Are Breakfast Cereals Healthy?
Many middle and upper class Indian families are now trapped with cereals for breakfast. Extensive marketing campaigns and options has convinced us beyond doubt that cereals are good for breakfast. While rest of us are aware that cereals is a processed food but still eat it because its convenient.
Though we keep reading breakfast cereals are for busy people, truth is their marketing campaigns are a success. Though convenience do have a major role to play, we are time and again convinced this food is healthy and tasty.
As any company does to sell their product, cereal companies also does the same. Advertisers highlight Health and nutrition benefits of products. High amount of added sugar and what is a processed food is never told to consumer.
Claims made by the companies are impressive but take it with a pinch of salt. Below is our investigation on cereals and its health benefits.
What Is Breakfast Cereal?
Breakfast Cereal (or just cereal) is a food made from processed grains that is often eaten as the first meal of the day. It is eaten hot or cold, usually mixed with milk, yogurt, or fruit.
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Here's how breakfast cereals are made?
Breakfast cereal is made from refined grain, often by a process called extrusion. It is highly processed, and many ingredients are added.
- Processing: The grains are usually processed into fine flour and cooked.
- Mixing: The flour is then mixed with ingredients like sugar, chocolate and water.
- Extrusion: Many breakfast cereals are produced via extrusion. This is a high-temperature process that uses a machine to shape the cereal.
- Drying: Next, cereals may be froasted or chocolate coated and then they are dried.
- Shaping: Finally, the cereal is shaped into forms, such as balls, stars, loops, rectangles flaked
High in Sugar and Refined Carbs
Added sugar in cereals causes more damage to this food negating all its health benefits. It is true cereals are loaded with vitamins and nutrients but to make it taste good sugar is added in excess quantity.
Sugar gives a instat spike in your blood sugar level making you feel energetic and pumped up but once the sugar level goes down your body need another round of food to maintain the energy level. This results in multiple high carb diet multiple times a day leading to unhealthy food habbits.
Most Indians add additional spoon of sugar to their serving of cereals increasing excessive sugar levels in body.
Misleading Health Benefits - Marketing
Cereals are always marketed as good for your health. Some of their products are advertised as "Whole Grain" but when we check the ingredients they are highly processed. The quantity of "whole grain" present is way less than their sugar levels. Promoting a product as high in protein, brands conveniently skip other important information's.
It is important for consumers to investigate more and find the facts.
Without doubt Cereal manufacturers have cracked the secret of marketing their products to us.
They make the product look great by using bright color and grab kids attention. They also use cartoon characters and use celebrities to advertise their products.
It is business for them, the ownership is on us to read the labels and understand what is good and bad for us and choose what we eat wisely.