The Truth About Breakfast Cereals – All Sugar No Spice!!!
For years, mothers have fed their children a bowl of cereal every morning, taking pride in the fact that they are giving their children the healthiest diet. Unfortunately, these mothers have fallen prey to the biggest con played by the cereal industry but the truth about breakfast cereals is now out, thanks to a study conducted by Which? The consumer organization has conducted its own investigation into the sugar content of about 50 breakfast cereals to reveal some staggering truths, which are nothing short of shocking. They only point to one thing – breakfast cereals are not healthy and these should be sold alongside chocolate biscuits in the supermarket:
1) Truth About Breakfast Cereals
Yes, that is true. Normally, you buy cereals because the companies promise you that your “sunshine breakfast” is made with wholesome grains, oats, and corn and it contains all the necessary Vitamins and minerals. In short, you are made to believe that the cereals, packed inside the colorful boxes, are just perfect to complement your balanced diet. Nothing could be further from truth, as the Which? study reveals.
2) Breakfast Cereals – A Health Hazard
You wouldn’t believe it but the study has proved that there is so much sugar content in the breakfast cereals that they should be clubbed in the category of chocolate and cream biscuits. Can you imagine! The horrible secret of the cereals is out – the manufacturers are pumping sugar into these boxes, without you knowing it. Now this is something which would not go down well with the doting mothers.
3) Too Much Sugar
You may think that if Rice Krispies or Kellogg’s corn flakes have 10% or 8% sugar, respectively, it doesn’t amount to much. And well, the Frosties are sugary enough because the sugar is visible too. The bad news is that having too much sugar can increase your chances of becoming obese or diabetic. And when you are talking about Krispies, Kellogg’s or Frosties, remember, you do not consider it as consuming sugar, you think of them as breakfast cereals. And in addition to these cereals, you are consuming sugar in other forms as well. Renowned journal, Nature, reported recently that an excess of sugar was causing up to 35 million deaths in the world every year. This disturbing bit of news also forced the health experts to seek imposition of regulations on consumption of sugar just like cigarettes. But that is still far in the future.
4) The Problem With Sugar
Sugar kills you, slowly. It disturbs the body’s metabolism, increases blood pressure, disrupts the hormonal balance, and also harms the liver. A study, “The Toxic Truth About Sugar,” reveals, “A little is not a problem, but a lot kills – slowly.” Sugar is high in calories but that is not the only thing that you need to keep in mind. The bigger problem with sugar is that it is addictive. So, if you eat a certain amount every day, you body keeps craving for sugar and then it becomes a vicious cycle. In this connection, let us talk about the Glycemic Index (GI), which is the measure of the rate at which foods release their sugar component into your blood. Now sample this – breakfast cereals have a high GI, which means they release sugar into your blood stream faster. The faster the blood is released into your stream, the faster it recedes and the sooner you feel hungrier.
5) Why Do Manufacturers Put Sugar In Cereals?
It is not as if cereal makers do not realize that sugar is bad for our body. They do but they, or most of them, are driven by economic concerns. You see, when you take corn or rice, which are probably the cheapest ingredients, then crush them or puff air into them, the manufacturing process leaves you with products, which are hardly edible. So to make the resulting cereals edible, the manufacturers put sugar into them, especially because the product is aimed at children. Now, since the product can’t be sold just because it has sugar in it, that is where smart (read “dishonest”) marketing comes in. The cereals are exaggerated to be “fortified” with vitamins, most synthetic, while at the same time attention is drawn away from the fact that up to 35% of your cereal is just sugar. Frightening, isn’t it?
6) What Should the Government Do?
First of all, the Government should impose additional tax on sugar so that the companies are discouraged from using it so frequently or generously in their products. But will the Government do so? It will not be easy for the authorities to take such a bold step, especially because the companies “contribute” generously to the election funds. However, there is only one hope that soon, we will have a government, which will actually care more about the common man than the one sitting inside a plush office of a corporate house.
7) Alternatives to Sugary Cereals
You must be wondering by now that if cereals are not healthy enough, what should you serve your family for breakfast. Well, you have a lot of options but you chose not to choose them till now. Your options could be:
Poached, boiled, or fried egg.
Porridge, which is healthy as well as tasty.
Wholemeal toast, a slice or two.
Unsweetened yogurt, which you can serve with fresh fruit or nuts.
This is the story of the fall of the breakfast cereal although it may be too soon to say so. But in case your kids are not such a fan of sugary cereals, don't push them to eat it. And if you are still confused about the truth about breakfast cereals, then read the nutritional information given on the product label properly before making your choice and try to reduce the intake of sugar in other forms, so that you do not end up overeating sugar.