Fit to Post Health

Why cereal is bad breakfast food

Cereal is high in carbohydrates. (Thinkstock photo)Cereal is high in carbohydrates. (Thinkstock photo)

When a new client visits one of our two gyms in Singapore, we always go through a "food recall" where we try to find out what kinds of food choices the person makes. Food choices make a huge difference in the kind of results that they will achieve. After all, even the most motivated person in training, who eats bad foods, will achieve average results. (At best).

One of the most common answers to the question "What do you usually eat for breakfast?" is cereal.

There are many reasons why we don't recommend cereal as a breakfast food for most people. But here are the 3 main ones.

1. Cereals are highly "fake" processed foods.

You can buy a cereal making machine here if you plan on opening a cereal factory. But just from the machine description -- added dyes, extruding, seasoning/preservatives, etc. -- it should be quite obvious that cereals are no longer natural foods.

The reason for this is, as you guessed, money. While each of us is free to use our money as we see fit, when a product costs 12-20 cents per bushel (about 35 liters) to buy, and sells for 5-6 dollars per small box, most of the money is certainly spent in advertising, not in quality ingredients for you or me.

The extra processing and artificial additives are usually added for taste, crunchiness, and preservation. not for increased nutritional value.

2. Cereals are almost 100% refined carbohydrates

Carbohydrate intake should vary according to activity level, genetics and time of day. But if you think about it, most of us are sedentary, and should not be eating carbohydrates first thing in the morning.

I know you may have heard otherwise, and the reason given is that: "you have been on a 10 hour fast at breakfast, and you need nutrients going to your cells for energy".

This is true, you will be hungry, and your cells will be ready to receive nutrients. However, BOTH healthy muscle cells AND fat cells are ready to receive nutrients in the morning.

That means that only very lean people (with few/small fat cells), or those who are very active (muscle cells will uptake more of the carbohydrates) should be eating carbohydrates in the morning.

The best time for carbohydrates is after a strength training workout because muscle cells are ready to absorb carbohydrates and you won't store them as fat easily. Note that cardio training does not have this benefit.

3. There are much better breakfast choices

So what should be in a breakfast?

The food should have some protein and healthy fats as a priority, rather than carbohydrates.

  • Choose a protein source: Eggs, meat, seafood
  • Choose a fat source: nuts, heavy cream, fish oils, etc
  • Choose a low GI fruit and/or veggie: apple, pear, berries, citrus family, all veggies

Yes, it does take a bit more preparation, but your increased energy levels will be worth it. Do this for a week and see how your morning energy and productivity increases. If you are overweight, you will probably lose some fat as well!

For the best fitness boot camp program, and personal training in Singapore visit www.genesisgym.com.sg or the Genesis Gym facebook page. Or visit Coach Jonathan's homepage and blog at www.coachjon.com

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