Articles on breakfast cereals

Are You Eating the Right Breakfast?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Amidst our growing consciousness for good health we find ourselves grappling for better and fitter options for our daily meals, of which, breakfast is the easiest and possibly the most effective.Breakfast cereals have emerged as a popular item for the first meal of the day because they are easier to prepare and promise significant health benefits.So, let’s talk about the healthiest breakfast option available to us – muesli. In its basic preparation muesli is quite healthy. After all it is all about whole oats, wheat flakes, dried fruits and nuts. However, added sugar and preservatives turn the whole deal sour by making it fattening and unhealthy.Good news is that there are plenty of “no added sugar” options in the market. The oats and wheat flakes provide dietary fibre, which helps in fighting bad cholesterol and digestion problems. The recommended daily roughage intake is between 25 g to 38 g, of which, 100 g of muesli covers about 2.9 g to 6.9 g (depending upon the type and brand).Muesli is an energy-dense food. Half a cup of muesli contains around 750 kJ of energy, which practically chases away any specs of drowsiness after waking up. One noteworthy point is that unneeded energy gets converted into fat. So, be careful about your carbohydrate intake.In short, the health benefits of a bowl of muesli with added milk, fruits and seeds/nuts is a dish full of fibre, vitamins, protein, omega 3 and minerals!Just try to avoid buying the packs with excess dried sweet fruits because they add to the calorie content heavily. Instead, add fresh fruits and seeds/nuts like apple, banana, strawberries, pear, almonds, walnuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed etc. and restrict your portions. Do not have more than half a cup per serving. Just because muesli is such a healthy meal, some people prepare it at home to avoid risking intake of unwanted unhealthy additives of the packaged one. It is fairly simple to prepare and you can add exactly what you want to your muesli.A footnote on the importance of breakfast:Skipping breakfast is the most common mistake people make while trying to lose weight. Skipping breakfast often slows metabolism over a period of time because the body gets used to fewer calories. So anytime you add it back to your routine it gets added to your system as extra calories (especially since the body is not used to it), lending evidence to the notion that breakfast makes one fat.Just remember that you can substitute milk with yogurt, fruit juice, or even just plain water, in case it starts getting boring. All these ingredients have multiple health benefits and promote weight loss by nourishing the body and regulating metabolism.

