Tag Archives: cereals

Let’s talk numbers

You know what… forget gluten, forget lectins… let’s assume that grains and beans have no detrimental effects. With this assumption let us compare the nutritional content of grains, beans, vegetables, fruits and sugars. There’s actually very little I want to write in this post because I did a fair bit of research or data collection or whatever you want to call it and  have gathered some numbers which I’m sure will be very useful to you. So without further ado let’s just jump right in.


1. 200 calories of each food item is taken into account.

2. Carbohydrates, fiber and protein are in grams.

3. Vitamins are present as %DV i.e. Percentage Daily Value = Recommended Daily Amount. Find more information here.


Cereals and Grains:

– About 1 cup of grains/cereals will result in a calorie in take of ~ 200.

– All grains and cereals have a high carb load and contain little to no fiber and protein.

– Vitamins are available… but in trace amounts.

Beans and Legumes:

– About 1 cup of beans/legumes will result in a calorie in take of ~ 200.

– Beans and legumes have a high carb load but contain decent amount of fiber and protein.

– Moderate quantities of vitamins are available.

Starchy Vegetables:

– Each medium sized potato/yam will provide you about a 100 calories.

– Starchy vegetables are carb heavy and contain less fiber and protein (similar to grains)

– Moderate quantities of vitamins are available.

Fibrous Vegetables:

– Each cup of fibrous vegetable will result in a calorie intake of only 40 calories!

– Fibrous vegetables are not carb heavy and contain enormous amounts of fiber and protein!

Monstrous quantities of vitamins are available!


– Fruits could be calorie dense or not depending on their type. Berries are generally super low calorie.

– Fruits can be carb heavy, again depending on choice, and can have insane amount of fiber (berries) or not.

– Protein content of fruit is generally very low.

– Moderate quantities of vitamins are available (mostly vitamin C).


– 1/4 cup (or less) of sugar will result in 200 calories!

– They have a very high carb load, no fiber and no protein.

– Sugars have little to no vitamins to offer.

– Honey and sugar ain’t too different.


Now that you have seen the data let’s throw in some graphs, pictorially represent them and put things in perspective.

1. All these foods offer pretty similar amount of total carbohydrates to provide a total of 200 calories.

So no big deal here. Let’s chill.

2. While we are looking at the carbs offered by these foods let’s see how much fiber each of these offer.

Oh wow! Now here’s something worthwhile.

– While sugars offer zero fiber and grains offer just about 4 grams/200 calories, fibrous vegetables offer a whopping 21 grams/200 calories!! That is 85% of your DV for fiber!

– Fruits offer a significant amount of fiber too and if all your fruits are berries… my oh my… you’re getting ~ 30 grams of fiber/200 calories! That is 120% of your DV of fiber!

Clearly from a fiber perspective (which is important for all this)… fibrous vegetables and berries kick some serious ass! So brown rice eaters… please quit being proud! The 2 grams of fiber/200 calories ain’t no thang!

Net carbs in any food = Total carbs – Fiber and this is the number of carbs that actually count and the lower the better. So net carbs for these dudes?

Seriously… check it out! Fibrous vegetables have more fiber than net carbs! Wicked! Show me one product in the market today that does this! Fruits don’t compare too badly either and if I make a column for just berries… that would be very similar to the fibrous vegetable column.

3. What about protein now? These things should come with some protein too right?

Hells yeah! Once again… fibrous vegetables top the charts with an average of ~ 17 grams of protein/200 calorie! Compare this to the 6 grams from grains and 0 grams from sugar (obviously!) Now let’s compare the amount of carbs to the amount of protein these foods offer.

Well… of course sugars have no protein and grains have a meager 4 grams of protein for every 40 grams of net carbs. But our awesome fibrous vegetables have 17 grams of protein for every 16 grams of carbs! Did you read that? Yes? Now read that again! Fibrous vegetables provide you with more protein than carbs.

4. Last but not least… satiety.

200 calories = 1 cup of grains/beans Or 6.5 cups of fibrous vegetables Or 3.5 cups of fruits Or 1/5th a cup of sugar. You can get all your calories from just one chocolate bar and stay hungry for the rest of the day or you can throw in a bunch of vegetables and fruits… eat till your full and realize you’ve eaten only 1/4th of your calories for the day.


Calorie for calorie…

– Fibrous vegetables provide more fiber and protein than sugar, grains, starchy vegetables and even beans.

