Fortified foods (sometimes referred to as enriched) are typically processed foods that have nutrients added to them. They can be helpful and have prevented many diseases, but I hate them… Let me explain.
A high percentage of children and adolescences would be lacking in many micronutrients if it weren’t for these enriched foods. 
They do indeed play a role in the diet of many people and aid in the reduction of severe deficiencies; for that, I am grateful and see that there may be a place in the standard American diet at least until there is better education and funding about nutrition in the general population.
The first is in research, textbooks and other sources that are commonly used by educational and research institutions. These often cite fortified foods as one of the best sources of certain nutrients.
- Lentils have SO much more nutritional value than a processed cereal like Cheerios and they are much less expensive. Honey Nut Cheerios contain sugar, genetically modified corn starch, salt, and genetically modified canola oil (to name a few).
If processed fortified foods is all someone will eat or, in the case of children, is some times all that is offered to them (which is SO sad), then of course it is better than the alternative of starvation and deficiencies.
However, to take junk ingredients, add a few nutrients, and then teach that it’s a great health food is a nutritional lie. At that point, the fact that it’s “stopping the bleeding” doesn’t mean it’s promoting optimal health. We (and our future generations) are worth more and deserve better!
The second issue I have with fortified foods is the deceptive way that they are marketed. They take advantage of those who aren’t as educated about evidence-based nutrition. Especially for those who are trying to raise healthy children in food deserts with very little income, it is important for them to understand how to stretch their nutritional dollar for optimal health outcomes.
- Let’s just quickly compare that with lentils again, which have about 8 grams of fiber in 50 grams (so you need to eat less by weight to get MORE fiber) … and they cost less.
If you don’t understand basic nutrition, you may trust the poor claim that fortified cereal is a “good source of fiber”. Compared to what!? I am not against fortification to save lives if it’s the only option, but we can’t deny that it’s a sad comparison against REAL whole food!
I know there’s a bit of intensity coming through in this post, but people need help understanding at least basic nutritional principles so they don’t think that the nutrition from a piece of fortified or enriched bread is working the same way in the body as the nutrition from a steamed sweet potato.
They are not the same! Feel free to share this post with friends or family who may be captivated by the marketing by processed food companies. Together, we can improve the health of the world!
This article was originally published at NewHopeHealth.com