Cheerios, Apple Jacks, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Special K Fruit& Yogurt, Blueberry Morning; that was my progression of breakfast cereals from childhood to adulthood. I remember it so clearly because I was very much a creature of habit, only switching up my cereal of choice every few years.
Looking back now, I cringe at the thought of eating Apple Jacks, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, or even the Special K Fruit & Yogurt. Why? Because I was starting my day with a bowl full of sugar!
When you pour yourself a bowl of sugary cereal in the morning, you are essentially choosing your seat and getting buckled in for a long day on the blood sugar roller coaster.
What is the Blood Sugar Roller Coaster?
When we take in foods with a high sugar content our blood sugar immediately spikes. Next comes the crash, during which we crave more sugar to deal with the low. When we give in to those craving for sugar, the high kicks in, and is once again followed by the crash, and so up and down the roller coaster we go all day long.
Without getting too scientific, these highs and lows put A LOT of stress on your body! Unbalanced blood sugar can cause weight gain, brain fog, moodiness, headaches, fatigue, and is ultimately a lot of unneeded stress and work for your body!
Unfortunately, with entire aisles of the grocery store dedicated to sugary cereals, and endless combinations of sugar in a cup to choose from at Starbucks or Dunkin for your morning coffee run, it’s easy to see why people fall into a sugary routine.
The good news is, this problem has a really easy fix… read your food labels! Thankfully, by law we have the right to know what's in our food, but many of us don’t use that information to our advantage.
The old rule, don’t judge a book by its cover, applies to cereal boxes as well! Regardless if words such as “whole grain” “high fiber” or “heart healthy” are plastered all across the front of the box, or if the brand selling it has a reputation for being “healthy” don’t take anything at face value. Flip that box over and read the nutrition label. If sugar is one of the first 3 ingredients listed, chances are the cereal is mostly made of sugar. If the amount sugar per serving is double digits, steer clear, and please, if a rabbit, tiger, leprechaun, or a slightly insane bird is trying to sell you the cereal, put it back.
Quickly and easily check the sugar content of your favorite morning coffee using the links below, and don’t forget this rule applies to other breakfast items such as oatmeal packages, pancake mix, and yogurt as well. The less sugar in your morning routine the better!
Please note - In order to see the sugar content of Starbucks drinks you must click on the individual item because they don't include it in the chart you first see.