Battling the bulge? Beware of the ‘cereal’ killer!

If you thought breakfast cereals are healthy, think again (Image © Mint)

‘This year, I am going to knock off those extra kilos for sure’ – Sounds familiar? Sure does! But, how often do we start our year on this note and end it saying, ‘No matter what, next year I am going to stick to my diet.’

The answer: Almost every time.

But, if you are really keen on ending your battle against the bulge this year itself, then kick start your mission by junking one of the biggest diet killers in the world of nutrition – the ‘healthy’ breakfast cereals!

In recent times, Indians have hooked on to the American way of starting their day by eating a bowl full of cereals with added milk, fruits, nuts and so on. While the add-ons continue to pack a punch with loads of nutritional goodies, unfortunately the cereals shockingly piles on to the fat!

Here are six facts that will dismiss the common delusion of the most loved breakfast option in modern world today.

1) The unbalancing act

The unbalancing act of cereals
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Those who believe that cereals form a balanced breakfast, here is a spoiler. Cereals do not have a nutrition value of their own. The grains are put through a process called ‘extrusion’, which helps form the fun shapes and sizes, but sadly most of the nutrients are destroyed in the bargain.

2) The ‘fortified’ Act

The 'Fortified' fact
Image © Davidovich

Fortified – Heard of this word? Ever wondered what it means? Though the textbook definition states it is a process of adding micronutrients like essential vitamins and minerals to the food, the fact is that the body does not utilise these synthetic nutrients and in most cases treat them as toxins! OMG! Are you really sure you want your body loaded with toxins first thing in the morning?

3) The fake fibre

The fake fibre
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Most diets fails because people tend to starve themselves, leaving them hungrier. What’s worse is, there are a few who ignore the importance of including fibre – an essential nutrient that promotes fullness – in every meal. Cereals boast of being high in fibre. However, the claim ends with its packaging. The isolated fibres infused in the process of extrusion does not give you the goodness of natural fibres. Now you know why you still feel hungry despite gorging on a bowl of wholesome cereals!

4) The sugar bomb

The sugar bomb
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Grab hold of your cereal box and have a look at the amount of sugar it is filled with. Stunned? Most definitely. Even if your pack says sugar free, don’t buy that marketing gimmick. Because 9 times out of 10, the box will be nothing less than a sugar explosion! Excess of sugar will disrupt your healthy eating plan, thereby increasing unwanted snack cravings.

5) The missing protein

The missing protein
Image © Kumer

Do you think a bowl of cereals with wholesome milk is a good enough protein source? If you believe so, then you are in for a shocker. In recent past, experts have stressed upon the importance of including high protein source in your breakfast because it impacts the way you consume food all day long. That bowl of ‘healthy’ breakfast does not provide sufficient protein to your body, thereby increasing your cravings after a while. Still wondering why the hunger pangs grow in no time?

6) The sneaky sodium

The sneaky sodium
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Our love for salt is more an outcome of all the processed foods included in our daily diet than what is in the shaker. Most cereals are high in sodium – a much overlooked aspect of any diet plan. Food high in salt is as unhealthy as food high in sugar. In some cases, it is even worse. Sodium hidden in food that do not taste salty deceives our taste buds into longing for more salt. Ever tried eating a piece of bitter chocolate with a pinch of salt? If no, then give it a shot and you will surprised to see how sweet the chocolate tastes!

The cereal conundrum: wondering what you can eat for breakfast now?

The Cereal Conundrum: Wondering what you can eat for breakfast now?
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The answer: Scramble a couple of eggs and eat it along with some toasted whole grain bread to kick start your day on a healthy note. Oatmeal is another great alternative to processed cereals. Oatmeal is also considered as one the best fat burning foods. So, go ahead and make the most of this superfood. Also, pack your breakfast with Vitamin C rich fruits like oranges and berries along with a handful of nuts to provide your body with essential omega 3-6-9 fatty acids.

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