Mineral oils and glyphosate that are hazardous to health: Öko-Test finds harmful substances in the muesli
For many Germans, the day starts with a delicious cereal. However, the various grain mixtures are often not as healthy as they seem. The consumer magazine Öko-Test has discovered 16 harmful cereals in many products, which are harmful to health.
A healthy start to the day
For many Germans, a delicious cereal is served on the breakfast table in the morning. Those who use ready-made mixtures are not necessarily doing their body good. After all, some breakfast cereals are real sugar bombs, so the morning cereal can also make us fat. In addition, some grain mixtures are contaminated with harmful substances. The consumer magazine Öko-Test has now determined this.
Best whole grain products
The most important part of a cereal is cereal flakes. Oats, barley, spelled and Co: ideally, the flakes should be whole grains. These provide particularly valuable minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus or potassium.
In addition, they are full of important fiber. The healthy fibers help stimulate digestion and prevent constipation.
Numerous manufacturers spice up their mueslis with ingredients such as amaranth, chia seeds and quinoa.
No added health value
But do we really need well-traveled "superfood" for our morning cereal? Asks "Öko-Test" and provides answers ourselves:
Amaranth, for example, which mainly comes from South and Central America, contains a lot of calcium, magnesium and protein. Quinoa is also healthy. The grains are rich in potassium, iron and protein - so a good source of nutrients for vegans. The emphasis is on vegans:
"The benefits of amaranth and quinoa are rather negligible for foodies," explains Silke Restemeyer of the German Nutrition Society (DGE). However, a look at the list of ingredients always helps:
"Mini portions sprinkled over a cereal don't really contribute to a better nutrient supply," says Restemeyer. Because most mueslis contain only two or three percent amaranth or quinoa.
Local goods instead of exotic superfood
Why go into the ecologically unsafe distance at all? "There is no added health value compared to domestic products," explains Restemeyer.
Even a cereal with local ingredients adequately covers the nutritional needs. For example, oats and barley. Such muesli mixes protect health.
Oatmeal contains almost as much protein as quinoa and amaranth, plus a lot of vitamin B1, as well as iron, magnesium, folic acid and zinc.
Flax seeds also look good in muesli: they have a particularly high content of omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain a lot of protein and folic acid as well as plenty of minerals.
Mineral oils and plant poison in food
Öko-Test now wanted to know what the quality of basic muesli is and had 16 products tested for harmful substances.
According to the consumer magazine, almost all of the mueslis tested are recommended, but unfortunately mineral oils that were hazardous to health were found in the investigation:
Saturated mineral oils (MOSH) were detected in a total of ten varieties. According to health experts, MOSH can accumulate in the lymph nodes, liver, spleen and adipose tissue and damage organs.
The European Food Safety Authority EFSA classifies MOSH (mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons) as "potentially worrying".
The testers also found the pesticide glyphosate in several products. This plant poison was classified as "probably carcinogenic" by the World Health Organization (WHO) two years ago, according to updated information from the international cancer research agency (IARC).
Three cereals are "very good"
The contamination was found in both conventional and organic goods. Residues were found in products from Alnatura, Basic, Denree, Edeka, MyMuesli, Norma, Kaufland, Rossmann, Rewe, Netto and Globus, among others.
In addition to the pollutants, some base muesli also contained additional sugar. Despite the shortcomings, however, no product was rated as “satisfactory”.
The testers rated three cereals as "very good". These are goods from dm, Aldi Nord and Rapunzel.
The detailed test result of all 16 products can be found in the current edition (9/2017) of Öko-Test. (ad)