Starting your day the right way

With the very little time to do much of anything, a quick and easy solution to managing your time can often be a welcomed fix. One such solution aids with the stress of the morning rush to work and school – cereal.

It is well-known the breakfast is the most important meal of the day, necessary to kick-start your metabolic processes, prevent food cravings, and help people manage their weight.

That being said, many struggle when choosing what to have to break the night’s fast particularly when it comes to cereal. While many kinds of cereal are said to be “healthy” because they are low in fat, most people choose cereals that are loaded with sugar.

A study conducted by News24 in South Africa revealed the shocking amount of sugar in cereals. Weet-Bix and Jungle Oats were shown to be healthier options if taken without sugar, while cereals like Milo and Coco Pops had 6-7 teaspoons of sugar per 100g serving. A surprising culprit was muesli with around 5 teaspoons per serving.

The excessive consumption of sugar can play havoc on the body and so its place in people’s diets should be seriously considered.

Bitter-sweet news

People should look to minimise their sugar intake as much as possible to curb its negative effects. A diet that is high in sugar and starchy foods results in increased insulin levels, spikes in the body’s glucose, leads to the storage of fat, and initiates a cycle of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Years ago these problems were not as prevalent but that has since changed:

  • In 2016, 456,612 people died from diabetes
  • 52.7% were female and 47.3% were male
  • Diabetes is the second biggest killer behind TB in South Africa

These changes are the effect of high loads of sugar and refined carbohydrates (starch and flour) that has been added to the South African diet.

The sugar consumed at breakfast is not only in cereals but also in muffins, waffles, pancakes, and bread. It is this combination of fat, sugar, and starch that cause fat storage and weight gain and could ultimately to lead to diabetes if not managed.

What to chews?

If you are not going to kill the cereal then choose one that has the least amount of sugar and be disciplined about how many teaspoons of sugar you add. Alternatively, you could choose to ditch the sugary cereals altogether and instead start your day with proteins and healthy fats.

Here are some healthy foods to eat in the morning:

  • Eggs
  • Greek yoghurt
  • A herbal tea
  • Oatmeal
  • Chia seeds or Flaxseeds
  • Berries
  • Nuts
  • Avocado
  • Protein shakes
  • Fruit
  • Cheese

It is important to get know where your health stands. Get your biometrics tested by your doctor or practitioner and prevent the behaviours that could lead to negative eating habits.