Good morning sleepy heads!
Wipe those bleary eyes, drink your espresso and possibly take a look at the nutritional content of your cereal box!
Under the microscope let’s take Special K the cereal notorious for its advert featuring a gorgeous lady in a sexy red swimsuit, who supposedly oozes health & happiness, having consumed her morning bowl of Special K.
Will Special K really leave us feeling happy, healthy & swimsuit ready?
A 30g serving (a large handful to you & me) is 113 calories (not including the milk). In goes 150ml of skimmed milk, now we total 190 calories.
If you consumed 30g everyday whilst restricting your calorie intake at lunch and dinner, you would look good in that red swimsuit!
The nutritional content (or lack of) would suggest however that you’d unlikely reach your daily nutritional recommendations for a healthy & happy life! Let’s delve deeper….
Special K has 5.1g of sugar per serving (4.2g = a teaspoon). Would you wake up and put over a teaspoon of pure sugar in your mouth? After one serving, you have reached 17% of your daily-recommended sugar intake. If you have more, do the maths; this is an alarming amount of sugar before 9am.
The high sugar levels in Special K indicate that it has a high glycaemic index, meaning that when these carbohydrates are consumed, they will quickly increase your blood sugar (glucose) levels. Cells can’t absorb large quantities of glucose quickly, so it’s deposited in carbohydrate reserves (as glycogen) or in lipids (aka FAT).
That post breakfast ‘sugar crash’ (feeling tired & hungry), is due to the excess insulin that is produced, to bring a sharp decline in blood sugar levels (which need to be constant to meet the energy requirements of the body, especially the brain). This sudden decline acts as a stress signal on the hypothalamus (as it requires sugar to operate), to combat this it creates a neurological reaction that stimulates hunger, so you’re going to want to eat again soon!
Protein is essential for the body to grow and repair itself; it’s recommended we have 1g of protein per 2.2kg of body weight. Special K has 2.7g of protein per serving (in comparison a medium egg which has 13g). However add in your skimmed milk (+5.11g) and the protein levels are ok. Protein in the morning will help keep hunger at bay for longer.
Fat is an essential nutrient; a source of energy, an energy store, a transport for fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K, it helps maintain healthy skin & other tissues. Special K Is low in fat, only 0.5g per serving, thus offering little assistance to the above functions of fat!
It has only 1.4g of fibre, which is crucial for a healthy gut and disease prevention. It’s recommended woman consume 25g of fibre per day and men 38g. As one of your 3 meals per day it is doing little to contribute to your daily fibre goal.
The main problem I have with Special K is it lacks the necessary nutrients and phytochemicals to start the day off right. If you usually choose a cereal such as Special K for breakfast, you might want to think again. Choose something with lower sugar, more protein, fibre and healthy fat.
Have a great day X