The ‘Balanced Breakfast’ of My Youth

If you’re around my age, you may remember when almost every commercial for cereal ended with the tagline: Part of this nutritious breakfast! Or, Part of this balanced breakfast! The “balanced” breakfast shown was always a bowl of cereal, two pieces of toast (because the cereal alone didn’t provide enough processed grain), a glass of milk and a glass of juice – usually orange juice.

Here are a couple of collections of old cereal ads I found on YouTube. The first is from the 1970s, the second from the 1980s:

Boy, cereal had some great flavors back in the day: chocolate, sugar, honey, cinnamon toast, more sugar, marshmallows, rocky road ice cream, even more sugar, and chocolate chip cookies. Trust me, Kellogg’s and General Mills had no problem convincing us to eat those “balanced” breakfasts. I think we may be looking at part of the reason rates of obesity began to take off around 1980.

Just for grins, I took clips from the videos above and stitched them into a little summary of my own:

Let’s look at the nutrition breakdown of that “balanced” breakfast the cereal manufacturers were promoting back then. Officially, a serving of cereal is cup or a half-cup, depending on the brand, but if you look at the commercials, those cereal bowls hold more like two cups – and I didn’t know any kids who ate just one cup of cereal for breakfast. They were called cereal bowls for a reason.

So I’ll go with two cups of Frosted Flakes, 2% milk (which is what we drank when I was an adolescent), Parkay Margarine (which was mostly trans fat back then) and Minute Maid orange juice from concentrate, the kind your mom mixed with water. Here’s what we get:

Frosted Flakes (2 cups)
Calories: 320
Protein: 2.7 g
Carbs: 75 g
Sugar: 32 g
Fat: 2 g

2% Milk (2 cups)
Calories: 244
Protein: 16 g
Carbs: 23 g
Sugar 23 g
Fat: 10 g

Toast (2 slices)
Calories: 140
Protein: 4 g
Carbs: 28 g
Sugar: 4 g
Fat: 2 g

Parkay Margarine (2 tbs)
Calories: 120
Fat: 14 g

Minute Maid Orange Juice (8 oz)
Calories: 110
Carbs: 27 g
Sugar: 24 g

Okay, let’s add up that nutritious breakfast:

Calories: 934
Protein: 22.7 g
Carbs: 153 g
Sugar: 83 g
Fat: 28 g

As a percent of calories, it works out to about 65% carbohydrate, 10% protein and 25% fat. Hey, I’ll be darned if those aren’t the proportions recommended by the USDA! No wonder people in my generation are so remarkably lean and free of diabetes.

I believe (or hope, anyway) that most parents these days know that cereals full of chocolate and marshmallows aren’t health food. But I’d bet many of them still believe a glass of orange juice is part of a nutritious breakfast.

Take a look at the sugar content in that glass of orange juice listed above. It’s a Coke with a bit of vitamin C. Now take a look at part of the abstract from a study in which investigators included orange juice with breakfast for one of the study groups, but not the other.

On 2 separate days, healthy normal-weight adolescents (n = 7) and adults (n = 10) consumed the same breakfast with either orange juice or drinking water and sat at rest for 3 h after breakfast. The meal paired with orange juice was 882 kJ (210 kcal) higher than the meal paired with drinking water. Both meals contained the same amount of fat (12 g). For both age groups, both meals resulted in a net positive energy balance 150 min after breakfast. Resting fat oxidation 150 min after breakfast was significantly lower after breakfast with orange juice, however. The results suggest that, independent of a state of energy excess, when individuals have a caloric beverage instead of drinking water with a meal, they are less likely to oxidize the amount of fat consumed in the meal before their next meal.

If you’re not oxidizing fat, you’re storing it. That’s why we never include orange juice (or apple juice, or grape juice, or any other fruit juice) in the nutritious breakfasts we serve at home – much less cereal and toast.


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131 thoughts on “The ‘Balanced Breakfast’ of My Youth

  1. Denise Cripps

    You’ll be shocked to hear that Jim remembered every one of these commercials. And with great fondness 🙂

    Not shocked at all. We grew up watching those … by “we,” I mean old guys.

