How well do you know your cereal?

How well do you know your cereal?

How well do you know your cereal?

Did you know that ready-to-eat cereal is a popular breakfast food in many countries? No wonder! Breakfast cereal is quick-to-prepare, nourishing and tastes great. Eating cereals as part of a balanced breakfast provides energy, much-needed nutrients and may help with weight management and other health benefits too.

Despite its many benefits, breakfast cereal is often misunderstood. Let's see how well you know your cereal:

1. Breakfast cereal is heavily-processed.

Making breakfast cereal is a simple process that starts with wholesome grains like wheat, rice, corn, barley, and oats. For example, sun-ripened golden corn is cooked, lightly flattened and toasted. The end result is your favourite cereal that helps you to start your day with energy and key nutrients that you would otherwise miss if you skip or skimp breakfast.

2. Breakfast cereals are "less nutritious" than other breakfast choices.

Cereals rank as one of the most popular breakfast options available. Research reviews have shown that regular breakfast cereal eaters have a lower intake of fat and cholesterol, enhanced micronutrient intake, higher milk intake, lower serum cholesterol concentrations and overall improved nutritional status. Cereals are made from grains that are typically low in fat, naturally cholesterol-free and provide protein and fibre. They are also fortified with key vitamins and minerals essential for good health.

3. Breakfast cereal eaters have been found to have higher BMI and are hence obese.

It is true that regular breakfast cereal eaters have been found to have lower BMI. However, research suggests that ready-to-eat cereal consumers were less likely to be overweight, obese or have abdominal obesity in relation to those eating other types of breakfast. Eating cereal may help promote healthy weight in adults and kids.

4. Most cereals are "high" in carbohydrates and that is not good for health.

Food guides and health authorities around the world recommend whole grains, fibre, fruits, and vegetables, in particular, are an important foundation for a healthy diet. Carbohydrates break down in the body to provide glucose, which is the preferred fuel for the brain and body. Carbohydrates provide energy when consumed for breakfast when the body is starting the day after having fasted for 10-12 hours. Indian diets are cereal based and 60-70% of the calories are provided from carbohydrates.

Did you know fibre is a type of carbohydrate? Fibre is complex carbohydrate that offers many health benefits. Research studies have shown that majority of people don't get enough fibre and hence are unable to meet their daily fibre requirements. Many of the leading breakfast cereals available in the market are high in fibre or at least a source of fibre. It is important to see the packaging information for the same.

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