Feb 20, 2019

Unibic Daily Digestive Oatmeal cookies review

Let me share with you a perfect example of how celebrities/influencers promote junk as "healthy" by spurting out attention-grabbing numbers/stats. 

As I was scrolling through my Insta feed a couple of days back, I stopped at a sponsored ad. It was from Unibic Cookies that showed a video of Shilpa Shetty making a fruit parfait with Unibic Digestive cookies as the base/crumble. This particular line in the caption caught my attention - "To give it a healthy twist, we are making this recipe using Unibic Daily Digestive cookies which has 26% fibre"

Woah, 26% fibre? seriously? I have never seen a packaged food with that high an amount of fibre. I immediately opened my Amazon app, searched for this pack and looked at the nutrition facts table. 100 gm of these cookies contain 6.1gm of dietary fibre, which means it has 6.1% fibre.  So the number quoted in Insta caption is clearly misleading.
Source: amazon.in
I then opened the video from Shilpa Shetty's Insta page and carefully listened to what she says - "to make the fruit parfait a tad bit healthier, we are going to use Unibic Daily Digestive oatmeal cookies which has 26% fibre of your daily requirement" and then she proceeds with her recipe.

If you are going to talk about daily requirement, you would ideally say "these cookies meet 26% of your daily fibre requirement". They don't contain 26% fibre. 

Let's presume that our daily fibre requirement is 25gm approx. 
26% of that would be 6.5gm, which means we would have to eat around 100gm of these cookies in a day to meet the 26% fibre requirement claim.

I'm not sure how many cookies add upto 100gm. I'm guessing it would be around 7-8. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Long story short, the fitness enthusiast/wellness influencer Ms.Shilpa Shetty (with 9.5 million followers in Instagram) claims that eating 7-8 unibic daily digestive cookies in a day is healthy because it gives us 26% of daily fibre requirement.

Let's look at the ingredients:
Source: amazon.in

Wheat flour, Edible Vegetable Oil (palm), Sugar, Rolled Oats (8%), Liquid Glucose, Wheat bran (3%), Milk Solids, Leavening agents (E500 ii, E503 ii), Salt, Emulsifier (E322 from soya).

As expected, the first three ingredients are maida, palm oil and sugar. Rolled oats is ONLY 8%. 
I'm so glad that FSSAI has brought in the regulation that mandates food companies to print "refined wheat flour" for maida and not "wheat flour". How ridiculously misleading it is currently!

100 gm of these cookies contain 23.4 gm of unhealthy fats and 18 gm of sugar. If we eat 7-8 cookies in a day so that we get 26% of daily fibre requirement, then we are also consuming around 6 tsp of unhealthy fats and 4.5 tsp of sugar. How does this make us "tad bit healthier"?

I had earlier written about McVities Digestive and Britannia Nutrichoice cookies. All these so-called "digestive" cookies are totally unhealthy and addictive because of the high amounts of fat and sugar.

In this age of short attention span, it is very easy to be misled by claims made by celebrities, brand endorsers and food influencers. If someone uses "health tags" and highlights individual nutrients like fibre, protein, calcium etc, be extremely cautious. Read the ingredients list, nutrition facts table and make a conscious decision for yourself and your family. These food/fitness influencers don't care a hoot about our health. If they do, they won't be promoting such junk in the first place. 

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