Amidst our growing consciousness for good health we find ourselves grappling for better and fitter alternatives for our daily meals. The easiest and the most convenient of all replacements is finding healthier alternatives for breakfast. With the glut of cereal options and their health angled marketing, you find yourself striving for the healthier option every day.
Breakfast cereals are not only convenient but also come with the promise of providing you with abundant health benefits. We choose the versions most palatable to us and start off our healthy eating journey. Little do we think about the real health benefit that these cereals provide. Today’s growing concern for better health sometimes becomes nothing more than a marketing trend in the hands of the big cereal companies. What you need to know before indulging in your bowl of cereal is what has gone into it to make it healthy?
No matter how healthy each ingredient sounds individually, when combined together to give you an energy dense and calorie- rich food by no means do they remain healthy for consumption for people who are either trying to maintain their weight or trying to lose.
So let’s talk about the healthiest breakfast option available to us- muesli. No doubt when you look at muesli from a broad perspective you realize that all the individual ingredients in a pack of muesli are actually quite healthy. It is usually a combination of whole oats, wheat flakes, dried fruits and nuts, seeds, etc. The only problem that arises is the added sugar and preservative content in the final packaged food. This part makes the whole deal sour as it turns it fattening and unhealthy for regular consumption.
Once you check and opt for the ‘no added sugar’ or ‘low sugar; option, you actually might end up reaping all the health benefits that muesli has to offer. The oats and wheat flakes provide you with a good amount of dietary fiber which helps in fighting bad cholesterol and digestion problems. The recommended daily roughage intake should be between 25g to 38g and 100g of muesli contains roughly about 2.9g to 6.9g depending upon the type and brand. Read about other health benefits of fiber.
Muesli is also known as an energy dense food. Many of you might not know that muesli is called the granola bar’s cousin minus the calories. Half cup of muesli contains around 750kj of energy. This is usually the part which makes it a brilliant breakfast option as it the energy in your bowl of muesli which chases away any specs of drowsiness from your system after waking up. The thing to remember is when your body does not require that energy it gets converted into fat and is stored in the body. So, be very careful of the excess carbohydrate intake to avoid gaining weight.
In short, the health benefits of a bowl of muesli with added milk, fruits and seeds/nuts is a dish full of fiber, vitamins, protein, omega 3 and minerals and are the best way to start your day.
Just try to avoid buying the packs with too much dried sweet fruits as they add to the calorie content heavily instead just add fresh fruits and seeds/nuts like apple, banana, strawberries, pear, almonds, walnuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed etc. to your bowl and restrict your portions. Do not have more than half a cup per serving. Just because muesli is such a healthy meal, some people prepare it at home to avoid risking intake of unwanted unhealthy parts of the packaged one. It is fairly simple to prepare and you end up adding exactly what you want to your muesli.
A footnote on the importance of breakfast: It is indeed the most important meal of the day. It contributes to 1/3 of an individual’s daily calorie & nutrition requirement. Muesli is relatively healthier, is high in nutrition and is easy to prepare. It is far superior to the regular cornflakes in terms of health benefits. Most common mistake people make when they are trying to lose weight is that they skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast over a period of time slows down your metabolism as when you miss breakfast you end up automatically reducing the calories from your diet. After sometime your body gets used to the limited calories and in turn slows your metabolism down. So anytime you add it back to your routine it gets added to your system as extra calories (especially since the body is not used to it), lending evidence to your notion that eating breakfast makes you fat.
A nutritional breakdown of the popular brands of muesli:
|Nutritional Information||Kelloggs’ Fruit Magic (100g)||Kellogg’s Nut’s Delight (100g)||Bagrry’s Muesli (100g)||Bagrry’s Muesi with almonds, dates and raisins (100g)|
Just remember you can always use substitutes for milk in case it starts seeming monotonous or boring like yogurt, fruit juice, or even just plain water. All these ingredients along with muesli have multiple health benefits and will also promote weight loss by nourishing the body and regulating the metabolism.
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