Cereals are an easy and convenient breakfast for busy people. While many try to purchase cereals that claim to be full of vitamins and minerals, how healthy are these cereals really?
What even is cereal?
Cereal is made from processed grain and is often eaten with milk, where it can also be topped with a variety of fruits and nuts. Most breakfast cereals are produced by a process called extrusion, where the breakfast grains are placed into a machine called an extruder after being mixed with water into a kind of “sludge.” The grain sludge is then forced out of tiny holes at high temperatures, where they’re shaped into the flakes and puffs we normally see in the cereal box. Then they’re sprayed with a coating of oil and sugar to keep them crispy in the cereal box.
So, what is wrong with that? So it doesn’t sound appetizing, but does that mean it’s not?
During this extrusion process, much of the nutrients and fatty acids are destroyed, making these grains useless to our bodies. Synthetic vitamins are actually added back into the cereal grains, and our bodies don’t recognize these foreign compounds. These synthetic vitamins and minerals are then treated as toxins by your body.
Breakfast cereals are heavily marketed as being healthy, but that’s not always the case.
Many kinds of cereals create misleading claims such as “low-fat” and “whole grain” in order to lead people to believe the cereal they’re buying is healthier than what it really is. Breakfast cereals are highly processed foods that are often loaded with added sugars. Ladell Hill, the co-founder of Executive Armor, says breakfast is an important start to our day and our bodies need real food, like fresh fruit and rolled oats. He claims that hot cereals, such as porridge, are more nutritious and better for you.
In conclusion, if you really must have your cereal, here’s what you should look for:
- Limit the sugar: choose a cereal that contains less than 5 grams of sugar per serving.
- Pick cereal with high fiber: eating enough fiber offers a wide range of health benefits.
- Add some protein: protein will keep you full for longer; add nuts and seeds to your cereal.