    Reply
    1. Justin Nosenzo

      I love how a TON of people on this thread hold bacon in such high regard. Bacon is terrible for you. Maybe not as bad as cereal, but still. A solid breakfast is eggs, plain oatmeal(you can add organic raisins), and water. I think it’s funny that some people in this thread claim that these cereals MADE them morbidly obese. You decide what goes into YOUR body. I grew up eating all that crap and Pop Tarts and Toaster Strudels, etc. But I stayed active, and once I got out on my own, learned that this stuff was garbage and started eating clean like people used to before all of these companies started coming out with all this garbage. If you eat stuff with poor nutritional value, yes it definitely has a negative impact on your health, but the fact that you get morbidly obese is because you don’t exercise. People always want a scapegoat so they don’t have to be responsible for letting themselves become out of shape and unhealthy.

      What is your evidence for claiming that:

      1. Bacon is bad for you?
      2. Exercise prevents obesity?

      Reply
  2. Randal L. Schwartz

    Working on the road, I have many opportunities to check out the “free” breakfast buffets provided by the hotels. It’s amazing how much of this stuff is just outright damaging, and yet is gobbled up (literally) by the hotel guests. {sigh} All those juices, pancakes, waffles, pastries. At least they often have bacon and eggs and sausage and cheese! Yeay!

    Reply
  3. Holly

    I’m 42 and remember most of these. They were certainly more liberal in the 70’s and 80’s with using the word “sugar” when describing the product. Now they seem to focus more on the “healthy” whole grains and low fat aspects of this garbage.

    I grew-up on this crap (and became morbidly obese), it turns my stomach to watch these commercials. Yes, I’m bitter, because following the “food pyramid” didn’t solve and probably caused my weight issues! Until recently I wasn’t give the correct (low carb) tools to control my weight.

    No more of this garbage for my family!

    Sugar Pops, Sugar Frosted Flakes, Sugar Smacks … the cereals of my youth.

    Reply
    1. Cyborcat

      What was funny was in the 80’s, when people were becoming more health conscious those cereals weren’t selling as well due to “sugar” being part of the name … so they took it out and/or replaced it with “honey” (Sugar Corn Pops to Corn Pops, Sugar Smacks to Honey Smacks, etc.)*without changing the ingredients at all* … and people started buying them again *facepalm*

      I guess if it doesn’t say “Sugar” in the name, there’s no sugar.

      Reply
  4. Steve

    And the odd part is perhaps the worst cereal of all is any of the shredded wheat variety and these were considered quite healthful back in the day.

    I can remember my own mother’s rule that I was not allowed to have any cereal that “had sugar as the first ingredient”. Somehow “Rocky Road” made the cut (and man was that stuff like crack). The reality was that was all a bunch of crap with bonus points for wheat and/or artificial coloring.

    I have only been fully low carb for a little over a year. However the one thing I did figure out 20 years ago is that breakfast cereal was garbage. A big part of the reason I clued in was it made me feel so bad. It took me two more decades though to figure out the bigger picture.

    There is a special place in hell for these cereal manufacturers.

    Unfortunately, I spent much of my adult life eating Grape-Nuts, which aren’t a whole lot better.

    Reply
    1. Ben

      Silly to waste energy damning the cereal manufacturers (who didn’t force anyone to consume their product). As explained in Tom’s film and posts, the immoral/damnable parties, if any, were certain politicians and researchers, along with their respective organizations.

      Reply
  5. Denise Cripps

    You’ll be shocked to hear that Jim remembered every one of these commercials. And with great fondness 🙂

    Not shocked at all. We grew up watching those … by “we,” I mean old guys.

    Reply
    1. Justin Nosenzo

      I love how a TON of people on this thread hold bacon in such high regard. Bacon is terrible for you. Maybe not as bad as cereal, but still. A solid breakfast is eggs, plain oatmeal(you can add organic raisins), and water. I think it’s funny that some people in this thread claim that these cereals MADE them morbidly obese. You decide what goes into YOUR body. I grew up eating all that crap and Pop Tarts and Toaster Strudels, etc. But I stayed active, and once I got out on my own, learned that this stuff was garbage and started eating clean like people used to before all of these companies started coming out with all this garbage. If you eat stuff with poor nutritional value, yes it definitely has a negative impact on your health, but the fact that you get morbidly obese is because you don’t exercise. People always want a scapegoat so they don’t have to be responsible for letting themselves become out of shape and unhealthy.

