Box cereal is the number one breakfast food choice for Americans. In fact, Americans consume about 2.7 billion boxes of cereal each year. It may be a popular food choice for the morning meal, but if you are eating a bowl of store-bought cereal or granola every morning, it’s probably destroying your metabolism.
The real problem with most pre-packaged cereals and granola is the amount of refined sugar it contains. The worst culprits are the cereals marketed to kids. On average, the cereal industry uses approximately 816 million pounds of sugar per year. According to Monique Tello, MD, “To the cells in your body, a bowl of cereal, or a bagel, or a piece of toast, or a muffin are all no different than a dessert.”
How does this destroy your metabolism? Processed carbohydrates and sugars cause blood sugar and insulin levels to rise. Then, the insulin transfers that sugar into your fat cells, where it becomes body fat. Starting your day with a sugary cereal or granola will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels and result in a blood sugar crash only hours later, causing you to eat more. This up and down cycle of blood sugar spikes will kill your metabolism.
If you are a cereal lover, you don’t have to give it up entirely. You just have to swap out the sugar-laden variety with whole-grain cereal with no added sugar. Better yet, make a pot of steel-cut oats and add in a handful of berries and nuts and even a tad of butter for flavor. The oats and fat in the nuts and butter will keep you satisfied, and the fruit offers natural sweetness along with fiber and vitamins. Adding a protein and a bit of fat to your morning meal will help boost your metabolism for the rest of the day.