You have surely had Corn Flakes for breakfast. I can say this because I know that corn flakes are one of the most consumed cereals. It has almost become synonymous with the word “cereal”, and rightly so due to its availability and convenience. Who doesn’t like the comfort of a bowl of cornflakes on a hurried morning?
But convenience aside, the world’s most popular cereal has a lot to hide…
First off, what is it made of? Corn for sure! The label reads: roasted flakes of corn (maize), sugar, malt flavouring and high fructose corn syrup. High Fructose Corn Syrup – that’s one killer (literally) ingredient you do not want to start your mornings with! It is a sweetener made from corn starch and is one ingredient that has absolutely NO nutritional value. It is only there to sweeten the already processed corn.
How do you think Corn flakes are made? No, it’s not the corn that is roasted or popped. Corn is turned into a paste, lots of sugar and other additives go in and it then undergoes high processing to get that uniform shape and size. Poof, there goes your fiber! So all you ate this morning was flakes of corn (maize), sugar, malt flavouring and high fructose corn syrup!!
Is it filling??? God, no! Read the nutrition chart. One serving of 30g of flakes has to be combined with 100g of milk to get a decent breakfast serving. Oh yeah and, don’t forget to add that fruit, or else you are going to be hungry in half an hour.
Now that’s an appealing bowl of cereal!
What does this mean? Are corn flakes good for you at all?
Not at all!You just tend to feel a burst of energy from the high sugar content but in reality you are just consuming very few meaningful nutrients.
But I love the convenience of a quick, no effort breakfast and I am addicted!
Sure that’s the power of Sugar; it makes you addicted and you stop thinking about its side effects. But let’s see if there is a way out of it. What was your Grandmother’s quick afternoon snack? Or her breakfast in jiffy?
She might have loved to eat rice puffs; rice that was manually puffed and roasted, or she would use some other grain like Ragi or Jowar and add milk and Jaggery to it. Grandmas know best! So don’t you think there’s something as healthy and handy that we can eat instead?
Don’t just tell me that it’s bad, give me a solution!
Sure thing! Let us take some inspiration from our grandparents’ eating habits, shall we? Let us look for whole grain cereal made of indigenous ingredients that you recognize. See how the cereal is made, by popping, puffing or extruding? Look for whole grain alternatives.
Fiber is important. Choosing a high-fiber cereal with at least 4 grams of fiber per serving keeps the digestive system and gut healthy. It also keeps you full for a longer period of time.
Most importantly, look for cereal with No Added Sugar or low-sugar cereal. Iron and Protein are important micronutrients to have with your morning meal. Check if the cereal has ingredients that are rich in these.
What you eat on an empty stomach matters most. This is what my grandparents used to say! So if we make it a point to eat something nourishing yet quick, think of how much more energized our day could be.
Sadly, Corn Flakes still remains one of the most popular cereals but the time has come to re-imagine breakfast and look beyond corn flakes. We’re slowly but surely getting there. Are you in?