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July 8th, 2014

Are We Jump-Starting the Day…With Sugary Cereals?

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

 

Sugary Cereals Impact On Health Hagen Dental Cincinnati

Did you know that cereals marketed towards kids have as much as 85 percent more sugar than those aimed at adults? They also have 65 percent less fiber than those cereals that are “for adults.”

With nearly one third of us eating cold cereals for breakfast, it’s time we examine exactly what we’re “running” on in the morning.

One cereal we can look to as an example is Cocoa Krispies. If we take a look at its first ingredients, we see Rice, Sugar, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Semisweet chocolate (which means more sugar!), and the partially hydrogenated vegetable oil…we will stop there, but the list of ingredients surely does not!

The list of ingredients goes on, but it’s good to take note of what we’re really feeding our kids for fuel in the morning. And, while we don’t mean to focus only on Cocoa Krispies, it does provide a good example of the problem: “sugar” itself appears three times throughout the ingredients list, and it’s part of the fourth most common ingredient as well.

A serving of this kind of cereal is about ¾ of a cup. But let’s take a closer look at that single serving, assuming that’s all that our children eat in the morning…

A single serving has 120 calories, and 12 grams of sugar in that serving.

12 grams of sugar is the same as 3 teaspoons of sugar. 

Looked at another way, that is actually 39 percent of the cereal by weight.

Some of our most popular cereals that also have alarmingly high amounts of sugar include Reese’s Puffs, Corn Pops, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cap’n Crunch…to name a few. When we eat processed foods like this with extremely high sugar content, it’s almost like we’re eating candy to start off the day.

When you add several servings, instead of just keeping to 1 ounce, you actually could be doubling or tripling that amount of sugar intake as well.

We know some of the benefits of eating breakfast, in general, include a better memory, more energy, and an increased chance at better concentration.

These are all reasons to eat a nutritious, high fiber breakfast, but when you look at some of the cereals marketed towards children, they are simply highly processed grains that have been sweetened. In some cereals, they even have synthetic vitamins—talk about taking the idea of convenience too far!

Avoid Sugary and Non-Nutricious Cereals, and Better Avoid Harmful Acids on Our Teeth

Treat these often-salty and sugar-filled cereals just like they were candy or a treat: eat them in limited quantities. Also remember that many of the brands described truly lack any nutritional value.

As you know, when sugar and starches like these are left on our teeth, bacteria thrive. The acid that results will destroy our tooth enamel, and we are left with tooth decay.

A Better Breakfast Choice: Full of Vitamins and Minerals, but Also the Macronutrients Needed for Disease Prevention, Overall Health & Growth

Be sure to read your nutritional label, as there are many alternatives that are healthier options that provide vitamins, minerals, and even fiber (without any synthetic or artificial ingredients we may want to avoid) for our children. You could also choose whole foods instead of processed ones, which is sure to increase your nutrition content and be a better choice for your teeth and gums.

Have questions for us about a certain cereal and its effects on your teeth, or about a convenient, but also healthy, breakfast? Let us know and we will answer your questions.

Sources from this article include:

  • http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/14/ten-worst-breakfast-cereals.aspx
  • http://blog.fooducate.com/2009/07/26/cocoa-krispies-immunity-cereal-40-sugar-by-weight-trans-fats-inside-the-label/

 

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