, sugar, milk solids, minerals, colour, glucose, salt, acidity regulator, cocoa powder, vitamin, protein isolate, edible fiber, nature identical flavouring substances
A small ‘did you know’ before we go ahead an analyze these lists.
- In any product, the ingredients need to be listed in the order of maximum composition. That is, the first ingredient is the most dominant ingredient followed by the second and then the third and so on.
So now let’s analyze these health drinks by looking at their ingredients from a slightly different perspective.
What it contains
What it really contains
||Malted barley, milk solids, sugar, wheat flour, malted wheat, minerals, protein isolate, emulsifier, salt, acidity regulator, vitamins, natural color
||Grain, processed junk, sugar, grain, grain, artificial minerals, processed junk, junk, junk, salt, artificial vitamins, junk
||Malt extract, sugar, cocoa solids, milk solids, caramel, liquid glucose, permitted emulsifiers, vitamins, minerals, raising agent, salt
||Grain, sugar, processed junk, processed junk, sugar, sugar, junk, artificial vitamins, artificial minerals, junk, salt
||Skimmed milk, lactose, vegetable oil, maltodextrin, sugar, glucose syrup, fat reduced cocoa powder, dextrose, flavourings, magnesium sulphate, thickener (xanthan gum), vitamin mix, mineral mix.
||Processed junk, sugar, oxidizable unstable fat, sugar, sugar, sugar, processed junk, sugar, junk, junk, junk, artificial vitamins, artificial minerals
||Malted barley, wheat flour, sugar, milk solids, minerals, colour, glucose, salt, acidity regulator, cocoa powder, vitamin, protein isolate, edible fiber, nature identical flavouring substances
||Grain, grain, sugar, processed junk, artificial minerals, junk, sugar, junk, junk, junk, artificial vitamins, processed junk, junk, junk
And just so we’re clear
Why is protein isolate junk? Isn’t whey protein good for you?
Because they say protein isolate and not whey protein isolate. Anytime a food item is mentioned vaguely, there is a good chance (more than 100% that is), that the product is low quality crap. In this case, it probably is soy protein.
Why are raising agents and acidity regulators junk?
Because I don’t want
my any kid to ingest anything that requires agents!
But aren’t grains good for health? I’ve read so much about grains being super nutritious!
Well, you walked into the wrong class buddy. This is Real Food For Smart People. Gullibility 101 is across the hall and How The Government Protects Me From The Truth is right next to it. But now that you are here, read this, this and this to learn more about grains and why they are, at best, a nutritionally poor food.
Now, you tell me
Do your kids need this? Are these “health” drinks? Does it make any sense whatsoever that you force your kids to drink this sugary shit? Shouldn’t you be ashamed of yourself for having done this all these days? Too harsh? I don’t think so. And here’s why…
I didn’t have to do any research whatsoever to get all this info. All I had to do was to pick up a tin/box of these health drinks and read the ingredients! All this is printed on the box… on every box! Go ahead and check… it is, at this very moment, sitting in your kitchen cabinet. Truth is, you just didn’t have either the brains or the time or both to read the ingredients before, during or after buying such heavily marketed processed “health” food or before, during or after pouring it down your and your kid’s mouth… every… single… day!
Still don’t get it?
For those of you who still don’t understand how big a (nutritional) crime it is to sell and feed kids with such crap, let’s look at this in yet another angle. Here are the ingredients of two very famous products.
Product A - Wheat flour, sugar, edible vegetable oil, cocoa solids, invert syrup, salt, raising agent, sugar, edible vegetable fat, emulsifier. And that really means? Grain, sugar, oxidizable unstable fat, processed junk, sugar, salt, junk, sugar, oxidizable vegetable fat, junk
Product B - Sugar, peanuts, glucose syrup, skimmed milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, sunflower oil, lactose, milk fat, vegetable fat, whey powder, salt, emulsifier, salt. And that really means? Sugar, junk, sugar, processed junk, processed junk, processed junk, oxidizable unstable fat, sugar, processed junk, oxidizable unstable fat, processed junk, salt, junk, salt.
If you compare these two lists to the lists mentioned above (that of health drinks), you’ll see that there is very little difference. Both contain grains, sugars and other junk and literally nothing else! In fact, there is absolutely nothing in both that is even marginally close to being good for you and/or your kids.
So what is product A? And what is product B? Any guesses? Why don’t you take a minute to think about this.
OK I don’t trust you. Just so you don’t cheat and actually spend a few seconds to think about it, I’ll cover up the answers by putting up a list of food manufacturing companies that actually truly care about your and your kid’s health.
OK. Now to the answers.
Product A is the never healthy…
Product B is the sinful…
Well well! How about that? Oreos and snickers are junk and unhealthy, but Bournvita and Boost are nutritious? Kinda stupid won’t you agree?
What about the micro-nutrients?
You’re such an idiot Raj! It’s all about the vitamins and minerals that these health foods are loaded with! Looks like you’re the one who doesn’t get it!
You know what? You’re right! Let me try and fix it now.
So, how about this then…
Give your little one a candy bar each morning before he/she runs off to school and just before bed along with a couple of multi-vitamins and you’re set! The kid won’t refuse it for sure and will smile and love you for eternity… and of course, will grow up to be a
complan s nick ers boy or girl!
Listen. I understand you mean well and that you want to provide your kids with the most nutritious foods. I also understand that the marketing done by these multi-million dollar food companies is absolutely awesome and hence very convincing. But, you need to understand a few things…
- No food company gives a rats ass about your or your family’s health. They are all in it to make a buck and will do anything to make another.
- Irrespective of how convincing a product is, it is your duty as a parent (and as a person who has common sense) to look into the list of ingredients and make smart choices.
- There is no product that is as nutritionally dense as real food. If your kids won’t eat real food, train them to eat real food. If you can keep them away from cocaine, you can keep them away from junk.
Take a minute and share the knowledge ‘cos irrespective of how much we all care about our health and nutrition, the Nestles and the Coca Colas and the Cadburys are still emptying wallets and filling tummys (with junk).
Cut through the marketing crap and think behind the box!