      What is your evidence for claiming that:

      1. Bacon is bad for you?
      2. Exercise prevents obesity?

      Reply
  6. Lauren

    My mom had the same sugar rule, except for us it had to be no higher than #3. As a result I ate (and somehow learned to like) a lot of grape nuts. Of course, my mom didn’t cook at all, so a typical day’s meal was grapenuts, school lunch, and then a tv dinner. I was skinny, but always sick. Anyway, all that to say I definitely remember the “well balanced” shtick.

    “Well-balanced” apparently meant equal proportions of wheat and sugar. That’s why they added the toast.

    Reply
  7. Randal L. Schwartz

    Working on the road, I have many opportunities to check out the “free” breakfast buffets provided by the hotels. It’s amazing how much of this stuff is just outright damaging, and yet is gobbled up (literally) by the hotel guests. {sigh} All those juices, pancakes, waffles, pastries. At least they often have bacon and eggs and sausage and cheese! Yeay!

    Reply
  8. Bret

    That was pretty much my regular childhood breakfast, except with skim milk instead of whole. Even when I did have eggs and bacon, there was always a set of pancakes or waffles to go with, because we all know you need your grains for energy! (Pay no attention to that cottage cheese beneath the belly skin)

    Nice little trip back in time with those videos. Thundercats, Ho!

    I’d forgotten about some of those cereals until I saw the old commercials.

    Reply
  9. Holly

    I’m 42 and remember most of these. They were certainly more liberal in the 70’s and 80’s with using the word “sugar” when describing the product. Now they seem to focus more on the “healthy” whole grains and low fat aspects of this garbage.

    I grew-up on this crap (and became morbidly obese), it turns my stomach to watch these commercials. Yes, I’m bitter, because following the “food pyramid” didn’t solve and probably caused my weight issues! Until recently I wasn’t give the correct (low carb) tools to control my weight.

    No more of this garbage for my family!

    Sugar Pops, Sugar Frosted Flakes, Sugar Smacks … the cereals of my youth.

    Reply
    1. Cyborcat

      What was funny was in the 80’s, when people were becoming more health conscious those cereals weren’t selling as well due to “sugar” being part of the name … so they took it out and/or replaced it with “honey” (Sugar Corn Pops to Corn Pops, Sugar Smacks to Honey Smacks, etc.)*without changing the ingredients at all* … and people started buying them again *facepalm*

      I guess if it doesn’t say “Sugar” in the name, there’s no sugar.

      Reply
  10. Stephen Brand, CPT, SFN, SSF

    My poison of choice was sugar-frosted flakes. I’d eat until I just had the milk left. Then, of course, I’d have to add more cereal to that. But then, alas, not enough milk. So, more milk, but then, shoot, cereal gone but milk left…and on it went until I was so full…

    And I thought I was the only one.

    Reply
  11. Steve

    And the odd part is perhaps the worst cereal of all is any of the shredded wheat variety and these were considered quite healthful back in the day.

    I can remember my own mother’s rule that I was not allowed to have any cereal that “had sugar as the first ingredient”. Somehow “Rocky Road” made the cut (and man was that stuff like crack). The reality was that was all a bunch of crap with bonus points for wheat and/or artificial coloring.

    I have only been fully low carb for a little over a year. However the one thing I did figure out 20 years ago is that breakfast cereal was garbage. A big part of the reason I clued in was it made me feel so bad. It took me two more decades though to figure out the bigger picture.

    There is a special place in hell for these cereal manufacturers.

    Unfortunately, I spent much of my adult life eating Grape-Nuts, which aren’t a whole lot better.

    Reply
    1. Galina L.

      When our family came to Canada in 1995, I immediately appreciated the Shredded wheat , however, we used it as occasional cookies with our coffee.

      That’s better than eating a bowl full of them, I guess.

