Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Start your Day with Cereal?

Just today, I read an article about the most unhealthy cereals for kids (or adults for that matter).  I thought they did a good job of portraying how detrimental sugar laden cereals can be.  However, the one issue that I have with the article is the suggestion of "healthier" cereal options.

Now, don't get me wrong, a bowl of Unfrosted Mini Wheats is going to be much better than a bowl of Froot Loops Marshmallow.  You're getting MUCH less sugar.  But when we look at foods that are healthy for your, we don't only look at the sugar content.  You need to look at the food as a whole.

Most cereals are carbohydrates, and simple carbohydrates at that.  Simple carbohydrates have little to no nutritional value to them.  They get broken down into sugar in our digestive tracts and not much else.  So, even if you're choosing a bowl of Cheerios, you're still getting more sugar than your body needs in the morning.

One other aspect that cereals are severely lacking is in the Vitamin and Mineral department.  You may have noticed that most cereals are "fortified" with many vitamins and minerals.  That means that they add vitamins and minerals to the cereal.  That's good right?

Not so much.  The reason that the cereal industry fortifies their cereal is because of what happens in the processing of the cereal.  When making a cereal, they start out with a relatively healthy grain that is full of minerals and vitamins.  In order to get it to the correct size, shape, texture, and flavor, they need to completely change the grain.  And, in may of those steps, most, if not all, of the natural vitamins and minerals are lost.  So, they just replace them.  The issue with the fortification of vitamins and minerals is that they are all created in a lab and most are indigestible by the human body.

Finally, the ingredient that most cereals are severely lacking is healthy protein.  In order for you to start your day off right and not have the 10:30 crash is to get protein in your breakfast.  Good sources of healthy protein are organic, free range eggs and meat, nuts, and raw milk and raw milk products.

So, if you're one of those people who's been eating Lucky Charms every morning since you were 2 and need to have multiple cups of coffee just to get through the day, try at least one day a week with replacing that bowl of fortified sugar grain with a healthier, protein option.

1 comment:

  1. I am curious what your take is on oatmeal, grits, and cream of wheat. I have a personal prefernce for oatmeal myself, but I don't always feel like eating something hot in the morning. And I have heard/read that 30g of protein within 30min of waking (Dr. Oz, and other resources, including I beleive Dr. Weil though I'd have to go back and look that up to be sure), so oatmeal (nor grits nor cream of wheat) probably fulfill that requirement. I love eggs and could eat them every day, and though they have recently been found to be BETTER than previously thought, I'm guessing I shouldn't be eating them daily either. So I'm looking for options (I am borderline diabetic) to get 30g protein in the mornings. I enjoy your blog Dr. Mike. I may ask for certain topics in future. :) ~Annette in Tacoma WA