The base ingredient of cornflakes is corn; but other major ingredients in popular variants are sugar, malt flavouring and high fructose corn syrup. All these ingredients contain high Glycemix Index (GI) carbohydrates and are very harmful for those prone to diabetes. It is a well-documented fact that High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in food is linked to obesity, since it promotes excessive food consumption and insulin resistance in the body. Most Indians have the 'belly gene' and are prone to diabetes. Consumption of high GI carbohydrates only increases that risk.
At a time when obesity in kids is a very real concern, particularly in the metros, cornflakes might not be the best start to the day. This is what the experts have to say about the breakfast cereal:
Rupali Datta, clinical nutritionist, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi says, "Cornflakes are a refined cereal coated with refined sugar. But it can be made wholesome by adding whole grains like amaranth (chauli), nuts, dried fruits, oats, shelled pumpkin and sunflower seeds. In fact, to turn it into a fun activity, different ingredients can be placed in colourful jars and the child can make his own concoction. But far better alternatives are multigrain muesli, whole grain tacos with egg, paneer or vegetables and daliya (porridge). My personal favourites are whole-grain or multigrain rotis. These can be kneaded with pureed vegetables to change their colour as well as increase nutritive value."
High GI carbohydrates increase your blood sugar drastically. This high blood sugar level promotes fat storage in the body. This is the 'sugar rush' or 'energy rush' that you experience after eating sweets. Kids after eating such foods may become hyperactive for a while and then suddenly feel lethargic.
Gurgaon-based wellness coach, Shaloo Dogra says, "Cornflakes are okay if there is no added sugar. Always check the label. You can add a fruit such as banana or apple for natural sweetness. But rolled oats are a better alternative. As far as breakfast goes, the more natural the better. Whole foods help in fuller nutrient absorption. In my opinion parathas with natural vegetable stuffings such as radish, cauliflower, fenugreek or spinach and poha with nuts and vegetables are better breakfast options for kids."
A steady diet of food that is rich in high GI carbohydrates (cornflakes or white bread) may hamper the functioning of blood vessels and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests. The lesson is to keep cornflakes as an option only on quick-fix breakfast days. As our nutrition experts suggest, our good old stuffed parathas and pohas are a much better start to the day.