      Reply
    2. Ben

      Silly to waste energy damning the cereal manufacturers (who didn’t force anyone to consume their product). As explained in Tom’s film and posts, the immoral/damnable parties, if any, were certain politicians and researchers, along with their respective organizations.

      Reply
      1. Steve

        The cereal manufacturers aren’t legally guilty of fraud, so yes I suppose it is within their rights to market their products the way that they do. However I do feel that they are intentionally sending a message they know damn well is false. They have to live with that… but well said it is a “waste of energy” to grade the morality of those involved.

        Sure, they have every right to market crap. It’s up to us to convince people the crap is crap.

        Reply
  12. Bruce

    Maybe little 9 year old Hannah and her mom will tackle the cereal makers next for their use of cartoon characters to sell sugar to kids.

    I guess it will depend on whether or not Hannah eats cereal.

    Reply
  13. Lauren

    My mom had the same sugar rule, except for us it had to be no higher than #3. As a result I ate (and somehow learned to like) a lot of grape nuts. Of course, my mom didn’t cook at all, so a typical day’s meal was grapenuts, school lunch, and then a tv dinner. I was skinny, but always sick. Anyway, all that to say I definitely remember the “well balanced” shtick.

    “Well-balanced” apparently meant equal proportions of wheat and sugar. That’s why they added the toast.

    Reply
  14. Bret

    That was pretty much my regular childhood breakfast, except with skim milk instead of whole. Even when I did have eggs and bacon, there was always a set of pancakes or waffles to go with, because we all know you need your grains for energy! (Pay no attention to that cottage cheese beneath the belly skin)

    Nice little trip back in time with those videos. Thundercats, Ho!

    I’d forgotten about some of those cereals until I saw the old commercials.

    Reply
  15. Stephen Brand, CPT, SFN, SSF

    My poison of choice was sugar-frosted flakes. I’d eat until I just had the milk left. Then, of course, I’d have to add more cereal to that. But then, alas, not enough milk. So, more milk, but then, shoot, cereal gone but milk left…and on it went until I was so full…

    And I thought I was the only one.

    Reply
  16. Cyborcat

    Saw the Nutritious Breakfast? video on your YouTube channel before coming here to see what article went with it–gotta say, it’s got some nostalgia factor, and some of those commercials were cute.

    Speaking of cereal, I remember when you talked about the glycemic index of Raisin Bran on Fat Head–it really hit home for me because it’s exactly what I was eating at the time (with added dried cranberries and honey)–can hardly believe I ever did that.

    I hear you. I can’t believe I ate Grape Nuts and Shredded Wheat and thought I was doing myself a favor.

    Reply
  17. Bruce

    Maybe little 9 year old Hannah and her mom will tackle the cereal makers next for their use of cartoon characters to sell sugar to kids.

    I guess it will depend on whether or not Hannah eats cereal.

    Reply
  18. Cyborcat

    Saw the Nutritious Breakfast? video on your YouTube channel before coming here to see what article went with it–gotta say, it’s got some nostalgia factor, and some of those commercials were cute.

    Speaking of cereal, I remember when you talked about the glycemic index of Raisin Bran on Fat Head–it really hit home for me because it’s exactly what I was eating at the time (with added dried cranberries and honey)–can hardly believe I ever did that.

    I hear you. I can’t believe I ate Grape Nuts and Shredded Wheat and thought I was doing myself a favor.

    Reply
  19. tess

    🙂 I have a college textbook of my grandmother’s — she studied home economics about the time the Great War started — which lauds sugar as a source of energy. Of course, people had more physical daily lifestyles then than we do now, and the amount of sugar in the diet was considerably smaller. But then again, that generation seemed to suffer an increasing amount of cancer, heart disease and obesity as they aged….

    Sure, their sugar consumption was a fraction of ours today.

    Reply
  20. Christine

    Thank you Tom, for the thoughtful post. I am 47 and as kids this stuff was heavily marketed to us on the main mass media machine (TV). We were rarely allowed sugar cereals ( we were only getting Shreddies, Cheerios and Shredded Wheat) but really, that only made the sugar stuff MORE desirable and that appeal persisted into my adulhood (how sad)!
    The real mind blowing is how they got away with saying any cereal was of a balanced breakfast”! At the time, there had to be a generation alive that must have though this starchy sugar breakfast was a bunch of B.S.? How we were swayed by junk science!