Breakfast Cereals: How Healthy Are They

Dr. Rekha Gupta, Dietitian/Nutritionist
We are always in hurry to reach our work or school in the morning, Cold cereals come handy and easy to have for breakfast. We believe that these cereals are healthy and have all the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and proteins we require to maintain a good health.But are these cereals really as healthy as we think them to be or are claimed to be?I am trying to look in detail into these breakfast cereals and their effect on our health.What Is Breakfast Cereal?Breakfast cereal is made from processed grain. It is often eaten with milk, yogurt, fruit or nuts.Breakfast cereal is often fortified with vitamins and minerals. This means that nutrients are added to make it more nutritious .Here’s how breakfast cereals are typically made:Processing: The grains are usually processed into fine flour and cooked.Mixing: The flour is then mixed with ingredients like sugar, chocolate and water.Extrusion: Many breakfast cereals are produced via extrusion. This is a high-temperature process that uses a machine to shape the cereal.Drying: Next, the cereal is dried.Shaping: Finally, the cereal is shaped into forms, such as balls, stars, loops or rectangles.Breakfast cereals may also be puffed, flaked or shredded. The cereal may also be coated in chocolate or frosting before it is dried.When we look at the labels we often see refined grains and sugars. Actually these are misleading as they have very small quantity of whole grains in them which cannot negate the effect of unhealthy ingredients in them.But the problem is that people believe that they are very healthy because of lack of knowledge. If you try cornflakes in milk it tastes sweet without adding the sugar why because it is already loaded with refined sugars.Keep in mind that truly healthy foods don’t even need health claims.Children are the target for selling these cerealsThe manufacturers of these cereals generally target the children with different colors , cartoon shapes and flavours. The children associate cereal time as a fun and entertainment time. These are leading to child obesity which is a big problem these days.If you have to buy breakfast cereals anyhow then keep these points while purchasing themIf you really must eat cereal for breakfast, then there are some tips to help you select a healthier (or “less unhealthy”) breakfast cereal.See the Sugar content: Choose a breakfast cereal that contains less than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Read the food label to find out how much sugar the product contains. It should have High Fiber: Breakfast cereals that contain at least 3 grams of fiber per serving are optimal. Eating enough fiber can have numerous benefits for health (14).Pay Attention To PortionsBreakfast cereals tend to be crunchy and tasty, and it can be very easy to consume large amounts of calories. Measure how much you are eating and use the serving size information on the packaging for guidance.Read the Ingredients ListIgnore the health claims on the front of the box, and make sure to check the ingredients list. The first two or three ingredients are the most important, as the product contains the most of these.If sugar is listed several times under different names, even if it is not in the first three spots, then the product is probably very high in sugar.Add Some ProteinProtein is the most filling macronutrient. It increases fullness and reduces appetite.A tablespoon of nuts, seeds or some Greek yogurt are good choices for extra protein.Eat Breakfast for sure , But Choose Unprocessed OptionsIf you are hungry in the morning, you should eat breakfast. However, it is best to choose whole, single-ingredient foods.Here are a few great choices:Oatmeal with raisins and nuts.Greek yogurt with nuts and sliced fruit.Scrambled eggs with vegetables.Wheat daliya with milk or vegetablesVegetable oatsSprouts with vegetables etcWhole eggs are an excellent breakfast choice. They are high in protein and healthy fats, as well as loaded with nutrients They keep you full for a long time, and may also be a good choice for people who want to lose weight.Do eat breakfast . Have eggs or high protein options. They keep you full and help you to reduce weight.Take home messageBreakfast cereals are highly processed. They contain loads of added sugar and refined carbs. They are also often marketed with highly misleading labels.If you must eat breakfast cereal, make sure to read the ingredients list and be wary of front label health claims. Choose cereals that are high in fiber and low in sugar.However, there are many healthier breakfast options to choose from. Start with whole, single-ingredient foods. Eggs are a great choice.Preparing a healthy breakfast from whole foods doesn’t have to take a long time, either — you only need 5–10 more minutes in the morning.Just wake up a little earlier, and take the time to start your day with a nutritious meal.Stay healthy and blessed!!!

Are Corn Flakes Healthy or Fattening?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
When people think of a healthy breakfast cereal, they often think of cornflakes and milk. Breakfast is good for you but what is odd is the association of cornflakes with health. Cornflakes are not exactly a health food, and we will show you why.The base ingredient of cornflakes is corn. Sugar, malt flavouring, and high fructose corn syrup are the other major ingredients of corn flakes, and most of them have a high content of Glycemic Index. As Indians, we already have the ‘belly gene’, and are prone to diabetes. So consumption of high GI carbohydrates only increases that risk. To ensure whether corn flakes are really healthy or not, let’s go through their nutritional analysis.Calories and Nutrition in Corn FlakesQuantity CarbohydratesSugarProteinFibreCalories1 cup (25 gm)21.7 gm3 gm1.7 gmLow95The low protein content in corn flakes will not keep you full for a longer period. They might be low in fat but the sugar content promotes fat storage. Some breakfast cereal advertisements might show that corn flakes help you lose weight, but they only expect you to eat limited quantity of corn flakes for all your meals.Can Cornflakes Make You Gain Weight?Corn flakes contain sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup. This kind of sugar is basically a simple carbohydrate that belongs to a class of chemically-related sweet-flavoured substances. Many people add sugar or honey to their corn flakes along with milk to add flavour. This only increases the sugar content of the cereal, putting you at a higher risk of gaining weight.Even though our cells need sugar (glucose) to survive, consuming too much of it can cause numerous health problems. Added sugar contains no beneficial nutrients and excess consumption only contributes to tooth decay, diabetes, and obesity.Scientifically Speaking: The American Heart Association (AHA) have said that added sugars “contribute zero nutrients” and are just empty calories “that can lead to extra kilos, or even obesity, thereby reducing heart health.”In early 2014, the World Health Organisation (WHO) called for a reduction in daily sugar intake to 5% of total daily calories in order to tackle public health problems, such as obesity and tooth decay.Can Corn Flakes Promote Diabetes?Processed foods with more sugar content come under the category of high glycemic food, thus increasing the chances of diabetes. Unfortunately, the glycemic index of corn flakes is very high i.e. 82.High glycemic index form of carbohydrate present in corn flakes produces high concentrations of blood glucose levels. This increases insulin demand and contributes to the high risk of type 2 diabetes.Therefore, it won’t be inappropriate to say that corn flakes are not healthy. They can aggravate many health problems like diabetes, heart problem and most lifestyle diseases that are linked to obesity.Healthy Alternatives for CornflakesIf you really enjoy your breakfast cereal then we recommend you to switch to wheat flakes or oatmeal. You can improve the nutrient quality of your breakfast cereal with some low fat milk. Add a dose of vitamins, fibre and antioxidants with fruits like berries, apples or bananas. Protein rich foods are known to increase insulin secretion and your blood sugar will be normal. So, add some nuts for protein, healthy fats and fibre.This way you can enjoy a delicious breakfast cereal without making any compromise on your health.

