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Up until recently, I was a proponent of breakfast cereal, or grains (especially whole) in general. After all, I had been eating cereals, breads, and various buns all my life.
As a child growing up in the '50s and early '60s, various Kellogg and Post brand cereals filled our family's kitchen shelf. I especially liked the six-pack of mini breakfast cereals.
The standard breakfast for the wealthy in the late 1890s was meat and eggs. In the early part of the 20th century, Americans by and large ate beef, pork, or chicken for breakfast. Many were farmers.
The poor who could not afford meat ate mainly porridge, farina, gruel and other boiled grains for breakfast.
Alternative medical doctor Al Sears reminisces, "I remember staying at my grandparents' place when I was a kid. I'd wake up to the smell of steak and eggs and race down the stairs to get my place at the table," (Health Confidential. November, 2011, Issue #68.)
However, that regimen of meat and eggs changed dramatically primarily due to the efforts of the Kellogg brothers - especially Will Keith Kellogg (1860 - 1951.)
Will and his brother John Harvey (1852 - 1943) were members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church; among other things, the church advocated vegetarianism.
John ran an institution named the Battle Creek Sanitarium (superintendent.) Will became its bookkeeper.
The Battle Creek Sanitarium was based on the principles of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Run on health principles, Kellogg practiced a low-fat, low-protein diet with an emphasis on whole grains, fiber-rich foods, and nuts.
Through the sanitarium, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church led in the effort to develop modern, commercial cereal foods based on grains.
One of this institute's patient was C.W. Post who late founded Postum Cereal Company (later known as Post.) He modeled this company based on the grain products used at the Battle Creek Sanitarium.
Will and John heavily promoted cereals, especially corn flakes as a healthy breakfast food. And the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
Although the Kellogg brothers weren't the inventors of the breakfast cereal (James Caleb Jackson first developed Granula in 1863,) they were the first to make it commercially successful.
What is commonly recognized is that simple grains lead to a rush of blood sugar. What is not widely known by the American public is that even whole grains rapidly break down and lead to a sugar rush.
This sugar rush triggers an insulin response to shuttle the blood sugar into your body's cells. It also signals the body to store fat.
This process can lead to pre-diabetes or even full blown diabetes.
The standard unit to measure how quickly a carbohydrate will raise blood sugar is known as the glycemic index. A glycemic index (GI) of less than 55 is low; medium is greater than 55 and less than 70 while high is 70 or greater.
The average breakfast cereal is high on the glycemic index scale.
A slice of chocolate cake has a GI of 38; a Snickers candy bar has a GI of 55. Kellogg's Corn Flakes has a GI of 92! Post's Grape Nuts has a GI of 80.
The problem doesn't go away even if a cereal is USDA Organic certified. That just assures you that the grain is pesticide- and herbicide-free and is GMO-free. It also says that natural farming methods were used.
It is much more healthier and desirable to get your fiber from fruits and vegetables.