Are you one of those people who start their day with a bowl of yellow fresh cornflakes mixed with milk and fruits? It sounds healthy & satisfactory right! But have you ever wondered whether these yellow flakes are really healthy? Do they really help in losing weight? Are they good for children and pregnant women?
Today we’re going on a discoverable journey to the cornflakes ingredients!
Are the corn flakes really made of corn? Well, to your surprise it’s only 8% of milled corn. So what about the other 92%? The secret behind that is still hidden or maybe deliberately hidden! Surprisingly, we don’t know the real source of these corns, but they might be genetically modified especially if they were imported from America or Argentina since the European Union for cultivation adopted the genetically modified corns.
It’s worth mentioning here that some people are already allergic to corn and may suffer various symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, asthma..etc. So after all, it’s not a good & healthy choice for them.

Let’s leave the corn now & move to the fibers! Wait, they’re no fibers?
Yes, it’s true. One cup of cornflakes barely contains 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 21 grams of carbohydrates. So, when you think that you’re eating the required servings of fiber by eating cornflakes, you’re mistaken, because you’re only having 2.6-3.5% of your daily needs!
Generally, a healthy balanced breakfast must at least have 3 grams of natural fibers; therefore, those flakes aren’t enough and might cause constipation.

So far we got little corn, little fiber, so what about sugar?
Well, be careful, you might risk diabetes, because cornflakes contain carbohydrates called High Glycemic Index (82) which increase the glucose in the blood and raise the level of insulin and thus increase the chance of diabetes!
Despite the fact that this product is fat free, it has high proportions of sugar as well as the additional sugar & honey which makes it a reason to gain weight. It also has low amounts of protein that first make us feel full fast & after few hours make us feel hungry again which might cause obesity, teeth decay, and diabetes.
Bottom line, cornflakes aren’t the right choice for children, people who want to lose weight, and pregnant women.
In addition to sugar, cornflakes contain barley. It’s known that barley contains small amounts of gluten which makes it unsuitable for those who are allergic to it.
They say that those yellow flakes are iron-fortified and it’s true to some extent. One cup of cornflakes has 8 mg of iron which is 100% of men needs & 44% of women, but a US study found that the iron amounts in cornflakes are less than the ones written on the package.
Interestingly, cornflakes are rich in vitamins! Based on a study published on Elsevier Journals, vitamins C and E increase the absorption of iron which is added to the flakes and thus make it suitable for those with Anemia associated with iron deficiency.
Cornflakes are also rich in vitamin B9 (folic acid). They have 25-50% of the daily need of B9. A normal person needs about 200 micrograms of it, so it’s considered as an essential element for the formation of red blood cells and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Do you know what BHT stand for?
First it’s dangerous. Second it stands for Butylated Hydroxytoluene, called commercially E321. This material is added to make the flakes crispy & delicious, but latest studies conducted on animals showed its risks on the kidney and liver. It might also cause cancer, thoracic crisis, sleep disorders and other problems. The studies said that it might affect humans since it affected animals.
The journey is over, but here’s one last stop. You can start your day with wheat flakes or oatmeal or you can add a natural fiber source to the cornflakes like wheat, fruits as apples, raspberries, strawberries, bananas or flax seeds.
Remember dear reader, eating foods that are rich in protein promote the secretion of insulin and thus maintain the level of blood sugar and eventually enjoying a healthy delicious breakfast.
Hanady Hjazy
Pharmacist who cares about health and nutrition, looking to aware people for proper consumption of medicine.