    BTW, one of the most dental cavity causing substances in the North American diet today are Cheerios (mostly because they are heavily marketed to parents for the 3 and under crowd).

    Christine Lilge D.D.S. , B.Sc.

    Yeah, we fell for that “give your toddler Cheerios” stuff for awhile. That was before I started working on Fat Head, of course.

    Reply
  21. Kristin

    Wow. That was a blast from the past. It has been years since I’ve seen TV commercials of any kind, let alone these umm…gems. My family always had a choice of eight different cereals and more than half of them were the Frosted Flakes and Cocoa Puffs variety. I loved Captain Crunch so much I’d make the top of my mouth raw munching them as a snack (not even the buffer of some fat or protein of milk.) No wonder I got so insulin resistant. When people say they don’t have to eat high fat to stay lean I just say they are lucky to not have a damaged system. This is one response they really can’t dispute since I’m keeping it to just me.

    I ate Cheerios and Grape Nuts up until last year and still miss them sometimes. I’m still talking my poor boyfriend into accepting that the ‘healthy’ organic whole grain cereals he subsists on when he is working late hours (writing software) is part of his ubiquitous belly. He is at the point where he sort of believes me…but hasn’t broken free yet. At least he puts full fat raw milk on it these days. It’s a process.

    Tell him I work late hours writing software without the benefit of hearthealthywholegrains. I was programming until nearly midnight last night, in fact.

    Reply
  22. Susan

    Maybe I’m misremembering in my old age, but it seems like some of the commercials showed not just cereal, toast, juice and milk, but eggs too in their depictions of a “balanced breakfast.” I used to look at them and think, MAYBE the eggs and toast OR the cereal (in my pre LCHF days), but good gracious, not both. I always figured that it was the inclusion of the eggs that allowed them to call those breakfasts “balanced.”

    I don’t remember seeing eggs in the “balanced breakfast” ads.

    Reply
  23. Tammy

    Well no wonder I was always ready to pass out by 9am – and I was eating 3 bowls of mini-wheats !!! I grew up on on those too but luckily found Atkins 11 years ago. Now I reserve my Cocoa Pebbles for crispy treats for New Year’s Eve !!

    That sounds like a wild New Year’s Eve.

    Reply
  24. SB

    And now the frosted mini wheats don’t bother with animals, they just stick a face and appendages on the cereal and call it a day. Lazy. My parents had a “less than 1g sugar” per serving rule. I didn’t like anything though b/c I could get good sugary junk elsewhere in the house. Then I grew up and bought my own cereal. Those were bad, hungry days. Of course I brought a bag of cereal to snack on at school. Vicious cycle, I tell ya.

    Yup, eating sugar creates cravings for sugar. Same goes for wheat.

    Reply
  25. SB

    Also, does anyone actually enjoy Grape nuts? I remember being very disappointed with my first taste of those pebbles.

    I liked them back in the day.

    Reply
  26. Jen

    That was a nice trip down memory lane. I remember the commercials and could sing with some of them. I remember being so excited that we got the Lucky Charms with the mixed up colors! I grew up eating cereal for breakfast almost every day and my mom would wonder why we were always hungry.

    A blood-sugar spike followed by a blood-sugar crash will do that to you.

    Reply
  27. Amy

    I don’t serve breakfast cereal to my kids. A friend asked once why, and I said it was just as bad as cake: flour, sugar, corn syrup, artificial flavors. “Enriched” doesn’t make it healthy, neither does whole grain. She was sold, no more breakfast cereal for her kids.

    Instead, she buys the bulk size box of chocolate chip waffles at her local club store and serves them with non-dairy spread and maple-flavored corn syrup. It’s quick and convenient, she says, and healthy because vitamins and minerals. And it’s better than no breakfast, of course, because she doesn’t have time in the morning to make breakfast (she does not work at all).

    I also do not work. This morning I was able to feed five people bacon, eggs, and toast (yeah, we eat bread sometimes) in about 15 minutes. I think cereal eating is for the lazy – lazy way to eat without thinking, lazy way of thinking you’ll get excellent nutrition because the box told you so rather than do your own research and be a bit introspective.

