The Truth about Breakfast Cereals & Their Health Effects: Good or Bad?

Reaching for a balanced and quality breakfast in the morning is essential to stay in good health and remain energized throughout the day.

In a 2018 study, it was found that the quality of breakfast is so vital that it’s worse for people to reach for an unhealthy breakfast than to miss it. 

When discussing unhealthy breakfast choices, cereal may be one of the dangerous options. Though it’s a common breakfast option, it turns out it’s worse than we think. 

If you often choose cereals for breakfast, keep reading to learn why it may not be the best option for you!

Cereals for Breakfast: Is This a Bad Choice for You?

Cereal is undoubtedly tasty; however, it may be one of the worst breakfast options. Not only does it contain lots of added sugar, but it’s also lower in important nutrients that are essential for a balanced morning meal. 

Breakfast choices such as muffins, cereals, and bagels may hurt a person’s blood sugar and insulin levels. The insulin easily sends all of the sugar into the fat cells where it’s stored for energy or what we know as body fat. 

One of the worst things about cereals is their added sugar content. Believe it or not, in a 60-gram serving of Frosted Mini-Wheats, you’re consuming around 51 grams of carbohydrates and 12 grams of added sugar.

In a ¾ cup serving of Honey Nut Cheerios, you get around 11 grams of carbohydrates and 9 grams of sugar. At first glance, these numbers may not seem dangerous, but you do need to consider the sugar in the milk you plan to eat them with and also how easy it is to exceed the serving size of ¾ cup. 

Added sugar is associated with weight gain, a higher risk of diabetes, higher blood pressure, etc. The large amount of sugar in the morning can also have negative long-lasting effects throughout the day. 

In a review published in the Journal of Physiology about the connections between brain health and sugar-rich diets, it was found that consuming higher amounts of sugar and lower amounts of healthy fats may lead to a reduction in cognitive function.

Cereals Can Leave You Hungry 

Even though eating foods like pancakes, pastries, and sugary cereals is a tasty way to begin your morning, the processed carbohydrates with added sugar will end up making you feel hungrier throughout the day and craving more sugary carbs. 

When you consume foods high in added sugar and refined carbs, the body stores them as fat at a quick rate, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. 

These meals don’t just cause weight gain, but also more lethargy and increase hunger and cravings.

Healthier Option Than Cereals for Breakfast?

There are various ways to enjoy the things you love about cereals without having to deal with the side effects. 

If you want to keep consuming your favorite combo of cereals and milk in the morning, opt for the healthier variants which are lower in added sugar and rich in protein and fiber.

If you like cereals because it’s a sweet and easy-to-make breakfast, you could opt for greek yogurt and a bit of cereal or granola with a fruit on top. 

In this way, you’re increasing the protein and adding to the crunchiness of the cereals. You will eat less of it as it’s only a topping and not the entire meal.

Another awesome choice for people in search of an easy and sweeter breakfast is oatmeal. It’s rich in protein and fiber and you can combine it with numerous topping options.