It’s tough to muster the energy in the morning to whip up a breakfast rich in complex carbohydrates and the nutrients necessary to get you through the day. However, consuming cereal or breakfast foods full of empty calories and simple carbohydrates devoid of fiber and fuel for going about your daily to-do-list can be detrimental to your energy, glucose and metabolic levels. When trying to lose and keep off weight, a bowl of Frosted Flakes while great according to the mascot, could lead to weight gain and type two diabetes according to recent research.
The science behind processed carbs and why you should avoid foods with a high glycemic index
Processed carbohydrates or bread products sold with “enriched flour” have an incredibly high glycemic index. This means that consuming such ingredients forces your body to metabolize these carbohydrates and sugars far too quickly. This leads to an inevitable “crash and burn” phenomenon since blood sugar levels skyrocket after eating unhealthy options, causing intense cravings for unhealthy carbs and sugars more quickly than if you had opted for a meal rich in fiber or complex carbohydrates.
A study in Medline Plus outlines the benefits of consuming foods rich in complex carbohydrates next.
“Complex carbohydrate foods provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are important to the health of an individual. The majority of carbohydrates should come from complex carbohydrates (starches) and naturally occurring sugars, rather than processed or refined sugars, which do not have the vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in complex carbohydrates. Refined sugars are often called “empty calories” because they have little to no nutritional value.”
Which ingredients to avoid when grocery shopping
It’s simple to avoid bad carbohydrates when equipped with the knowledge of what to look out for on the list of ingredients in your favorite cereal or other breakfast time staples. Lisa Richards, the nutritionist behind the Candida Diet urges consumers to avoid the following ingredients in a recent write up in SheFinds.com that get in the way of your short or long term weight loss goals here:
- Enriched flour
- High fructose corn syrup
- Castor sugar
- Agave nectar
Another nutritionist, Isabel Smith, New York City-based dietician and fitness expert, also urges dieters to look for foods loaded with fiber. Isabel reiterates the benefits of ingesting high fiber foods by adding,
“Fiber slows digestion, which wards off blood sugar spikes and hunger and also helps maintain blood sugar control— all important keys to weight loss and management.”
Furthermore, a study in Young Women’s Health magazine backs up Isabel’s claim:
“Complex carbohydrates with fiber are a healthy choice, because Fiber is heart-healthy, good for digestion, and helps keep you full. High-fiber complex carbs or whole grains include whole-grain bread, oats, brown rice, and bran-containing cereals. Try to choose high-fiber complex carbs instead of low-fiber complex carbs, also known as refined grains, such as white bread, white rice, white pasta, and snacks or cereals made predominantly with refined flour. Keep in mind that a product such as cereal stating “made with whole grains” or “contains whole grains” does not necessarily mean that it is healthy, it just means that at least one of the ingredients is a whole grain. A tip is to check the ingredient list to confirm that the first one or two ingredients are a whole grain since the ingredients are listed in order of majority.”
How we can all stay healthy and ahead of weight loss goals
Swapping cereal for protein-rich, fiber-loaded options will keep you full throughout the day and fit well into your fifties and beyond. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition insists foods with a high glycemic level lead to “weight gain, increase in body fat and waist circumference.” Avoid these adverse effects by swapping that bowl of Lucky Charms for a piece of multigrain toast with almond butter or any other fiber-rich options such as steel-cut oats or Kashi brand go lean cereal.