Dietitian Aqsa

Blog >> How healthy is your breakfast cereal

What do you prefer for breakfast these days? Is it a stuffed parantha, a chicken sandwich or a bowl of your favorite cereal? Kids grow up eating cold breakfast cereals, you plan to start your day healthy by having a bowl of cereal, to lose weight you prefer to eat cereals in the breakfast but you need to know that cereal is not a real food.

Breakfast cereal is made by processing the grains. It is generally consumed with milk, fruits or yogurt. Cereals undergo processing, mixing, extrusion, drying and shaping. Extrusion includes refining of the grains. Cereals contain added vitamins and minerals. Few are even flavored with spices like cinnamon and fruits. Cereals are promoted in the market as a “natural breakfast” but the word “natural” is used to mislead the consumer. These cereals are loaded with sugar making us fat and healthy. In fact, breakfast cereals are the commonly consumed sugary food in our diet. Sugar coated cereals can spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.

Breakfast full of high sugar may lead to a strong craving for high carb-meal or a snack and you end up over eating. Excess consumption of sugar increases the risk of other diseases like obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Contrary to the health claims made about the nutritional value of the cereals, cereals may just have a minimal amount of healthy ingredients.

So, next time when you plan to shop for your favorite breakfast cereal, choose the cereal with less sugar and more fiber content. Go for cereals that are made from whole grains. Check the list of ingredients or you can choose nutritious add-ons like almonds, flax seeds, cashews etc in your cereal bowl. Beware of sugar coated dry or dried fruits which are otherwise healthy when not processed. These cereals are also high in salt which is added during processing.

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