• Gary Moller

NZ's Food Health Star Rating System is Rated "Unhealthy"

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

This might look like being a delicious and healthy breakfast but it isn't. This is almost 100% sugar (starch is sugar) and there are virtually no nutrients, like vitamins and minerals.

Please take a few minutes to watch the interview with Dr Simon Thornley, a Population Health senior lecturer at Auckland University:


I have said for years that our nutrition, including the science of nutrition and nutritionists themselves, have been hijacked by BIG FOOD. The simple fact is that there is very big money to be made by encouraging people to consume foods made from grains and sugars. Many of the claims made for cereals such as being "Iron Man" food is laughable when the reality is poor muscle development, obesity and eventually diabetes and other chronic degenerative diseases from eating proportionately too many sugar-dominant foods.

When I was a child, candy was a rare treat. Nowadays it is a "normal" daily part of a child's diet. Candy and party foods, muesli bars, sodas and fruit drinks have almost zero nutritional value. They drive tooth decay and chronic disease.

As the interview with Dr Thornley says, the Food Health Star Rating system is easily manipulated so that unhealthy, sugar-laden foods can receive a favourable rating, whereas healthy foods can end up with a poor rating.

When a person greatly reduces sugar and starch (often hidden) from their diets while increasing their intake of fresh saturated fat and protein - guess what? You are right, they lose fat, put on muscle and feel healthier.

Alofa and I are good examples of this effect. We are both lean, fit and strong despite our ages.

Alofa and Gary exploring Quebec, Canada. Fit and healthy. We do not skimp on our saturated fats. We ignore the Health Star Rating when choosing what foods to purchase.

Do we eat cereals? Yes, we do. Right now we are doing massive amounts of cycling daily while I am preparing for the UCI Mountain Bike Masters World Championships in a few weeks from now. Without replenishing the muscles of depleted carbohydrate (glycogen), the legs will feel laboured and burn during the following day's workout. So, yes, we are enjoying plenty of bread and cereal as well as fresh sources of fat and protein, along with fruit and salads.

While I am writing this Alofa is preparing the evening meal which consists of bacon, eggs, mushrooms, onions and French Bread with butter and coconut oil. I'll also be having dessert, consisting of blueberries, strawberries, grapes and yogurt, since I have a very hard day of training tomorrow. Lunch, after morning training, will include fried eggs and black pudding, followed by a few hours of rest then another long and hard training session.

Oh - we are also taking some vitamins and minerals to help compensate for the general nutrient-depletion of all food nowadays.

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