The moment the urge kicks in to start a healthy diet, out comes the box of breakfast cereals. While they promise a whole lot of nutrients – fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc., most manufacturers don’t quite paint the true picture. Ask yourself, what really is a box of cereals? Yes, they are nothing but processed foods, and we all know that processed foods don’t come without health hazards if consumed regularly. The truth is that we live in a world full of chemicals, and processed foods come with hidden additives that are far from being healthy.
The cereal boxes we pick from supermarket stores high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Regular consumption can lead to severe health issues in the future such as Type 2 diabetes mellitus, heart disease and even cancer. Artificial processing of cereals by frosting with sugar or chocolate-coating, leads to over-consumption of sugar than the recommended dietary allowance.
So when you believe the advertisements and think you are eating healthy, you may be consuming more sugar than you normally would. We may keep a watch on our sugar intake but the truth is that we often forget that we consume large amounts of sugar when we are indulging in processed foods. Processed food is essentially any food that has been modified from its normal state, mainly for convenience to the consumer. That is why these are also called ‘convenience foods.’
Young children are becoming obese today, which indicates that the problem of over-consumption is very real, especially among the well-to-do in India. The manufacturers are producing breakfast cereals as per the consumer’s preference, but at the cost of their health. Then there is also the issue of misleading cereal boxes labels. The cereal package often highlights the presence of ‘whole grains,’ but on further scrutiny, these are usually in low amounts compared to other unhealthy components.
If you want to eat and live healthy, start paying a little attention to your food. Don’t fall for marketing gimmicks, instead read the labels of the products that you pick up from the stores, looking out for added sugars, trans fats, artificial preservatives, etc. Or better still, resort to home cooked meals where you are fully aware of what it contains and its fresh!