– Much higher quantities of fibrous vegetables can be eaten without piling on the calories (as opposed to sugar and grains). This helps in satiety when on a diet especially.

– Fruits (especially berries) provide crazy amounts of fiber and vitamin C compared to grains and sugars.

– Starchy vegetables offer a high carb load with minimal fiber and moderate vitamins which make it an awesome candidate for post-workout meals.

– Fibrous vegetables offer insane amount of vitamins compared to any other food source that exists.

– Sugars have zero nutrition. Period. Honey is no better than sugar.

– I haven’t even discussed the gluten issue. You can read here about the havoc they wreck.

– If this is not enough information and analysis for you to base the bulk of your diet around vegetables and fruits… then you’re just an idiot (and will be a fat idiot  soon and will most probably be a fat diabetic idiot soon after.)

Once again… you don’t have to change your diet to eating just fruit and vegetables and nuts and lean meats all the time. Base the bulk of your diet on these things and have the occasional dessert or grain based meal.


Think Behind The Box – Instant Breakfasts

Today about 75% of us eat instant foods like cereals, granola bars & instant oatmeal for breakfast (and the remaining 25% don’t eat breakfast). That’s pretty sad. Why? Because we let our taste-buds & clocks dictate our shopping list! And let me tell you this now… them taste-buds don’t have our well-being in mind. We’ve got to train them to like what’s good for us. More on this later.

Not wasting your or my time… lets jump to the specifics.  So we’ll do a detailed analysis on a few very common instant breakfast options we have today. Then may be some ideas for real food? Cool.

1. Kellogg’s® Smart Start® Strong Heart Antioxidants Cereal

I mean… it says Smart Start and something about heart and antioxidants… oh and it’s got the stuff in a heart shaped bowl! it’s got to be good for you right?


Oat Bran, Sugar, Oat Clusters (Sugar, Toasted Oats [Rolled Oats, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil,Molasses, Honey], Wheat Flakes, Crisp Rice [Rice, Sugar, Malt, Salt], Corn Syrup, Polydextrose, Honey, Cinnamon, BHT For Freshness,Artificial Vanilla Flavor), Rice, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Malt Flavoring, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Baking Soda, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Niacinamide, Zinc Oxide, Reduced Iron, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Bht (Preservative), Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D.

2. Quaker’s Instant Oatmeal

Ok, so I grew up in India and my mom cooked oats with milk for breakfast before I left for school. So what’s the difference between my mom’s version and Uncle Quaker’s super-healthy version?

My mom’s ingredients:

Whole grain oats, sugar to taste + milk + peach (if I wanted peach flavor)

Uncle Quaker’s Ingredients:

Whole grain rolled oats, sugar, flavored fruit pieces-dehydrated apples [treated with sodium sulfite to promote color retention], artificial peach flavor, citric acid, annatto color), creaming agent (maltodextrin, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, corn syrup, whey, sodium caseinate, sugar, dipotassium phosphate,mono and diglycerides, artificial color, salt, soy lecithin, artificial flavor), salt, calcium carbonate, guar gum, oat flour, artificial flavor, niacinamide*, vitamin a palmitate, reduced iron, pyridoxine hydrochloride*, riboflavin*, thiamin mononitrate*, folic acid*. +  milk

May be it’s an American thing but my mom never added all this to her oatmeal. Hell, she didn’t even know these were things you add to food. Why? Because these are not things you add to food! Pretty useful stuff though…you can use them to clean your carpet or even as rat poison.

3. Kellog’s Eggo Blueberry Waffles


Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [vitamin b1], riboflavin [vitamin b2], folic acid), water, vegetable oil (soybean oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil with tbhq and citric acid for freshness), eggs, sugar, dextrose, contains two percent or less of leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), modified corn starch, salt, calcium carbonate, dried blueberries, apple fiber, natural and artificial flavors, maltodextrin, cellulose gum, citric acid, whey, soy lecithin, vitamin a palmitate, niacinamide, blue #2 lake, reduced iron, red #40 lake, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin b6), thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin b1), riboflavin (vitamin b2), vitamin b12.

If I were eating this and I just read the ingredients I’d be like ‘Oh My Freakin Lord!’.

