In the west, breakfast is never complete without a heaping bowl of breakfast cereal with milk. For decades, breakfast cereals are marketed as “healthy” or “energizing.” But is there truth to these claims? Are breakfast cereals really as healthy as makers made them out to be?
Unfortunately, most cereals are loaded with sugar, artificial flavors and nutrients that are hardly absorbed by the body. And if you think your breakfast cereal is truly full of “natural goodness,” think again. Below are the dangers that lurk behind every box of your favorite commercial breakfast cereal:
1. Contributes to Weight Gain
It’s no secret that most breakfast cereals are flavored with artificial food additives and sugars to make them more palatable, especially to children. And regular consumption of sugary cereals will lead to weight gain. Worse, most manufacturers market these products as healthy but the evidence from these “studies” is from sketchy sources. Studies show that most cereals sold in local supermarkets contain a copious amount of sugar. And even healthier cereals are not exempted from high sugar content!
2. Fructose Corn Syrup Content
Here’s something that all cereal manufacturers won’t tell you: Breakfast cereals contain high fructose corn syrup or HFCS. HFCS is a staple ingredient in most processed foods, including “low-fat” items like cereals and granola bars. HFCS is cheaper than natural sugar that’s why most cereal companies prefer this ingredient among other sweeteners. Studies show that HFCS triggers the body to crave more sugar. This increases your risk of weight gain, obesity, and diabetes. Unfortunately, an average American is consuming 63 pounds of HFCS per year thanks to processed foods.
3. Gluten Sensitivity
Did you know that the gluten in wheat-based products can irritate the intestines? This leads to inflammation, inhibiting the body to absorb more nutrients from the food you eat.
Gluten is a protein that acts like glue that builds up in the intestines. Gluten causes irritation in the gut. This will impede the entire digestive process, eventually causing the body to absorb fewer nutrients. On top of that, gluten-sensitive individuals will suffer from minor discomforts such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, bone or joint pain. Worse, gluten can slow down your metabolic rate, making you prone to weight gain!
4. Wheat and Your Glucose Level
The body responds to wheat products the same way as your average table sugar! Too much wheat in the diet can increase the glucose level in the blood. When the glucose level becomes unstable, so does your insulin level. When the glucose level in the blood plummets, you will experience cravings so intense, you start craving more sugar.
5. Lectins and Chronic Diseases
Breakfast cereals contain lectins. These are a type of plant-based glycoprotein that protects from fungi and insects in plants. Lectins are extremely hard to digest and a diet rich in these compounds can cause digestive problems.
Just like gluten, lectins can cause microscopic damages to the intestines. Consumption of lectins can lead to slow metabolic rate, reduces absorption of nutrients, and a leaky gut. When the intestines are damaged, toxic buildup can enter the bloodstream. This will lead to a reactive immune system. When the immune system becomes reactive, it will attack healthy cells. This can cause a wide range of chronic diseases including severe inflammation, allergies, autoimmune disorder, or irritable bowel syndrome, just to name a few.
Most cereal makers use genetically modified organisms or GMOs to boost crop production. Unfortunately, there is no law that requires cereal makers to reveal whether they use GMOs or not on the health warning label. This means, you are unknowingly eating genetically-engineered ingredients and the government is allowing it. Studies show that GMOs can cause fertility issues, allergies, new ailments with no cure, and nutritional deficiencies.