Cereal often sounds like it’s pretty healthy. Most cereals are made out of some sort of grain. They can be a good source of fiber and essential vitamins. Many claim to be heart healthy and full of protein.
But when you get past all the advertising hype, are you actually left with anything the least bit nutritious?
Is cereal good for you?
The short answer is no. It’s not.
When you really start looking at cereal it’s full of sugar, GMO ingredients, food colorings, and synthetic vitamins. Here are some of the worst offenders:
- Sugar – even the “healthiest” of cereals almost always contain added sugar, fructose, brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup, or dextrose. It’s what makes the cereal taste good, and keeps you hooked, despite all the terrible health effects.
- Fake vitamins – while they may claim to be a good source of all sorts of different nutrients, most of the vitamins in cereal are synthetic, made in a lab, and are less easily absorbed by your body than the natural sort.
- GMOs – from the sugar to the corn to the vegetable oil, almost everything in cereal is made from GMOs, and what isn’t, is far from organic.
- Food coloring – as you might have guessed, Froot Loops aren’t naturally that color. In fact many brands use artificial colours to make their cereal look more enticing with little regard for the known health effects.
- Artificial sweeteners – in a move to market to health conscious consumers, cereals like Special K and Fiber One, have started to offer lower calorie options with less sugar. The problem, however, is that they’ve replaced the sugar with artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium.
Why do people still eat it?
By some estimates over 94% of households in America have some kind of cereal in their cupboards. Over 9 in 10! That’s a lot of people.
So why, in spite of the terrifying list of ingredients, do so many people eat cereal every morning?
The answer is Big Food. Corporations like Quaker and Kellogg’s have convinced us that we need cereal. We all have very busy lives and need something quick and easy in the morning. Cereal has filled that need and promised that it’s delivering all the nutrients you need to get through the day.
But they haven’t delivered on that promise at all. Instead they’ve set people on a path towards obesity, blood sugar spikes, and uncontrollable cravings. Many people are hooked on eating cereal in the morning. They crave the sugar and Big Food tells them it’s exactly what they need.
A better breakfast alternative
Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. There are plenty of good alternatives to cereal that are just as quick and easy, but without all the terrible additives.
You’d be better off grabbing a piece of fruit, like an apple or banana, and pairing it with a protein, like almond butter. Smoothies are a great option or real oatmeal. There’s no reason why you need to continue to eat cereal in the morning.
It’s time to wake up and throw away the cereal.