Cereal vs Cornflakes: Which one is a better breakfast option?

In our fast-paced life, we may not pay attention to the most important meal of the day — breakfast. Here's what you need to know
Cornflakes or cereal — what should you be eating for breakfast?
Cornflakes or cereal — what should you be eating for breakfast?Image: The Bridge Chronicle

Breakfast is a luxury that we often overlooked as kids. While living at home, breakfast would be ready even before we wake up. But the sheer variety of breakfast served at home can never match the equal scarcity of it when living away from home.

Forever-on-the-run professionals seldom find the time to cook anything, let alone breakfast. These busy professionals then often opt for quick fixes that are easy to cook and ready to eat. This easy eat often include ready mix oats, poha, upma, cornflakes or cereals.

But is breakfast really important?

According to mayoclinic.org, a healthy breakfast is essential for adults as it provides them with vitamins and minerals. It also is essential in maintaining a healthy weight. Healthy breakfasts also help control blood sugar levels, help increase productivity.

What accounts for a healthy breakfast?

Whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy all the essentials of a healthy breakfast. Fruits and vegetables that includes juices and smoothies, without added sugar can also be considered as healthy breakfast. These foods provide our body with complex carbohydrates, fibre, protein and small amounts of fats — that restore all the nutrition in the body lost over the night and helps the body feel full for hours.

But we know from experience any ready to eat food, is often not as healthy as it claims to be. Dehydrates poha and upma often lack the nutrition that a regular bowl of poha would contain. Ready-mix oats are filled with preservatives, that also reduce the nutritional value of the food. However, we are left with only two options - muesli/granola or cornflakes.

However, there has been a lot of talk about the nutritional value of the two. There is no doubt that both cornflakes and muesli are the easiest forms of breakfast. And hence it is important to understand the difference between the two.

Let us begin by understanding the difference between cornflakes and cereal. TBC spoke to Nutritionist & Dietician, Sarika S Goel about the same.

Cereal is grass that is cultivated for the edible component if its grain. They are a rich source of vitamin and minerals, fats, protein and carbs when used in their natural form. On the other hand, cornflakes are highly processed foods, devoid of nutritive value. They are glazed with sugar which increases their Glycemic Index (GI).

GI Explained
GI ExplainedImage: The Bridge Chronicle

When considering daily nutrition, cornflakes cannot be considered as food, since it is mostly made for company profits. Consumption of cornflakes over a period of time can increase the risk of diabetes and heart-related issues. This is because of the high GI.

However, cereals can be a part of every meal we eat. It can be also consumed as raw sprouts.

What would be the ideal quantity?

When considering cornflakes for breakfast, an adult should consume no more than 25 gms in one serving. For children, the quantity should be restricted to 15-20 grams. But with cereal, adults can consume up to 30-45 grams and children should consume around 25-30 grams.

Common breakfast and their GI
Common breakfast and their GIImage: The Bridge Chronicle

Apart from that, there are other options to explore when it comes to breakfast. The dietician suggests raw sprouts salad, vegetable, juices, fruit plates or smoothies for breakfast.

Common breakfast and their GI
Common breakfast and their GIImage: The Bridge Chronicle

Breakfast is an important meal of the day. The word can be understood by breaking it down, break-fast — breaking the fast. The body is considered to be fasting during the night as we do not eat at that time. Yet the bodily processes continue to take place. Eating the right kind of meal in the morning time is important to ensure the body gets enough nutrition to get through the morning.

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