WHYYYYY?????? It can't be! I thought whole grain cereal was healthy! My kids love boxed cereal! My husband loves boxed cereal! I love boxed cereal! And it's convenient!
Well - - - OK! Keep eating it, if ya wanna! I'm just passing along the info. Then you can decide if you want to opt for healthy alternative breakfast foods or stick with the same ol' stuff.
So, what is processed? Technically a processed food is ANY food that's been deliberately changed from its natural state. So if we want to get down to it - - - Homemade French Fries & Scrambled Eggs are processed. But we're not talking about that kind of processed. We're talking about junk processed. Hydrogenated oils, chemically & genetically modified foods, refined foods, packaged foods, denatured foods, etc... And commercial cereal - is junk processed.
((Sniff Sniff... I know. It's just not fair.))
Ok, so first let's see what John A. Widtsoe had to say about packaged cereals in his Word of Wisdom book.
"They must be devitalized, or they will not "keep" on the grocer's shelves. Though they are labeled "enriched" that does not mean that they even approach the value of the whole grain because so much of the food elements are removed during the process of manufacture and so little is put back. Our methods of manufacture and distribution of grain products must be changed if the national health is to be preserved.
...Supposing a burglar stole all your clothes and left you two shirts & one pair of pants, would you consider yourself "enriched"? So it is with your bread and cereals wrongly labeled "enriched"; they are still impoverished! There is no excuse for robbing them of their precious nutriments in the first place."
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Not only are commercial cereals processed, but they are slightly um... toxic.
Then again, all processed foods are toxic to your body & will eventually cause harm. So this isn't much of a surprise, right?
Commercial breakfast cereals (and puffed/shaped snacks) are subjected to such an intense pressure & heat that they actually liquify. This allows the grains to be "shaped" into those cute little circles, stars, puffs, etc. The violent process is called EXTRUSION. It's so violent that it denatures the proteins in the grains & are then actually rendered toxic to the nervous system & often times allergenic. Whole grain cereals are even more toxic than non-whole grain, because they have more protein. The more protein, the more toxic. Extruded cereals have also been found to increase insulin levels & have more detrimental effect on diabetics. (Duh.)
Reason #3: Why cereal (and other processed foods) are toxic:
"The extent to which processed foods, such as breakfast cereals, breads, pasta, etc., are contaminated with fungal mycotoxins, has been a food industry secret for years. The highly potent carcinogen aflatoxin, produced from Aspergillus moulds on grains, is the only mycotoxin most Government food departments are required to track and limit. Yet the majority of fungal damage to humans has gone unnoticed since fungal diseases are not reportable in the way infectious diseases are." - Phillip Day, www.campaignfortruth.com
Cereal - IS CANDY. Take a look at the following amounts of sugar per serving. Keep in mind that most people eat at least 2 servings of cereal, not just one.
Here are some popular candies:
Kit Kat bars has 14.5 grams of sugar.
Snickers have 14.5 grams of sugar.
Jelly Beans have 19.5 grams of sugar.
Here are some popular 'sugar' cereals:
Cocoa Puffs have 12 grams of sugar.
Chocolate Lucky Charms have 14 grams of sugar.
Froot Loops have 15 grams of sugar.
Now take a look at some "healthier" cereals:
Kellogg's Raisin Bran Crunch have 20 grams of sugar.
Kellogg's Almond Crunch With Raisins have 16 grams of sugar.
Kashi GoLean Crunch has 13 grams of sugar
Post Golden Crisp and Kellogg's Honey Smacks are both more than 50 percent sugar by weight. Kellogg's Honey Smacks can have as much sugar as glazed doughnuts.
And if THAT isn't enough to convince you, here's some more information by Paul Stitt who wrote about an experiment conducted by a cereal company in which four sets of rats were given special diets. (via - http://editor.nourishedmagazine.com.au)
---Group 1 received plain whole wheat, water and synthetic vitamins and minerals.
