‘Don’t skip your breakfast, it is the most important meal of the day’ is a popular and well-known advice. A healthy breakfast provides you with the necessary fuel to kickstart the day and keeps your brain functioning well. However, our busy lifestyle makes eating an elaborate healthy breakfast seem impossible. Instead, we resort to quick fixes like breakfast cereals.
Breakfast cereals have gained popularity owing to their convenience and health benefits. But, are breakfast cereals really healthy? While they are typically made from whole grains or processed grains and marketed as healthy, they are often misleading. One look at the ingredients and you will see some cereals are sugar-laden, while others have refined grains, food dyes, flavorings, sweeteners, and other processed ingredients to make the cereal more appealing.
Cereals can be one of the healthiest foods to eat for breakfast if chosen wisely. With an aisle full of options, here are some tips to help you choose a healthy cereal for your next breakfast.
Choose a cereal without refined sugar.
The prime reason for cereals to be unhealthy is the presence of refined sugar. Refined sugars are added to improve the taste profile but provide empty calories. They are also known to increase obesity, and blood sugar spikes and can have.
Choose high-fiber cereals.
A high-fiber cereal sets the tone for the day as it keeps you feeling full for longer, reduces spikes in blood sugar levels, and eliminates unhealthy snacking. Choose cereals that are made with whole grains like millets and oats instead of refined, processed grains like Maida, corn flour or corn starch.
Choose cereals with natural ingredients.
Always read the ingredients on the back of the pack. Many cereals that claim to be healthy contain food colourings, preservatives, artificial flavours, additives, and even artificial sweeteners. Breakfast cereals should be simple and nutritious, and not chemical-laden.
Choose cereals with 60% or more of whole grains.
Do not fall into the trap of misleading claims. Some cereals position themselves as healthy but barely even have 50% of whole grains. When you pick a cereal box, whole grains should always be the first ingredient. Look out for the amount as well. Cereals having 60% or more whole grains are healthier.
Choose cereals with a good protein amount.