“Have cereal for a breakfast, they are light and healthy. “- This is what you’ll hear most of the time. It’s your first day at a gym or maybe the first day of your journey towards a healthy lifestyle. And, you’re all excited to buy something healthy for yourself. You enter a supermarket and, then find yourself surrounded by all those colorful packagings lying on almost every shelf. Almost all of them are trying to prove their health benefits as compared to others through their fancy labels. You might end up falling into a trap if you’re new in this field. And, cereals are leading in this race because there are many brands for cereals alone. So, is your breakfast cereal actually healthy?
Plenty of products are dumped into the market every day. And, all of them are in some way or the other trying to claim their worthiness. What should you eat and, what you shouldn’t? And, deciding this is going to get difficult. Every day you’ll find yourself bombarded with fancy labels and, beautiful packaging. But, one can identify the best if they know what the product has to offer.
We are in times where nothing matters more than profit. And, this might sound harsh, but it is true. The majority are opting for a healthy lifestyle and healthy food habits. But, choosing a suitable product remains a great challenge. Sometimes to many options also makes the task difficult.
Let’s talk about, Breakfast. I consider it special because the first meal sets the tone for the day. And choosing something healthy must be your priority. The most popular breakfast option is cereal. Let’s see if they are worthy of this. 😛
What’s in your cereal?
Processed grains, often fortified with essential minerals and, vitamins are called cereals. And, they are one of the most popular breakfast options. One can consume it with milk, yogurt, nuts, fresh fruits, etc. There are different ways to enjoy this “easy to make ” breakfast.
They are now available in a variety of flavors like chocolate, strawberry, honey, etc.
- What makes them delicious? – I believe that healthy eating shouldn’t be boring. Your diet must include your favorite food too. And, these cereals are one of those tasty and healthy options. But, what makes them so good? The answer lies in nutrition information. They contain a large amount of sugar and processed carbs.
It’s the added sugar that is enhancing their taste. And, they increase the risk of developing diseases like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, etc. This added sugar is present in the majority of cereals.
2. What’s there on the box? – Fancy front claims like whole grain, zero sugar, low fat, etc are there to attracts customers. And, most of the time they aren’t true. These front claims allow you to pick something without even knowing the nutritional values. Nutritional values are on almost all the products. But, after seeing those claims, most of us don’t bother to look behind. And, sometimes the information present on the label is complex and, we end up ignoring it. So, either use Google to know about the ingredients or leave the products, which you find difficult to decipher.
3. How do we make them unhealthy? – The first thing that will come to your mind after reading this is, “Why will I do that?”. No one will do that intentionally. We try modifying our recipes to make them more healthy. But, too many additions would make them high in calories. The overall calorie intake will increase and, doing this every day will increase your weight. Few fruits and dry fruits are high in calories and, they will boost the overall calorie intake.
Now, since you know what makes them unhealthy, there’s a need to look at the other side of the coin too.
How to make your cereal healthy?
- Look around- Awareness alone can solve many problems. Most of the time, we aren’t aware of what we are putting inside our bodies. But, spending some time reading about the products and their ingredients might help you make a smart choice. Your body will thank you later. Learn how to read them.
- Limit your portion size- They are easy to make and easy to consume. And, you might end up eating extra. So, pay attention while filling your bowl and avoid eating extra.
- Go easy with toppings. – Toppings enhance the taste and nutritional value of the food. And, all of us have our favorites to add to our bowl. But, they also count in overall calories and, even a handful of them every day will be too much. Eat according to your body’s energy requirement to maintain a healthy weight. It’s just an unhealthy obsession with the healthy food.
- Make them protein-rich- Now, you would realize how important it is to balance all the ingredients. The seeds and nuts, when added in the appropriate amount can make your breakfast protein-rich. Be careful while adding.
- Five grams sugar- Keep this rule in mind while buying any cereal. Check the label and choose your cereal with sugar less than 5 grams. Don’t get trapped in the ” zero-sugar” label and choose wisely.
- These facts are true for almost all cereals, but there are some exceptions.
- One should always read about the product before making any choice. Control your portion size. And, avoid overeating.
- There are plenty of healthy breakfast options. So, try to add different healthy food to your diet.
- Start your day with a healthy breakfast as it sets the tone for the day.
- Cereals might sound like an easy option. But, taking some time out and trying different recipes can help you a lot.