Breakfast Cereal: A Healthy or Unhealthy Option?

Most people have a soft spot for cereal. Having established itself as a healthy nutritional breakfast option, cereal is listed among the most popular products and makes significant profit for food companies at a global scale. The most successful ads include cereal, which has been combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Happy children and satisfied parents compose the family model reflected in the kitchen of every commercial.

As proven through the statistics of global market analysis, 94% of buyers consume cereal almost every day. Although it has become the prime food for breakfast, it is not limited there. Very often we use cereal as a snack or as light dinner. That is why their consumption has been growing dramatically.

Healthy Expectations

In modern society, many people have turned to healthy eating, therefore, they prefer foods that are beneficial for the body and mind. As a result, cereal has gained even more enthusiasts. If you notice their packaging, you will notice that they highlight all the healthy benefits of cereal consumption. It is often emphasized that cereal is a rich source of iron and vitamins. Apart from this, it is common to refer to some cereal as a gluten-free option or as the most suitable alternative towards a low fat diet.

But are these expectations reasonable or we have been misled by advertisements and giant food companies? What do we actually eat, when we consume cereal?

Processed Food & Hazards

Unfortunately, reality is pretty different than expectations when it comes to cereal. First of all, it is essential to point out that cereal is a completely processed food. Corn and wheat are used as raw materials and their production often comes from genetically modified products (GMOs). Apart from that, sugar and artificial colouring, as well as overly processed ingredients prevail. For example, the beautiful colours in some cereal derive from chemical processing. In some countries they have banned such colours and vegetable alternatives are used (spinach, carrot, etc.).

In addition, inexpensive oil substitutes are used along with cheap raw materials of questionable quality, providing a poor nutritional product. Many will be surprised, as most packages indicate their high content in vitamins and other nutrients. It is not unreasonable to point out that these nutrients are added to foods in a powdered form, after their preparation. So is this what we need for a healthy diet plan? Surely this is frustrating and especially since this is a food that we choose to serve our children on a daily basis!

 Are they All Unhealthy?

Of course not! Nobody can claim that all cereal products are equally unhealthy and should be avoided no matter what. But it is necessary to do some thorough market research in order to choose the right food. Looking at the packaging, we should aim at cereal without added sugar and without any chemicals. With this in mind, we can buy cereal that is good for our health or even better make our own with home-made, pure ingredients!

Best of Health,

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