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The Dangerous Reality Behind Honey Maid's Health Image

With a name like "Honey Maid Grahams," a reasonable consumer might expect that these crackers are a healthy graham product, sweetened with honey. A side panel includes the phrase, "Nutritionists Recommend," reinforcing the healthy image. This impression is false, and Kraft Foods currently faces a class action lawsuit in California for their deceptive advertising.

Kraft's Honey Maid Grahams actually contain more processed white flour than graham flour, and the sweetness comes from refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup rather than honey. There is more partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, a major source of trans fat, than there is actual honey in Honey Maid Grahams.

Trans fat is one of the most unhealthy common nutrients in the American diet. It can cause coronary heart disease and raises your risk of type 2 diabetes and cancer. Despite the well-known dangers, Kraft Foods continues to use trans fats in some of their most popular snack foods.

Graham Flour and Honey vs Refined and Processed Ingredients

Ingredients of Honey Maid GrahamsRefined white flour, refined sugar, and high fructose corn syrup all have a high glycemic index. Foods with a high glycemic index are turned into simple sugars almost immediately after you eat them, creating a spike in blood sugar. Over time, habitual spikes in blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance and pre-diabetes. Eventually, these foods raise your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Graham flour is a coarser, less refined alternative to heavily processed white flour. Because it includes the entire wheat grain, graham flour is higher in fiber and protein than white flour. It is also digested more slowly, avoiding the blood sugar spikes associated with more processed ingredients.

Unfortunately, while you may think you are getting a healthier snack with Honey Maid Grahams, these crackers contain more white flour than graham flour. Kraft hides their unhealthy processed ingredients behind the healthy "graham" label.

Honey as a sweetener also provides unique health benefits. Natural honey has been shown to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-oxidant effects, as well as containing various nutrients with anti-cancer properties.

None of these benefits will be found in Honey Maid Grahams, though, because the primary sweeteners are refined sugar and artificial high fructose corn syrup. Kraft thinks it can hide its dangerous ingredients behind a healthier "honey" label if their crackers contain a small trace of real honey.

Deceptive Packaging

Honey Maid Graham packaging often features a small green or yellow banner titled "Sensible Solution" or "Sensible Snacking." It advertises that Honey Maid Grahams are low in saturated fat and have "no cholesterol."

Sensible Snacking Claim Honey MaidBoth points sound good, but be wary. Trans fat is actually worse for the human body than saturated fat. Consumption of trans fat raises your LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and lowers your HDL ("good") cholesterol levels, leaving you at an even greater risk of coronary heart disease.

The "no cholesterol" claim is especially misleading because it implies that Honey Maid Grahams are a healthy choice for people worried about their cholesterol. But in terms of your health, it does not matter much whether Honey Maid Grahams have "no cholesterol," because dietary cholesterol has little effect on your cholesterol levels. What matters is the harmful trans fat content. So Kraft's "no cholesterol" claim encourages people who are already worried about their cholesterol to buy a product that will raise their risk even further.

With their "Sensible Snacking" banner, Kraft deliberately tricks the very people in the most danger into buying a dangerous food.

Other Product Details

Click on any of the Kraft products below for more details on their unhealthy ingredients and deceptive packaging claims.

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