Traditionally, when people think of breakfast cereal, they think of corn flakes and milk. Yes, breakfast is good for you. But what is odd, is the association of corn flakes with healthy food. Many people eat corn flakes to lose weight or reduce harmful belly fat.
The base ingredient in corn flakes is corn, but along with that the other major ingredient are sugar, malt flavouring, and high fructose corn syrup. All these ingredients have a high content of GI carbohydrates. In fact, there is a huge controversy linked to the excessive use of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in food- it has been linked to obesity, since it 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.
Apart from the adverse health effects of HFCS, corn flakes has a high content of GI carbohydrates, which also promotes fat storage in your body. Besides the fat storage, high GI carbohydrates increase your blood sugar drastically. This high blood sugar level promotes fat storage in the body. This is the ‘sugar rush’ or ‘energy rush’ that you experience after eating sweets. Your brain’s job in the body is to balance all processes. So to counteract this increased blood sugar level, your body over produces Insulin. (Insulin is a hormone which regulates blood sugar levels. For more, know more about Insulin). With extra insulin in your system, your blood sugar level reduces drastically. Your brain assumes this low blood sugar is a signal of less energy, which is why you experience laziness post a carbohydrate heavy meal (rice, white bread, etc). Your brain also signals you to eat despite being full, since it misinterprets these low sugar levels for lack of energy in the body.
Calories and Nutrition in Corn Flakes: Each cup of corn flakes (approx 25 grams) contains, 21.7 gms of carbohydrates and only 1.7 grams of protein and low fiber content, if any. Due to its low protein content, it will not keep you full for long. Each cup of corn flakes has approx 95 calories.
Some breakfast cereal advertisements might show that corn flakes help you lose weight, but they only expect you to eat limited corn flakes for your meals. The irony of corn flakes is that its low in fat, but the high sugar content promotes fat storage!
If you really enjoy corn flakes, then have it 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 some more fibre. It’ll make a delicious and healthy breakfast and great post workout snack. If you’re diabetic, watch your diet – we have the complete list of foods that diabetics should avoid.Author Information — this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo