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Problems of Modern Breakfast Cereals + An Alternative

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Packaged Cereals

Dry breakfast cereals are produced by a process called extrusion. Cereal makers first create a slurry of the grains and then put them in a machine called an extruder. The grains are forced out of a little hole at high temperature and pressure. Depending on the shape of the hole, the grains are made into little o's, flakes, animal shapes, or shreds (as in Shredded Wheat or Triscuits), or they are puffed (as in puffed rice). A blade slices off each little flake or shape, which is then carried past a nozzle and sprayed with a coating of oil and sugar to seal off the cereal from the ravages of milk and to give it crunch.

In his book Fighting the Food Giants, Paul Stitt has tells us that the extrusion process used for these cereals destroys most of the nutrients in the grains. It destroys the fatty acids; it even destroys the chemical vitamins that are added at the end. The amino acids are rendered very toxic by this process. The amino acid lysine, a crucial nutrient, is especially denatured by extrusion. This is how all the boxed cereals are made, even the ones sold in the health food stores. They are all made in the same way and mostly in the same factories. All dry cereals that come in boxes are extruded cereals.

The only advances made in the extrusion process are those that will cut cost regardless of how these will alter the nutrient content of the product. Cereals are a multi-billion dollar business, one that has created huge fortunes.

With so many people eating breakfast cereals, you might expect to find some studies on the effect of extruded cereals on animals or humans. Yet, there are no published studies at all in the scientific literature.

The Rat Experiments

Let me tell you about two studies which were not published. The first was described by Paul Stitt who wrote about an experiment conducted by a cereal company in which four sets of rats were given special diets. One group received plain whole wheat, water and synthetic vitamins and minerals. A second group received puffed wheat (an extruded cereal), water and the same nutrient solution. A third set was given only water. A fourth set was given nothing but water and chemical nutrients. The rats that received the whole wheat lived over a year on this diet. The rats that got nothing but water and vitamins lived about two months. The animals on water alone lived about a month. But the company's own laboratory study showed that the rats given the vitamins, water and all the puffed wheat they wanted died within two weeks---they died before the rats that got no food at all. It wasn't a matter of the rats dying of malnutrition. Autopsy revealed dysfunction of the pancreas, liver and kidneys and degeneration of the nerves of the spine, all signs of insulin shock.

Results like these suggested that there was something actually very toxic in the puffed wheat itself! Proteins are very similar to certain toxins in molecular structure, and the pressure of the puffing process may produce chemical changes, which turn a nutritious grain into a poisonous substance.

Another unpublished experiment was carried out in the 1960s. Researchers at Ann Arbor University were given 18 laboratory rats. They were divided into three groups: one group received corn flakes and water; a second group was given the cardboard box that the corn flakes came in and water; the control group received rat chow and water. The rats in the control group remained in good health throughout the experiment. The rats eating the box became lethargic and eventually died of malnutrition. But the rats receiving the corn flakes and water died before the rats that were eating the box! (The last corn flake rat died the day the first box rat died.) But before death, the corn flake rats developed schizophrenic behavior, threw fits, bit each other and finally went into convulsions. The startling conclusion of this study is that there was more nourishment in the box than there was in the corn flakes.

This experiment was actually designed as a joke, but the results were far from funny. The results were never published and similar studies have not been conducted.

Most of America eats this kind of cereal. In fact, the USDA is gloating over the fact that children today get the vast majority of their important nutrients from the nutrients added to these boxed cereals.

Cereals sold in the health food stores are made by the same method. It may come as a shock to you, but these whole grain extruded cereals are probably more dangerous than those sold in the supermarket, because they are higher in protein and it is the proteins in these cereals that are so denatured by this type of processing.

There are no published studies on the effects of these extruded grains on animals or humans, but I did find one study in a literature search that described the microscopic effects of extrusion on the proteins. "Zeins," which comprise the majority of proteins in corn, are located in spherical organelles called protein bodies. During extrusion, these protein bodies are completely disrupted and deformed. The extrusion process breaks down the organelles, disperses the proteins and the proteins become toxic. When they are disrupted in this way, you have absolute chaos in your food, and it can result in a disruption of the nervous system.

http://www.westonaprice.org/modernfood/dirty-secrets.html

I don't know about a lot of you, but I grew up addicted to cereal. I love that stuff, but my favorites anything with granola. I used to like Kellogs Smart Start a lot, thinking it was healthy.