5 Healthy Breakfast Ideas to Kick Start Your Morning!

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Skipping of breakfast can make you feel grumpy and frustrated throughout the day. Taking out 15 minutes in the morning for something healthy and filling, can improve your energy and fitness level.Read to know more about low calorie breakfast options.For most of us, healthy breakfast comprised of 3 components.Whole grain carbohydrateServing of a dairyServing of fruit.Hence to help you get there, here are some tips of making sure your breakfast is quick and healthy.Healthy breakfast ideas 1.Oatmeal breakfast bowlDaily consumption of a bowl of oatmeal can lower blood cholesterol, because of its soluble fibre content.You can make it more healthier by adding almonds and fruit in a bowl of milk plus oats porridge.100gms of oatmeal contain 68 calories, 1.7 gram fiber.2. Eggs on ToastEggs are the best source of protein which is why they keep you in high energy for long time.They can be included in breakfast in the form of poached egg, boiled egg, omelette and scrambled egg with multigrain toast.One egg has only 75 calories which includes 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids.Get to know more about benefits of eating eggs.3. Blend a healthy Fruit smoothieIt is a thick blended drink made with raw fruits.Less in calories, packed with fiber, antioxidants and minerals.It helps to boost immunity and gives you satiety.1 serving (245g) of fruit smoothie contains 90 caloriesGet some interesting information on hidden calories in Smoothie.4. Yogurt, Cereal and NutsMuesli is a breakfast dish based on raw rolled oats and other ingredients including grains, fresh or dried fruits, seeds and nuts.You can easily mix it with yogurt to make a healthy breakfast.It is high in fiber and whole grains, which regulates the digestive system, is filling and can aid in weight control.Muesli is a potent source of antioxidants.The addition of nuts provides a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.5. Besan chilla/Chickpea flour pancakesMade from gram flour this dish is usually eaten in combination with curd.It is an instant, nutritious, low calorie, protein rich recipe ideal for breakfast time.It is low in calories and is also a good vegetarian protein source.You can throw some seasonal vegetables like carrots, spinach, beetroot for added nutrition.1 serving contains 143 calories. Well! these are the most easy to implement breakfast options in daily routine. So what are you waiting for. Let’s stop skipping the most important meal of the day with the help of all of the above healthy Indian breakfast ideas.Do it and feel the change yourself!