    My blood sugar is spiking just hearing about those waffles.

    Reply
    1. Cyborcat

      Bah to your friend not having enough time.

      Granted, I have no kids, but I work a full-time job yet I just set aside maybe 30 minutes on Sunday to cook about a dozen eggs for breakfast throughout the week, and just reheat as needed. Would involve more time and effort for multiple people, of course, but the point still stands.

      Reply
      1. Jill

        That’s so weird (her, not you).

        Scrambled eggs has to be THE fastest breakfast possible apart from cereal!

        Reply
    2. Kristin

      I call BS as well on this. It takes no more time to scramble an egg than it does to make up waffles or toast. It is just a matter of what your habit is. Or probably more accurately, your excuse to maintain your carb addiction. But then all that said I do have compassion for that terrified look in the eyes of people who say “Oh! I couldn’t give THAT up.” I was behind those eyeballs once.

      I also think we as a culture have allowed ourselves to be sucked in by the food companies and their lure of convenience. You can make time to cook a decent meal now or make time to be ill later. Your choice.

      Reply
    3. Steve

      Its not the perfect food but we go through a lot of the Costco pre-cooked bacon. Takes one minute in my microwave. My kids love it. And yes I do make pastured bacon in a pan on the weekends when I have time.

      Reply
  28. Ellen

    Ditto here for the person that said they would have milk left and add more cereal, and then you had to add more milk, on and on, I always did that! Then if I ate cereal not sweet enough for my taste like rice krispies or wheaties, I would add enough sugar that there would be some left in the bottom of the milk. My college dorm cafeteria had about 10 tubs of cereal available at every meal, which I ate a lot of when the dorm food was less than desirable.

    Of course as an adult trying to be healthy I started eating high fiber organic flax cereal, but then still had my cravings for cheetos and pepsi by 10am. Ugh, no wonder my metabolism was so screwed up by the time I was 40.

    Ahh, yes, I forgot about that sugary milk left in the bowl. I’d drink that.

    Reply
  29. Peter

    Headline: Oily fish taken off menu for stopping more heart attacks

    From Onion? Sadly, it’s legit:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10117227/Oily-fish-taken-off-menu-for-stopping-more-heart-attacks.html

    Summary: Heart attack victims may no longer be advised to eat oily fish to prevent them from having another attack.

    The people who promote a “Mediterranean Diet” to prevent heart disease apparently have no idea what people in the Mediterranean regions actually eat.

    Reply
  30. Lyndsey

    As a child of the nineties, I remember a LOT of brightly animated Lucky Charms and Cocoa Puffs cereal commercials. I wondered why my diabetic mother rarely bought me these foods. LOL.

    (I only got a case of real, non-diet soda like maybe twice a year – remember Surge?)

    Never heard of Surge. I remember people drinking Jolt Cola back in the day.

    Reply
  31. Firebird

    My cereal was Life and then Cinnamon Life. Eventually, Cheerios in all of its forms became my favorite night time snack, and I could not limit it to one bowl.

    Eating wheat makes you want more wheat.

    Reply
    1. Firebird

      Cheerios are oats, but I get the point. I’ve gone back for seconds with the Quaker Oats flavored oatmeal packets. I think it had to do with the flavoring and not the oats, because I use to eat a bowl of oatmeal every day and rarely went back for more. Oh, and oats are good for lowering cholesterol…so why did mine go UP while eating oats on a daily basis for 15 years? Where is the FDA crack down on that claim?!

      Oats, corn starch and wheat starch, according to their site.

      Yeah, I ate flavored oatmeal for the flavoring. I believe the maple was my favorite.

      Reply
  32. Raul Johnson

    I remember when Kellogg’s introduced their strawberry Pop Tart cereal. David Letterman remarked, “It’s Mom’s way of saying ‘I … just don’t give a damn.'”

    Too true.

    Reply
  33. tess

    🙂 I have a college textbook of my grandmother’s — she studied home economics about the time the Great War started — which lauds sugar as a source of energy. Of course, people had more physical daily lifestyles then than we do now, and the amount of sugar in the diet was considerably smaller. But then again, that generation seemed to suffer an increasing amount of cancer, heart disease and obesity as they aged….

    Sure, their sugar consumption was a fraction of ours today.

    Reply
  34. Christine

    Thank you Tom, for the thoughtful post. I am 47 and as kids this stuff was heavily marketed to us on the main mass media machine (TV). We were rarely allowed sugar cereals ( we were only getting Shreddies, Cheerios and Shredded Wheat) but really, that only made the sugar stuff MORE desirable and that appeal persisted into my adulhood (how sad)!
    The real mind blowing is how they got away with saying any cereal was of a balanced breakfast”! At the time, there had to be a generation alive that must have though this starchy sugar breakfast was a bunch of B.S.? How we were swayed by junk science!

    BTW, one of the most dental cavity causing substances in the North American diet today are Cheerios (mostly because they are heavily marketed to parents for the 3 and under crowd).

    Christine Lilge D.D.S. , B.Sc.

    Yeah, we fell for that “give your toddler Cheerios” stuff for awhile. That was before I started working on Fat Head, of course.

    Reply
  35. Janknitz

    Walk into any hospital and you’ll see a variation of that “balanced” breakfast (“healthy whole grain” cereal replacing the sugared stuff) on every diabetic and heart patient’s tray. If they’re lucky, there might even be an egg white omelette or a fruit cup, too.

    Well, if you run a hospital, you may as well serve foods that drum up business.

    Reply
  36. Kristin

    Wow. That was a blast from the past. It has been years since I’ve seen TV commercials of any kind, let alone these umm…gems. My family always had a choice of eight different cereals and more than half of them were the Frosted Flakes and Cocoa Puffs variety. I loved Captain Crunch so much I’d make the top of my mouth raw munching them as a snack (not even the buffer of some fat or protein of milk.) No wonder I got so insulin resistant. When people say they don’t have to eat high fat to stay lean I just say they are lucky to not have a damaged system. This is one response they really can’t dispute since I’m keeping it to just me.

    I ate Cheerios and Grape Nuts up until last year and still miss them sometimes. I’m still talking my poor boyfriend into accepting that the ‘healthy’ organic whole grain cereals he subsists on when he is working late hours (writing software) is part of his ubiquitous belly. He is at the point where he sort of believes me…but hasn’t broken free yet. At least he puts full fat raw milk on it these days. It’s a process.

    Tell him I work late hours writing software without the benefit of hearthealthywholegrains. I was programming until nearly midnight last night, in fact.

    Reply
    1. Kristin

      I write code for a living as well but now that I’m on LCHF I don’t snack anymore when I work. No need to.

      So with this in mind I mentioned your comment to him and was kind of surprised by the response. He was puzzled as to what you ate in the middle of the night to keep you going. I realized that with all my talking over the last year he had not really understood how different the body works when it runs off of fat. In response I sent him the link to Fathead time indexed to the segment on your one month experiment and that you fueled a tight deadline with it. It will be interesting to see if he is more motivated to give up the carbs if he internalizes that lots of energy and focus with no munchies could be a reward. He works as a senior research engineer at an SFO startup so he has those deadlines a lot.

      If I get hungry in the middle of the night (which I usually don’t), my snack of choice is a handful of dry-roasted almonds.

      Reply
  37. David Goulet

    Can you folks share what you do eat for breakast in lieu of cereals. Bacon and eggs, obviously. But what else constitutes a balanced breakfast in your house. Any grains at all? What kind of dairy? What’s your thoughts on non-milk milks (i.e. almond, coconut, oat) – I know soy is a no-no. If you aren’t lucky to have access to raw milk, what about kefir? Breakfast is a big deal for me, as I usually prepare it for my family and it really is the most important meal of the day for a school kid. I’d like to make sure they’re getting the ‘right stuff’.

    Feel free to point me to a sample menu link somewhere if you have one. Thanks.