But lately I've found something just about as good, with the right preparation. I don't know how many of you have heard of Ezekiel, they make some sprouted breads as well as sprouted cereals. It takes a little getting used to though. The cereal itself is pretty bland, and the breads are thick and dense, not spongey like what some people are accustomed too.

Anyways, if you don't alraedy know about the benefits of sprouting grains:

Sprouting, soaking and genuine sourdough leavening "pre-digests" grains, allowing the nutrients to be more easily assimilated and metabolized. This is an age-old approach practiced in most traditional cultures. Sprouting begins germination, which increases the enzymatic activity in foods and inactivates substances called enzyme inhibitors.1 These enzyme inhibitors prevent the activation of the enzymes present in the food and, therefore, may hinder optimal digestion and absorption. Soaking neutralizes phytic acid, a component of plant fiber found in the bran and hulls of grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds that reduces mineral absorption.32 All of these benefits may explain why sprouted foods are less likely to produce allergic reactions in those who are sensitive.1

Sprouting also causes a beneficial modification of various nutritional elements. According to research undertaken at the University of Minnesota, sprouting increases the total nutrient density of a food. For example, sprouted whole wheat was found to have 28 percent more thiamine (B1), 315 percent more riboflavin (B2), 66 percent more niacin (B3), 65 percent more pantothenic acid (B5), 111 percent more biotin, 278 percent more folic acid, and 300 percent more vitamin C than non-sprouted whole wheat. This phenomenon is not restricted to wheat. All grains undergo this type of quantitative and qualitative transformation. These studies also confirmed a significant increase in enzymes, which means the nutrients are easier to digest and absorb.33

http://www.westonaprice.org/modernfood/whe...iscretions.html

Enzyme inhibitors like phytic acid in grains, are known to prevent the absorbsion of many minerals we need, especially zinc.

Anyways, back to the Ezekiel cereal. The stuff tastes like cardboard if you eat it plain. But here's the problem - it's so damn healthy. B-Vitamins, lots of fiber, a complete source of vegan protein are a few reasons why it's good for you.

But what I've found to help turn it into some tasty breakfast, something I'd want to eat every morning:

- Sprinkle stevia all over it, stir it around with your spoon, puts that nice sweetness in the cereal.

- Add some dried berries into it for a nicer taste and texture.

- Let it soak in your milk (dairy, rice, oat, soy, or whatever you choose - personally I like homemade oat the best but rice milk is good too). The stuff is extremely crunchy if you don't.

- Dash on some cinammon, cardamon, ginger, cloves, whatever. If you want that spicy kick.

- Honey / maple syrup always works too.

And voila, tasty cereal that's healthy, nourishing and palatable.

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With so many people eating breakfast cereals, you might expect to find some studies on the effect of extruded cereals on animals or humans. Yet, there are no published studies at all in the scientific literature.

The USDA is too busy trying to find everything they can to disecredit healthy alternatives like Stevia to bother researching the products that are truly harmful to American society. :evil:

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The only cereal I'll eat is Food For Life's sprouted grain cereal...cinnamon raisin to be exact. Man, that stuff'll clean you out like psyllium does...even better, though!

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The only cereal I'll eat is Food For Life's sprouted grain cereal...cinnamon raisin to be exact. Man, that stuff'll clean you out like psyllium does...even better, though!

Tell me about it. I ate that stuff and the next day I was running to the loo every two hours. My face became more inflammed and I was literally sore down there. I'm staying far away from anything that looks like it has tiny twigs in it or else I'll pay for it :( .

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The only cereal I'll eat is Food For Life's sprouted grain cereal...cinnamon raisin to be exact. Man, that stuff'll clean you out like psyllium does...even better, though!

Yep, Food for Life and the Ezekiel cereal I mentioned are one of the same. Glad you enjoy the stuff as much as me.