---Group 2 received puffed wheat (an extruded cereal), water and the same nutrient solution.
---Group 3 was given only water.
---Group 4 was given nothing but water and chemical nutrients.
**The rats that received the whole wheat lived over a year on this diet.
**The rats that got nothing but water and vitamins lived about two months.
**The animals on water alone lived about a month.
**The company’s own laboratory study showed that the rats given the vitamins, water, & all the puffed wheat they wanted died within two weeks.
"They died before the rats that got no food at all. It wasn’t a matter of the rats dying of malnutrition. Autopsy revealed dysfunction of the pancreas, liver and kidneys and degeneration of the nerves of the spine, all signs of insulin shock."
Are you KIDDING ME??? It wasn't mal-nutrition, it was the TOXICITY! These are some reasons why we have pretty much stopped eating boxed cereal. Interesting thing is, my kids hardly miss it! They made comments once in a while for the first couple of months, but now they hardly ever talk about it. If they have cereal when we're out of town or at a friend's house, they come back home & are completely fine with returning to our other breakfast options with no complaint. I love it!
(Please note... I am not perfect. When I RARELY cave & give in, I only purchase one cereal , & we're talking 1-2 times/year at most... That cereal is Weetabix.
Ssshhhhhh...... Please. Don't. Judge.)
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If you're interested in learning to make one of your own nutritious, wholesome, un-processed, non-toxic cold cereal, watch The Healthy Home Economist's "how to" videos below for instructions.
And below the videos, find a list of alternative ideas for breakfast foods that are nourishing, filling, & super yummy!
Remember homemade is best in all of the following cases, if at all possible - It's much yummier too! And if you ask me... I'd rather these over dead processed cardboard boxed cereal ANY day! :)
-Homemade cold whole grain cereal (as in the video above or from Anitra Kerr's Simply Living Smart website)
-Homemade hot cereal (whole grain cream of wheat, oatmeal, steel cut oats, whole grain grits, multi-grain porridge, etc.)
-Fruit (or veges! Why not!?)
-Yogurt parfait granola /fruit topping
-Fruit/Yogurt Smoothies (yogurt, kefir, milk or nut milks, bananas, fruit/berries, chia seeds, nuts, vanilla, etc...)
-Green Smoothies (Check out "Green Smoothie Girl's website for TONS of ideas)
-Oatmeal Smoothies (with any kind of milk, bananas, almonds/cashews, vanilla, oatmeal, optional carob chips, etc...)
-Soaked refrigerator oatmeal (Check this out on 100 Days of Real Food's website)
-Breakfast pizza with whole grain crust, peanut butter, & fruit (Crust can be made out of bagels, toast, English muffins, & pitas also)
-Breakfast pizza with whole grain crust, pizza sauce, veges, & optional (grass/pasture fed) bacon or sausage (same crust options as above)
Soaked refrigerator oatmeal (Check this out on 100 Days of Real Food's website)
-Breakfast fruit pizza - with whole grain crust, peanut butter, & fruit (Crust can be made out of bagels, toast, English muffins, & pitas also)
-Breakfast vege pizza - with whole grain crust, pizza sauce, veges (& optional grass/pasture fed bacon or sausage)
-Peanut butter & fresh raw honey sandwich
-Peanut butter & banana sandwich - (or sliced strawberries, etc...)
-Cream cheese & fruit sandwich
-Whole grain biscuits
-Whole grain muffins
-Whole grain banana/zucchini bread
-Whole grain pancakes / waffles (with peanut butter, fruit syrup, raw honey, or 100% grade B maple syrup)
-Whole grain toast - with REAL butter
-Whole grain energy bars
-Whole grain breakfast cookies
-Whole grain bagels (homemade are awesome!)
-Whole grain English muffins (again... homemade are awesome!)
Don't forget, many of these foods can be made with your food storage items!
The Eat-Clean Diet For Family & Kids
The Word of Wisdom - A Modern Interpretation, John & Leah Widtsoe