What we eat for breakfast matters! Most people don’t even look at the ingredients in their daily cereal or don’t know how it’s made. The manufacturing process used to make boxed cereal is called extrusion and it is so violent and denaturing that it destroys most of the nutrients. Then harmful preservatives like Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), additives like modified starches, as well as petroleum based colors like Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6 & caramel color are added to the mix.
All of these toxic ingredients have serious side effects – from inflammation, obesity, an unhealthy gut and allergies to name a few.
Here are some of the toxic ingredients & unwanted additives YOU need to be mindful of.
- Sugar: Breakfast cereals, especially those marketed to children, are often loaded with sugar. An EWG study found that children’s cereal has over 40 percent more sugar than cereal marketed to adults. Generally, if you see “sugar” of any kind in non-organic products, it’s probably high fructose corn syrup in disguise.
- GMOs: Most store bought cereal brands contain sugar and corn that are made from GMO products. Most GMOs are sprayed with glyphosate, an herbicide known to cause cancer.
- Glyphosate: Most corn and corn crops are sprayed with Glyphosate and other toxic pesticides which end up in your breakfast cereal. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) in their 2019 testing found that Monsanto’s weedkiller Glyphosate was still very present in our foods. A shocking independent peer reviewed study shows the correlation of Glyphosate use and the rise of 20 diseases including dementia, cancer and diabetes.
- Artificial Food Dyes: These petroleum based food dyes have been linked to hyperactivity, behavioral problems in children, allergic skin reactions, as well as cancerous tumors in rats. For instance, Red 40 – shown to cause behavioral problems in children—can be found in Froot Loops, Apple Jacks and Lucky Charms.
- Hydrogenated Oils: Partially hydrogenated oils contain trans fats. Trans fat has been linked to a various diseases including cancer, heart disease and immunity issues.
- BHT: The toxic preservative agent Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) – an endocrine disruptor with links to cancer. Several studies found that BHT may cause cancer in rats. Due to questions on its safety, the US FD&A is currently reviewing BHT added in foods .
- BHA: Another toxic additive that has been linked to cancer in some studies. The National Institutes of Health’s National Toxicology Programs has found that it can be “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
Top Brands of Cereal to Avoid
Froot Loops Breakfast Cereal, Fruit Flavored – Kellogg’s
Ingredients: Cereals (60%)(maize flour, wheat flour, oat flour), sugar, vegetable oil, salt, natural colours (paprika extract, carmine, curcumin, vegetable carbon, copper chlorophyll), minerals (iron, zinc oxide), vitamins (niacin, vitamin B6, riboflavin, folate), natural flavours (orange, lemon, lime).
Reese’s Puffs – General Mills
INGREDIENTS: Reeses Puffs (whole grain corn, sugar, Reese’s peanut butter (peanuts, sugar, monoglycerides, peanut oil, salt, molasses, corn starch), dextrose, corn starch, corn syrup, rice bran and/or canola oil, corn meal, salt, Hershey’s cocoa, red 40, yellow 5&6, blue 1 and other color added, trisodium phosphate
Lucky Charms – General Mills
Ingredients. Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Corn Starch, Modified Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Dextrose. Contains 2% or less of: Salt, Gelatin, Trisodium Phosphate, Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6, Blue 1, Natural and Artificial Flavor. Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness.
Fruity PEBBLES – Post Consumer Brands
INGREDIENTS: Fruity Pebbles Cereal (rice, sugar, hydrogenated oil (coconut and palm kernel oils), salt, contains less than 0.5% of natural and artifical flavor, red 40, yellow 6, turmeric oleoresin (color), blue 1, yellow 5, blue 2, BHA (to help protect flavor).
Apple Jacks Breakfast Cereal – Kellogg’s
Corn Flour Blend (Whole Grain Yellow Corn Flour, Degerminated Yellow Corn Flour), Sugar, Wheat Flour, Whole Grain Oat Flour, Modified Food Starch, Contains 2% or Less of Vegetable Oil (Hydrogenated Coconut, Soybean and/or Cottonseed), Oat Fiber, Salt, Soluble Corn Fiber, Degerminated Yellow Corn Flour, Dried Apples, Apple Juice Concentrate, Cornstarch, Cinnamon, Natural Flavor, Modified Corn Starch, Yellow 6, Wheat Starch, Baking Soda, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, BHT for Freshness.
Cheerios – General Mills
Ingredients. Whole Grain Oats, Corn Starch, Sugar, Salt, Tripotassium Phosphate. Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness.
Cap’n Crunch – Quaker Oats Company
Ingredients. Corn Flour, Sugar, Oat Flour, Brown Sugar, Palm and/or Coconut Oil, Salt, Reduced Iron, Yellow 5, Niacinamide*, Yellow 6, BHT (to preserve freshness), Thiamin Mononitrate*, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride*, Riboflavin*, Folic Acid*.
When you do want to consume cereals, picking organic options can help you to avoid some of these health concerns. This is the cereal I recommend – here