Breakfast Should Not Look Like a Dessert
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But if we are in a hurry or don’t feel like preparing this meal and cleaning up afterward, we may reach for cereal, protein or fiber breakfast bars or other easy-to-prepare, easy-to-eat foods instead. Many cereals on the market today have high amounts of sugar, which is a main contributor to obesity, diabetes and heart disease—specifically, added sugars, not those found naturally in fruits or whole unprocessed foods. Also, when whole, dried fruits are added, they do raise the number of sugar grams.
Our bodies simply don’t handle sugar well. In fact, sugar affects us like a drug that’s addictive. It can even make us sick. According to the Yale Health Newsletter, a child should be limited to three or four teaspoons of added sugar a day, and an adult to five teaspoons a day. However, many people are taking in as many as 22 to 34 teaspoons of sugar a day. (Note: Four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon.)
Here’s a key problem with any amounts of added sugar. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, one teaspoon of added sugar can inhibit the immune system for up to five hours. If we feed our children a sugary breakfast and then send them off to school, their immune systems can weaken well shortly after they arrive in class.
We should be purchasing only the highest-quality cereals with the fewest number of additives. Sometimes decisions may center on budget or time constraints, but we can still make the best choice possible. When reading ingredient lists, look at how big a serving the packaging shows related to the amounts being analyzed.
Select the brand that has the least amount of sugar and the most whole, sprouted grains that are (preferably) non-gluten and non-GMO. Cut out as much added sugar from all meals when possible and the family’s health will really benefit from that choice.
|Nancy Addison CHC, AADP, is the author of Raising Healthy Children, How To Be A Healthy Vegetarian, Lose Weight, Get Healthy & Never Be On A Diet Again! Contact her at 214-202-9243 or OrganicHealthyLifestyle.com.