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If I think I have a gluten sensitivity (ie bread, cereal make me break out) would sprouted grains be okay for me?

Cereal was one of my FAVORITE foods and I miss it so much :( I'd have a bowl for breakfast and sometimes for a snack after dinner. Oh, it's so tasty. But, I've started eating oatmeal instead. I'll look into the sprouted grains cereal

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I don't know much about grits except they come from corn. I don't eat them myself, but any hot cereal like grits, oatmeal, Bob's Red Mills Cereal, etc. doesn't go through the processes described above, those mainly concern things like Wheaties, Cheerios, all the commercial big brands of cereal that are believed to be 'healthy'.

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yea eating the kashi puffed cereal with zero grams of sugar wasn't the best idea. but i thought it was considering it had no sugar. grr. thank goodness silk printed stuff on their boxes regarding glycemic index or i'd still be totally oblivious!

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The cereal I usually eat is one of the three:

Cheerios

Kix

Shredded Wheat

I usually stick with the store brand. Of the 3, Shredded Wheat contains only one ingredient: 100% Whole Grain Wheat. That is it. Of course this is bad for celiac people, but it does have a lot of fiber...6g per serving. So 4 bowls gives you the DV of fiber. While it has 0g of sugar, it contains 41g of carbs...but that shouldn't deter anyone from eating it. By comparison a serving of Cheerios has 26g and Kix has 27g...each with 3g fiber per serving.

It's hard to find a really good cereal. I personally hate fortified cereal. Even though Kix and Cheerios are made with whole grain, they're fortified...which pretty much implies at most 51% of the cereal is whole grains.

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The cereal I usually eat is one of the three:

Cheerios

Kix

Shredded Wheat

I take it you're not on the candida diet anymore?

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This experiment was actually designed as a joke, but the results were far from funny. The results were never published and similar studies have not been conducted.

That whole thing is the most stupid piece of propaganda I think I have ever read.

Cereal will not kill you.

Some cereal is better for you than other cereal.

Some cereal is junk food, some is food.

Funding is so limited for scientific studies that NO real scientist designs any experiment as a joke. Because when you do one test, you get more funding to do further research. Maybe some sadistic kids who enjoy being cruel to animals in their spare time did the experiment, or maybe some sadistic jackasses at a sprouted-grain-food-product company did it. But most likely, no one did.

This is an age-old approach practiced in most traditional cultures.

And why is that a good thing? For thousands of years, the people of most "traditional cultures" were half malnourished, had rotten teeth, and died of weathering, hardship, and malnutrition before the age of 30. I am not sure that copying their eating habits is a good thing. Has the person who wrote this EVER taken an anthropology class? Let's not even get into the socially privileged absurdity of glorifying "traditional cultures."

Yes, sprouted grain food is good for you. It's fine to eat eat it. It's fibrous and moves things through. That's REALLY all that needed to be said and it would be much more reliable that way.

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This is an age-old approach practiced in most traditional cultures.

And why is that a good thing? For thousands of years, the people of most "traditional cultures" were half malnourished, had rotten teeth, and died of weathering, hardship, and malnutrition before the age of 30. I am not sure that copying their eating habits is a good thing. Has the person who wrote this EVER taken an anthropology class? Let's not even get into the socially privileged absurdity of glorifying "traditional cultures."

Yes, sprouted grain food is good for you. It's fine to eat eat it. It's fibrous and moves things through. That's REALLY all that needed to be said and it would be much more reliable that way.

Sally Fallon, the author of this, follows the work of Weston A. Price, a dentist who travelled the world in the 30's recording the dietary habits of more then a couple dozen cultures. These people lived long, healthy lives and had perfect teeth, coincidentally (and supposedly).

Anyways, I'll debate the "absurdity of glorifying ancient cultures" because a lot of the stuff I've learned about alot of them has been shown to be superior to how we operate today in our age of rancid vegetable oils, refined flours, processed foods and growing epidemics of heart disease, cancer etc.

But let's both agree on the point that sprouted grains are healthy. As far as today's processed breakfast cereals though, I don't know if "healthy" is a word to describe them, though they're certainly tasty and palatable.

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