4. Peanut Butter Chocolate Quaker Fiber & Omega-3 Granola Bars


Granola (whole grain rolled oats, sugar, brown sugar, rice flour, whole grain rolled wheat, coconut oil, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils and/or sunflower oil, whole wheat flour, honey, molasses, sodium bicarbonate, soy lecithin, caramel color, salt, barley malt, vanilla extract, nonfat dry milk, whey, sodium caseinate), oligofructose, crisp rice (rice, sugar, salt, barley malt), semisweet chocolate chunks (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, salt, vanilla), peanut butter (peanuts, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil [cottonseed and/or rapeseed oil], salt), flaxseed, peanut flavored chips (sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil*, partially defatted peanut flour, lactose, whey, dextrose, corn syrup solids, soy lecithin, salt, artificial flavor), sugar, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil*, fructose, glycerin, sunflower oil, natural and artificial flavor, cocoa (processed with alkali), water, buttermilk, cocoa, salt, milkfat, soy lecithin, hydrogenated palm oil*, sorbitan monostearate, polysorbate 60.

This is their description…

“Adding fiber to your diet has never been so yummy or easy, and with the added benefits of Omega-3, you can feel great about indulging with our rich and tasty Peanut Butter Chocolate Quaker Fiber & Omega-3 granola bars.”

And this is mine…

“Adding crap to your diet has never been so yummy or easy, and with the added benefits of chemically processed shit, you can feel great about indulging with our cheap and nasty Multi-Junk Bar a.k.a Peanut Butter Chocolate Quaker Fiber & Omega-3 granola bars.”

Ok are you freakin kidding me?? Why do the words ‘artificial’ and ‘flavor’ appear over and over again in my healthy breakfast? Why do I read sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, molasses, honey, malt flavoring, sugar? Why are there 30+ ‘listed’ ingredients when my mom’s recipe had two? Why are 70% of these ingredients things that most of us last heard in chemistry class? Redonkulous!! Oh and when I see parents feeding this stuff to their children… may God save our race!

I stuck to the American brands because it is easier to get the ingredient list online… but I guarantee you wherever you live most of the stuff on the supermarket aisles have similar junk in them.

I understand your problem though. You’re busy! You cant cook every morning… and yea this shit is cheap also. Ummmm… alright I have an amazing idea that will save you both time and money! Listen up.

Stop fueling you car with unleaded petrol. Use kerosene or crude oil instead. Why?

1. It’s super cheap! Money saved!

2. You can buy in bulk and store it in your garage. Fill your car’s fuel tank from home!! Time saved!

You won’t do that now will you? You wont fill your car with crude oil… you shouldn’t fuel you body with processed crap.

Get your priorities right… health is and has to be one of your highest priorities… spend the extra 10 mins and fuel your body with the highest quality foods!

Now for some alternatives…

1. Baked Eggs

Vidya made these for breakfast and I should say these were pretty awesome!


Whole fresh eggs, mozzarella cheese, salt, black pepper, dried basil leaves, red chili paste, olive oil, cilantro

Prep time: 5mins; Baking time: 25mins

I’ll let you figure out the portions per your bodyweight & activity level. Mix ’em up in a cup… load ’em in the oven… hop into the shower and come back to a super breakfast. Add a cup of fresh fruits and you’re good to go. Protein from the eggs, fat from the egg yolks & olive oil, carbs from fruit and health from ‘real’ ingredients!

* Will post the detailed recipe soon.

2. Fruit & Nut Shake

Even a 3 yr old can make this… I have something like this every morning almost.


Milk, fruit (banana or apple or berries), nuts (almonds or macadamia nuts or walnuts), honey (to taste)

Prep time: 5 mins; Blend time: 1 min

If you’re training or if you’re vegetarian and not getting enough protein… add a scoop of whey isolate to the shake. Super tasty & supremely healthy!

3. Veggie Scramble


Whole fresh eggs, vegetables, olive oil, salt, pepper

Prep time: 5mins; Cook time: 10mins

Fruit on the side for the sweet tooth. No limit to the combinations you can come up with when eggs, vegetables, nuts & fruits are involved.

Note: No red flags on any of the ingredients here. Your mom will recognize and vouch for every single ingredient.

So everytime we buy something let’s not get fooled by the marketing gimmicks on the front of the box… let’s remember to look ‘behind’ the box! And if you HAVE TO go for instant breakfasts once in a while find products that have less than a total of 8-10 ingredients and make sure you know what those ingredients are.


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