Are Corn Flakes healthy or fattening?
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Are Corn Flakes healthy or fattening?

Corn flakes have successfully managed to take the top position in most household’s breakfast menu. Adding cereal to your diet is essential and healthy. But do you know that all kinds of cereals are not healthy for you. The base ingredient in corn flakes is corn, but along with that the other major ingredients include sugar, malt flavoring, and high fructose corn syrup which actually overshadow the health benefits of this popular breakfast cereal.

Here, we will try to find out whether corn flakes are really healthy for you or just making you fat.

Are corn flakes good for you?

All the ingredients in corn flakes have a high content of Glycemic Index. In fact, there is a huge controversy linked to the excessive use of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in food- which has been linked to obesity. It also promotes excessive food consumption and insulin resistance in the body. As Indians, we already have the ‘belly gene’, and are prone to diabetes. So consumption of high GI carbohydrates only increases that risk. To be surer on whether corn flakes are really healthy or not, let’s go through their nutritional analysis.

Calories and Nutrition in Corn Flakes

Quantity Carbohydrates Sugar Protein Fiber Calories
1 cup (25gms) 21.7gms 3gms 1.7gms Low 95

The low protein content in corn flakes will not keep you full for a longer period. They might be low in fat but their high sugar content actually 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.

Are corn flakes fattening?

Corn flakes contain sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup so if you eat them in large quantity they will be detrimental for your health. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that belongs to a class of chemically-related sweet-flavored substances. It comes in many different forms. The three main types of sugar are sucrose, lactose, and fructose. 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.

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, however, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for a reduction of daily sugar intake to 5% of total daily calories in order to tackle public health problems, such as obesity and tooth decay.

Many people add sugar or honey to their corn flakes along with milk to add flavor. This only increases the sugar content of the food product, putting you at a higher risk of gaining weight.

Can Corn Flakes promote diabetes?

The glycemic index of corn flakes is very high i.e. 82. Studies have shown that foods with high glycemic index increase the chances of diabetes.

Foods that are low in fat and fiber come into the category of low glycemic index. Whereas, processed foods with more sugar content comes under the category of high glycemic food. Unfortunately corn flakes fall under the latter category.

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.

Studies have shown that the postprandial rise in glucose is consistent with depression of serum antioxidants including lycopene and vitamin E. Higher the glycemic, greater the postprandial depression of serum antioxidants. Also, it can lead to health problems related to cardiovascular diseases.

Therefore, it can be concluded 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 Cornflakes

If 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, and add a dose of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants with fruits like berries, apples or bananas. Add some nuts for protein, healthy fats and fiber. Protein rich foods are known to increase insulin secretion and your blood sugar will be normal.

Similarly, adding fat to a carbohydrate meal in the form of nuts also enhances insulin secretion. Thus the insulin response to a carbohydrate food varies with the amount of fat, protein or both.

This way you can enjoy a delicious breakfast cereal without making any compromise on your health.

- Articles, data, text, image or video content posted on this site is checked by the Fitho team of nutritionists & fitness experts, or by research/studies, and opinions are based on our wide experience in helping thousands of people get fit, lose weight & manage their health.
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