You know the routine: wake up, take a shower, grab a bowl, a spoon, and a box of corn flakes. Sound familiar? Well, I have news for you. If you’re eating those corn flakes because you think they’re a healthy breakfast option, you may as well be eating chocolate cake.
Corn Flakes Are Not That Healthy
Corn flakes are far from the healthiest breakfast cereal. Actually, they are a refined carbohydrate. This means that the most nutritious part of the grain and its fiber have been removed. But, fiber is exactly what we should be adding to our diet! Because refined carbohydrates have had all of their vitamins and minerals removed, they are considered empty calories. That’s right, you’ve been starting your day on empty calories.
Do you find yourself hungry again before it’s time for lunch? That’s because your body is digesting the corn flakes too quickly which causes a sharp increase in your blood sugar level. The increased blood sugar leads to increased insulin production as well.
Because of this, corn flakes are considered a high glycemic food, as are most refined carbohydrates. High glycemic foods have been linked to obesity because the feeling of constant hunger leads to overeating. In addition to obesity, consuming refined carbohydrates has been connected to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
A Healthier Alternative: Bran Flakes (Whole Grain) Instead Of Corn Flakes (“White Grain”)
Want a healthy alternative? Try bran flakes instead. Not convinced? Take a look at this picture:
Just a quick glance and you can see that bran flakes, a whole grain, offer more than corn flakes, a “white grain”.
What is Bran Actually?
Bran is the outer part of a wheat kernel and is usually discarded during the refining process. It is considered a whole grain and is rich in fiber, vitamins, healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants. Its high nutritional value and fiber-rich layer means you feel full longer. This is because your body digests this complex carbohydrate more slowly, which prevents the surge in blood sugar levels and insulin production.
The Benefits of Bran
It Boosts Your Digestion
As previously mentioned, bran flakes are full of fiber. Just one serving gives you around 20% of the daily recommended intake. Your body needs all of that fiber to maintain healthy digestion and prevent constipation. Because the fiber slows down digestion, bran flakes can keep you feeling full for longer in the mornings.
It Keeps You From Getting Hungry So Easily
Even though bran flakes keep you from getting hungry before lunchtime, one serving actually has less calories than corn flakes. Lower calorie intake and feeling full for longer have the added benefit of weight loss.
It Contains More Vitamins And Minerals
Bran also contains more vitamins and minerals than corn flakes. Some of the minerals found in this morning bowl of cereal include zinc, copper, manganese, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Additionally, bran contains vitamins like A, B1, B2, B3, B6, D, and E.
It Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Consuming dietary fiber has also been linked to lowering cholesterol levels. High cholesterol leads to clogged arteries, which can cause stroke and even heart attack. So, eating bran flakes instead of corn flakes has the additional benefit of reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Adding Bran Flakes to Your Diet
For some people, switching from corn flakes to bran flakes in the morning may be difficult because the taste is different. If this is true for you, try gradually making the switch. Fill your bowl halfway with corn flakes and halfway with bran flakes, gradually increase the bran flake content over the week.
To make your breakfast even healthier, try adding some fresh fruit, raisins, unsweetened coconut flakes, or nuts. Eating bran flakes with plain yogurt is another delicious alternative. Cut up a banana and drizzle a little bit of honey.
If you have been consuming a low fiber diet, the sudden switch to bran flakes might result in diarrhea. So, switching gradually might be the best option for you. Also, remember to drink plenty of water all day long to avoid constipation.