Healthy Breakfast for Good Health

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
In a way, breakfast is "breaking the fast" because after sleeping for eight hours and being without food during the night, our brain and muscles need energy and fuel to kick-start the body functions. The glucose in food (as well as the vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and protein) is how we get this energy. With this rush of nutrients and glucose to our brains, we are better able to concentrate, focus, are productive, and in better spirits. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it give you energy to start a new day, but breakfast is linked to many health benefits, including weight control and improved performance. A healthy breakfast can also increase endurance and strength, especially if you have a very active job or if you plan on going to the gym after breakfast. A well-balanced breakfast will also increase mental alertness and concentration. Healthy carbohydrates are essential for this, since they provide the glucose that fuels your brain.Make the choice for health! Here is the list of healthy breakfast ideas that will get you going all day long.Oatmeal: Oats are considered as one of the most nutritionally balanced and healthy breakfast option. Use oats and skimmed milk to make your perfect breakfast, add some fruits if you want. This is a great way to start the day as oats have a low GI (Glycaemic Index) so they do not raise the blood glucose level very quickly, which is good as it can help stabilize the appetite.Upma: Upma is also a good option for a healthy breakfast. Upma is a great combination of semolina (suji) & green vegetables, which give you a nutrient-rich meal full of vitamins that will warm and fill you up. This light breakfast is very healthy and will give you the energy you need, just make sure to go easy on the salt and oil and incorporate plenty of vegetables for a balanced breakfast.Fresh fruit: Breakfast is not all about oats and bread & butter. Fresh fruit in the morning can also be a great & healthy way to start the day, as they are easy to digest and are an efficient source of raw energy for the day. If the water-based fruits are not filling enough, go with bananas. Besides, you can always cut the fruit up and add it to your other favorite breakfasts.Stuffed Parantha: Stuff Parantha could also be a healthy breakfast option. It's also a nutritious and filling breakfast. You can add green vegetables like methi, spinach, cauliflower or also you can stuff with low fat cottage cheese. Make sure you cook on a non-stick pan with minimum oil. This is not only a delicious option but it's also full of nutrition and keeps you full for a longer time.Smoothie: If you really can’t face breakfast try to have a smoothie instead. Just blend some fruits such as berries, apples and bananas with some milk. All those antioxidant vitamins in the fruit will help boost your immunity, apart from giving you a tasty blend of filling beverage.Eggs- Scrambled eggs in the breakfast is considered as a healthy breakfast. Poaching or scrambling eggs with a little milk is a good way to incorporate them into your diet — they provide valuable protein. Scrambled egg on brown bread toast is a much better choice over a fried egg sandwich, especially if you add chillies and tomato.Vegetables Sandwich: Vegetables can be a perfect source for all significant fiber and vitamins required by the body. Spinach, carrots, beetroots and other vegetables of your choice can be used to make a healthy sandwich.There are foods which we have only as a part of our healthy breakfast like cereals, fruits and milk. If you bypass your breakfast you might never get those nutrients. If you have been skipping breakfast and are in bad mood, you probably should know why. Not having breakfast makes you grouchy. So make each day a great day by starting your day with a sumptuous & healthy breakfast.

Health Benefits of Eating Sorghum

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Sorghum is the nutritious cereal which makes healthy diet. It is cooked as porridge for breakfast or along with other dishes. It is rich in vitamin and minerals and has many health benefits. It is gluten free and contains lot of dietary fiber helpful in digestion and making you feel fuller. Read to know about importance of fiber.Nutrition of SorghumSorghum is rich in potassium and phosphorus. It has good amount of calcium with small amounts of iron and sodium. Sorghum has good amount of thiamine and niacin with small amounts of riboflavin. Eating 100 gm of sorghum give 339 calories. The protein and starch in grain sorghum are more slowly digested than other cereals, and slower rates of digestibility are particularly beneficial for diabetics.Sorghum starch is gluten-free.Get more information on wonder foods for diabetics.Health Benefits of SorghumSorghum makes a healthy diet since it is gluten-free diet.It is good in treatment of celiac disease and allergy from eating wheat.It keeps bones and teeth healthy giving energy to the body.It also maintains the health of heart, controls diabetes, arthritis and weight of the body.According to whole grains council-considering lot more researchers, they have listed down some health benefits of eating sorghum.1.Sorghum protect against diabetes and insulin resistance.2.Eating this grain inhibit the cancer tumor growth.3. It may help manage cholesterol.4. It is one the safe food for people who are suffering from celiac disease.