Q: I bought a 100 percent whole-grain cereal that has the word "organic" printed 18 times on the box. When I got home, I read the small print and saw that it contained organic dried cane syrup. I know sugar syrup is one of the five food felons. Do I have to cross this cereal off my grocery list?
CANDACE F., Northridge, Calif.
A: Now you see how easy it is to fall for packaging hype, even on so-called healthy products. That added sugar syrup is one of the five food felons - a big one.
Dr. Mike came up with the five food felons after seeing their relationship to diseases such as diabetes, dementia, heart disease, sexual dysfunction and immune-related problems. Here's a quick review of those bad guys and what they do:
Trans fats raise lousy LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lower your healthy HDL cholesterol level and fuel disease-triggering inflammation.
Saturated fat in red meats, poultry skin, full-fat dairy products and palm and coconut oils fuels cancer risk, coronary artery disease, dementia, obesity and diabetes.
Added sugars and sugar syrups cause the proteins in your body to be less functional and age your immune and cardiovascular systems and your joints.
Refined and processed grains don't contain the fiber or nutrients (contained in 100 percent whole grains) that you need to keep the bacteria in your guts happy, glucose levels regulated, immune system strong and digestion running smoothly.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.