Crunchy flakes and pops are delicious for children and adults alike. But cereals are far from as healthy as advertising promises. In a guessing quiz the question was: which breakfast is the healthiest? Eggs with bacon, wholegrain bread with cheese and sausage, cereal or coffee and cigarette? Of the four candidates, at least two had the right answer: the cereal. One question, however, remains unanswered. What do the candidates mean by cereal? And: Do so-called cereals like flakes, pops or loops also belong to the healthy breakfast variants?
What's up there?
Especially for children, but also those who were in the 70s or 80s, the puffed and roasted cereal products are among the most popular forms of breakfast. Because they are prepared quickly and crispy delicious. And they are considered to be healthy too: after all, there is grain in them, they are consumed with calcium-rich milk and they also supply plenty of vitamins - this is what the products advertise. But that is all that speaks for the cereals.
The list of negative properties, however, is much longer. First of all, flakes and co. Are among the most processed foods ever. That is, the product has little in common with the raw materials it is made from. This becomes clear when you realize that most of the crispy treats only 40 to 70 percent consist of grain.
For the taste, flavors, and sometimes even scary-looking dyes provide. And the vitamins they contain are not derived from corn, rice or oats - they are added in powder form. This does not necessarily make them worse than other vitamins, but of course their addition is not. On the contrary, it is often even so high that a child is supplied with a small bowl of flakes in the morning already three quarters with different vitamins. This is certainly not necessary if you eat varied over the day.
High sugar content is problematic
The main problem with the cereals, however, is the high sugar content, which is often hidden on the list of ingredients behind the name glucose syrup. Up to 45 percent pure sugar is in the crispy pops. For a small portion - and small is the normally stated portion of 30 grams - this corresponds to about five pieces of sugar cubes. A hungry eater is fast at twice the amount.
Quite little sugar contains the normal cornflakes with about one sugar cube per serving, the content in all other cereals is somewhere in between. Incidentally, the proportion of real honey, even if mentioned in the name or on the package, is usually very small. More than one to two percent are not included in conventional products. For pops from the health food store, the balance is slightly better.