Corn flakes are made from milled corn, malt flavoring, and sugar. They are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Corn flakes have a crunchy texture, and they soften when soaked in milk. They are one of the most commonly used breakfast cereals in many countries including the U.S. But, are corn flakes healthy? Let’s find out.
Are Corn Flakes Healthy for You?
We are always told to have a wholesome breakfast including cereals, fruits, nuts, juice, and milk. So, are corn flakes healthy or are they harmful to your health?
Corn has a good amount of nutrients, but processing the corn grits strips off most nutrients. Additionally, most instant corn flakes brands have added sugar and flavorings in them. Some brands have corn syrup, and the addition of more sugar and honey to your bowl does more harm than good.
Corn Flakes Health Benefits
Although corn has a good amount of nutrients, it also contains starch. Corn flakes also contain iron, vitamin B12, and other nutrients. When buying corn flakes, you should check the label for sugar content, flavorings, and other additives.
You should also ensure that it does not contain genetically modified corn. Always opt for plain corn flakes and refrain from having them every day. Plain corn flakes with milk and dried fresh fruit does have some health benefits.
Here are a few corn flakes benefits to consider.
1. Rich in vitamins and minerals
Corn flakes contain essential vitamins and minerals such as folate and thiamine. Folate boosts cell and tissue growth and plays a role in DNA synthesis. And thiamin helps speed up carbohydrate metabolism and cerebral function.
The fiber content of the fruits you add will help prevent constipation and boost metabolism. It will also keep you satiated for a long time.
2. Rich in proteins
Having corn flakes with milk increases the protein content. Protein is essential for repairing body tissues, increasing immunity, and regulating enzymes and hormones. Adding honey, nuts, and seeds will boost protein intake.
3. Prevents snacking on junk
Corn flakes can be a good nutrient-rich substitute for junk food if you mix plain corn flakes with milk and fruits. When these ingredients are combined, they help regulate the body’s metabolism and prevent cravings.
Corn flakes are convenient to carry and prepare, especially if you are outside or traveling. However, you should watch your portions.
4. Good for eye health
Are corn flakes healthy for the eyes? Yes, because corn flakes contain a substance called lutein, which is an essential nutrient for eye health. Corn flakes also contain thiamine which helps boost cognitive ability and memory.
There are many other healthier foods you can have to boost memory and eye health. These include carrots, coconut oil, broccoli, spinach, and certain types of fish such as mackerel and salmon.
Some Side Effects of Corn Flakes
Flavored corn flakes have exceptionally high amounts of sugar. Tests conducted by the Consumer Education and Research Society on three brands of breakfast cereals found that corn flakes contained large amounts of sugar.
The American Heart Association says that added sugars don’t help increase the nutritional value. These are empty calories which only lead to weight gain. As a result, corn flakes are unfavorable for weight loss.
Corn flakes have a high glycemic index of 92 and a glycemic load of 23. The carbohydrates present in corn flakes can lead to an increase in blood sugar levels. So, people with diabetes should avoid eating this cereal.
Corn Flakes Nutrition Facts
A cup (28 grams) of corn flakes contains 101 calories. It has a high amount of sodium, around 11% of the recommended daily intake.
Corn flakes have 24 grams of carbohydrates consisting of one gram of dietary fiber and two grams of sugar. Adult men should have 34 grams of fiber, while women should have 28 grams.
Corn Flakes Nutrition Chart
The vitamins present in corn flakes include vitamins A and D which provide 15% and 10% of the DV respectively. Other vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B6 and B12, and folate contribute to 25% of the DV.
Corn flakes have a high amount of iron, which provides 30% of the recommended daily intake. It also has magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and potassium.
Corn flakes are low in fats and cholesterol. They contain two grams of proteins per cup. They contribute to three percent of the daily protein requirement for men and four percent for women.
The folic acid in corn flakes helps produce new blood cells and prevents birth defects.
Can Corn Flakes Cause Weight Gain?
Corn flakes may, in fact, lead to weight gain if you do not watch the portions you eat. As mentioned, most of the nutrients are added after processing the corn.
Be sure to check the label for other additives including sugar. Also, stay away from flavored corn flakes, such as honey and chocolate flavors.
Kids often love to eat chocolate- or honey-flavored corn flakes which may contain high amounts of added sugar. Obesity is a big issue and is a common concern among kids as well.
Final Word on Corn Flakes
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it should be wholesome and nutritious. Most of us look for instant cereals as we lack time to prepare wholesome meals in the morning. There are better options for breakfast that don’t take much time to prepare.
You should try eating more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to ensure your diet is balanced so that your body gets the nutrients it requires. Some of these include boiled eggs with whole grain bread, seasonal fruits mixed in a bowl of yogurt, veggies and scrambled eggs, oats with dried fruits and some fresh ones, and so on. On the days you have time, you can make porridge by soaking some whole grains overnight and cooking them in the morning.
But, if you have to eat corn flakes for breakfast, you need to limit your intake and not consume it as the only source of vitamins and minerals. Also, having corn flakes every day can be very boring. So, introduce variety in your breakfast menu, and make a schedule for the week.
“Benefits of corn flakes: Are corn flakes Healthy for You?” Nutright, December 16, 2015; http://nutright.com/blog/health-benefits-corn flakes/.
Swami, A., “Health Benefits and Nutritional Facts of Corn Flakes,” EzineArticles, April 12, 2012; http://ezinearticles.com/?Health-Benefits-and-Nutritional-Facts-of-Corn-Flakes&id=6996762.
Kapoor, S., “Are Corn Flakes Healthy or Fattening?” Practo, December 17, 2015; https://www.practo.com/healthfeed/are-corn-flakes-healthy-or-fattening-3421/post.