Choose Wisely #18- Cereal Choices
Most nutritionists agree that breakfast is important. In a 2005 study, women who didn’t eat breakfast took in an average 100 calories per day which equals out to about 10 pounds per year. They also had a 10% increase in insulin, 9% increase in cholesterol and 17% increase in LDL (bad Cholesterol).
Although cold cereal is not one of my regular breakfast foods, I do recognize sometimes we just need to eat it due to convenience or just because kids love it! I buy cereal, but mostly I find myself serving it to my grandkids or cooking/baking with it. Cereal is also very handy to have when traveling. It makes for a nice crunchy snack and fun to throw on a boring salad.
I personally think we should “think outside the cereal box” to find a breakfast of champions. There are so many healthy choices for this very important meal of the day! If time is an issue, here is a recipe I make the night before and then it’s ready in the morning. http://miracleskinnydrops.com/2011/05/overnight-apple-cinnamon-oats/
If you really want boxed cereal, here is a list of “Carol Approved” cereals. Be careful and always check ingredient lists. For example, Kashi is on my list of recommended cereals, however, only the 7 Grain Puffed Rice. All other Kashi cereals have some type of sweetener or oil in them, so I don’t recommend any others.
These have the best ingredient listing and they taste good. I was concerned they would taste like cardboard, but I quickly found out they didn’t! I occasionally add fresh organic berries on mine, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc., and I also sprinkle on extra milled flaxseed to up the nutty flavors.
Do Not Choose These
I am appalled at myself for giving my sweet babies Cheerios or Kix when they were so little. Kix should not be “mother approved”! If only I had knows about the evils of sugar and had the knowledge to find a better cereal choice. About 5 years ago, when I put on extra weight, I decided I needed to make more healthy choices. So, for months I ate Raisin Bran every morning for breakfast. I also followed with what I thought was a healthy diet throughout the day. I just couldn’t figure out why the weight kept creeping on me. Only later did I realize that the very food I thought was healthy and would help me lose weight, did just the opposite.
Even though the package states it is nutritious, most of the boxes of cereal you find on the shelf are processed to some extent, and contain sugars or unhealthy oils. When we eat cereal (or other packaged foods for that matter) our bodies are not able to absorb the nutrients because of the preservatives. Additives impede digestion, therefore, the nutrients will not be fully extracted from the food and cannot be absorbed and utilized by our body. When we put something foreign in our body it does not know what to do with it, so it is not absorbed or utilized and it is sent to the liver where it just sits. Adding toxins to our liver will make us gain weight and feel sluggish, along with many other “side effects”.
How can our bodies absorb the vitamins and minerals that a box of cereal claims it has with all that junk in it? Refined sugar, rancid oils, artificial flavors, artificial colors, etc cause havoc in our bodies. These additives obstruct the performance of a vitamin or a mineral in our bodies so we need to avoid them as much as possible.
A few recipes where I use cereal:
Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen cut broccoli cooked according to directions on package.
1 large egg
1 c. safflower mayonnaise
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 c. Greek yogurt
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 – 3/4 c. crushed Uncle Sam cereal
2-3 Tbsp. melted butter
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
Place cooked broccoli in 9 x 13 pan. In large bowl, beat egg and then add mayonnaise, onion, mushrooms, yogurt chicken and cheese. Mix well and add to broccoli. Melt butter and add cereal crumbs and then sprinkle on top. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.
I sometimes crush Uncle Sam cereal and mix with melted butter for this recipe.