Why you should avoid the CEREAL aisle ….

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I want to give you simple info today on one of the biggest culprits that might be causing you to gain weight without you realising it!

New year often brings with it a glut of ‘news’ on healthy eating.  Last week, major media sources focused on the ridiculously high level of sugar in kids breakfast cereals.

It’s not news that they contain lots of sugar – they always have.  Back in 2009, independent, non-profit consumer group ‘Which’ published  ‘Going Against the Grain’, a report on the ‘nutritional’ content of 100 leading breakfast cereals.  As you can imagine, the findings were horrifying, especially when you consider that many of the cereals analysed were aimed at children.

I wouldn’t give my worse enemy Cereal – let alone a child!!!

Average bowl of cereal contains 3 cubes of sugar

An average bowl of breakfast cereal now contains the equivalent of around 3 cubes of sugar, so swapping this for a healthier choice is a simple way to significantly cut kids’ overall intake.  This is especially important when you consider that around a quarter of 5 year olds have tooth decay, and nearly a fifth of children are already obese by the time they leave primary school.  Results of the latest National Diet & Nutrition Survey also shows that most children are now eating more than double the recommended daily intake of sugar.

Latest National Diet & Nutrition Survey Results

 • Most children are now eating way over double the recommended daily sugar intake.

 • Although sugar intake in kids is still way too high, the study found a small reduction in the consumption of sugary drinks among 4 to 10 year olds.

 • Sugar makes up 13% of children’s total daily diet and 15% of a teenager’s daily calorie intake – far more than the recommended 5%.

 • Adults consume way too much sugar too – about 12% of their daily intake comes from sugar.

 • These figures have remained approximately the same since 2008

 • The longer term impact of higher levels of overweight and obesity include higher risks of adults developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

Want to support your health? Avoid breakfast cereal

If you want to support your own and your children’s health, most mainstream breakfast cereals are generally best avoided.

There are a few out there that contain less or no sugar at all but you don’t usually find these at the supermarket.

The best thing you can pick up in the cereals aisle is a bag of plain or gluten free porridge oats.

So what is a healthy breakfast?

I know personally for me- if I start the day with bad choices for breakfast this resonates for the rest of the day, I make poor choices for meals, I lack energy, feel irritated and tired!

So here’s some top tips to keep you on track –

  • You want a high protein, high fat, low carb breakfast – so eggs are brilliant choice
  • Make sure you get your greens in a breakfast time and if you can stomach a plate full of spinach at breakfast then maybe try juicing! I juice spinach, kale, cucumber, 1 apple, half lime, root ginger, 3 heads of broccoli, half a green pepper and have this every morning with my omelette as I’m busy so I prepare this juice the night before so it’s ready for me when I wake up
  • Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a pauper – I love this old saying but it’s how I live my life and it really works for weight loss!
  • avoid cereal and toast at all costs – these high carbohydrate foods are high in sugar and the carbohydrates in them also convert to glucose in the blood and store as fat
  • If you can’t stomach a big breakfast in the morning – spilt it up into two smaller meals and eat them in two sittings – say 7am and then again at 9 or 10am
  • Eating last nights left overs is a great way to set yourself up for the day!!! I love this – it’s quick and easy!
  • Don’t think of it as breakfast – think of it as meal 1!

If you’re used to eating cereal at breakfast it may take some time for your taste buds & your mind set to adjust.

Stick with it though and you’ll soon appreciate a range of other tastes and textures in your breakfast, not just sweet.

You’ll also likely notice more balanced energy and concentration throughout the morning, fewer cravings and find it easier to maintain a balanced weight.

Make one change this year

If you only make one change this year, make it your breakfast; the benefits will soon stack up.  

Have a great week and come and chat to me in class if you need help or advice with your Health & Nutrition.