Your Breakfast Cereal Does More Harm Than Good

Written by andy

There are few things that most of us love for breakfast more than bacon (particularly in French Toast), but breakfast cereal certainly comes in at a close second. There’s a reason that there are so many different types of breakfast cereals, and that reason is that people eat a whole lot of cereal every day. Whether you’re a Cheerios man, a Cap’n Crunch kid, or a Special K lady, there’s just something wonderful about a crunchy bowl of tasty goodness first thing in the morning. Eating a healthy breakfast is a good way to start the day, and healthy breakfast cereal is definitely a good choice!

But, could your breakfast cereal be harmful for your health?

The GMOs in Your Breakfast

The Cornucopia Institute releases a “Cereal Scorecard” every year, with the goal of helping consumers understand just how healthy their food is. This year, the Cereal Scorecard had some pretty interesting facts in it:

Kellogg Cereals have fairly high levels of GMOs in the cereal. It’s not just a few simple ingredients or trace GMOs, but it’s the primary ingredients in the cereals. 100% of the soy used in the Kellogg cereals is GMO.

Pepsi Co. Cereals – which includes Quaker Oats – also contain high levels of GMOs. Of the corn used to produce many of the Pepsi Co. cereals, up to 28% of it was GMO. The Quaker Oats processing plant also emits about 19,000 pounds of a toxic greenhouse gas called sulfuryl fluoride on a yearly basis.

As you can see, the levels of GMOs in your cereal is pretty high, and it’s a problem you need to be aware of as you bite into that crunchy bowl of breakfast deliciousness.

The Extrusion Process

Cereals are all made using a process called extrusion. This process involves high pressure and temperature, and it compresses the grains in order to form the Os, flakes, logs, and other shapes your cereal comes in. This is great for the appearance of your cereal, but not so good for the nutrients.

The process of extrusion ends up destroying the nutrients, as well as many of the vitamins that are chemically added into the mixture to “fortify” your cereal. This means that the extrusion process destroys the limited amounts of nutrients found in the highly processed cereal, with the result being that your breakfast bowl of cereal is far less healthy than you might think.

The Other Dangers

When you eat a bowl of cereal, you’ll also be ingesting:

  • Artificial colors — We all love the brightly colored Froot Loops and Lucky Charms, but they’re made with a whole lot of chemical colorants. The petroleum-based dyes used to color the food is fairly high in carcinogens, which has been known to speed up the formation of cancerous cells. A whopping 15% of people are allergic to the coloring agent Red 40, which is found in many foods.
  • Chemicals — If you’ve never heard of BHA and BHT, that’s probably for a reason. These chemicals are added into breakfast cereals as preservatives, and they help your cereal to have a longer shelf life. However, studies have shown that these two chemicals can cause cancer cell formation in rats, and they can be dangerous for humans as well.

You’ve got these two harmful ingredients, but that’s not even counting the empty carbs, the sugar, the high fructose corn syrup, the sodium, and all of the other “less harmful” substances that you can find in your food. The truth is that your breakfast cereal can be more dangerous than you think, which is why it’s so important to look into natural, organic options.

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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