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Nutritionists sound alarm: Instant breakfast could increase health risks

Corn flakes may cause obesity, tooth decay and diabetes among children

Muscat: In the hustle and bustle of daily life, many people eat instant breakfast; corn flakes being on the easy options. Some of us believe that they are healthy and quick-to-prepare. But nutritionists warn people against consuming such processed foods.

The base ingredient of corn flakes is corn. Sugar, malt flavouring and high fructose corn syrup are the other major ingredients of corn flakes, which are toasted flakes of corn. Most of them have a high content of Glycemic Index. So consumption of high GI carbohydrates only increases that risk. Thus, using milk and corn flakes as a healthy breakfast cereal is a bad choice.

Yousef al Numani, a nutritionist, warn mothers against serving flavoured corn flakes for breakfast, stressing that it is harmful to children and adults as it increases risk of obesity due to its high sugar and starch content. More sugar could lead to tooth decay, diabetes, fatty liver, high BP and heart problems.

Oats or iron component with oats in corn flakes is good for health but the problem is the presence of sweeteners or fats in them. He advised anyone purchasing them to look at the ingredients and the sugar percentage stated on the packaging.

Al Numani also called for natural juices to feed children, because of their great health and nutritional benefits. He advised school students not to eat corn flakes for breakfast before heading to school.

Wholegrain breakfast cereals are a good source of fibre, which can make your child feel fuller for longer.

Some breakfast cereals highlight the inclusion of bran, fiber, vitamins and other ingredients that make it a healthy option but it is important to look at the food label carefully to avoid, added sugars, added flavours & food colours.

Wheat flakes are nutritionally better in terms of its protein, fiber and iron content and have a higher overall nutritive value which makes it more wholesome and favourable over corn flakes. Similarly, Muesli is packed with the goodness of oats, wheat flakes nuts and also raisins. Best option is to introduce oats which are highest in its protein content in comparison to the other breakfast cereals, like corn flakes and wheat flakes. It is also high in soluble as well as insoluble fiber.

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