    Speaking for myself, bacon, eggs, sausage, avocadoes, plus foods like these when Chareva makes them:

    http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2012/10/15/too-good-bread-and-almost-paleo-bread/
    http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2012/10/21/bagels/

    Reply
  38. Susan

    Maybe I’m misremembering in my old age, but it seems like some of the commercials showed not just cereal, toast, juice and milk, but eggs too in their depictions of a “balanced breakfast.” I used to look at them and think, MAYBE the eggs and toast OR the cereal (in my pre LCHF days), but good gracious, not both. I always figured that it was the inclusion of the eggs that allowed them to call those breakfasts “balanced.”

    I don’t remember seeing eggs in the “balanced breakfast” ads.

    Reply
    1. JayInKett

      Susan, you’re not misremembering. I’m 48. I too remember seeing eggs (fried, sunny-side-up, to be specific) included with the “balanced breakfast.” Not on the TV ads, but on the verbiage printed on one of the side panels of the cereal boxes.

      Reply
    2. Julie

      I was thinking the same thing, that I seem to remember eggs in the “balanced” breakfast. Hubby and I watched some of the commercials from the 90s when we were kids, and not a one of them had eggs. Although they almost always included a glass of milk. What’s up with that? Milk with your milk covered cereal?

      Well, they push wheat toast with your wheat cereal, so why not?

      Reply
  39. SB

    And now the frosted mini wheats don’t bother with animals, they just stick a face and appendages on the cereal and call it a day. Lazy. My parents had a “less than 1g sugar” per serving rule. I didn’t like anything though b/c I could get good sugary junk elsewhere in the house. Then I grew up and bought my own cereal. Those were bad, hungry days. Of course I brought a bag of cereal to snack on at school. Vicious cycle, I tell ya.

    Yup, eating sugar creates cravings for sugar. Same goes for wheat.

    Reply
  40. SB

    Also, does anyone actually enjoy Grape nuts? I remember being very disappointed with my first taste of those pebbles.

    I liked them back in the day.

    Reply
    1. cTo

      I actually went through a phase of loving them right before I went paleo. I kept a box at work and would have two or three bowls a day. A coworker-friend of mine was also super into them, we would pick up boxes for each other when they went on sale.

      Then we both went paleo at the same time and have never looked back. We occasionally remember The Grape Nuts Days and laugh.

      Reply
    2. Holly

      I remember sprinkling grape nuts on ice cream because of the crunch and because they were “healthy”.

      Reply
  41. Ellen

    Ditto here for the person that said they would have milk left and add more cereal, and then you had to add more milk, on and on, I always did that! Then if I ate cereal not sweet enough for my taste like rice krispies or wheaties, I would add enough sugar that there would be some left in the bottom of the milk. My college dorm cafeteria had about 10 tubs of cereal available at every meal, which I ate a lot of when the dorm food was less than desirable.

    Of course as an adult trying to be healthy I started eating high fiber organic flax cereal, but then still had my cravings for cheetos and pepsi by 10am. Ugh, no wonder my metabolism was so screwed up by the time I was 40.

    Ahh, yes, I forgot about that sugary milk left in the bowl. I’d drink that.

    Reply
    1. Austin Pitts

      Hahaha! I remember that nice pile of sugar at the bottom too! I think that was the only reason I choose to eat rices krispies over the other stuff.

      Reply
  42. Peter

    Headline: Oily fish taken off menu for stopping more heart attacks

    From Onion? Sadly, it’s legit:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10117227/Oily-fish-taken-off-menu-for-stopping-more-heart-attacks.html

    Summary: Heart attack victims may no longer be advised to eat oily fish to prevent them from having another attack.

    The people who promote a “Mediterranean Diet” to prevent heart disease apparently have no idea what people in the Mediterranean regions actually eat.

    Reply
    1. askmehowithappened

      Wow. That’s very upsetting. Reading the article it seems the only thing NICE actually got right is the fact that their current guidlines aren’t doing squat to stop heart disease in Great Britain.

      The brilliant solution is to remove the only healthy thing they advise people to eat? “Wow, eating this crap isn’t helping. Let’s start monkeying around and remove a few elements. Let’s see…sugary fruit? Nope. Bread? Nope. Only protein source we really allow them to indulge in? Perfect!”

      Reply
    2. Paul B.

      I love the line where they advise replacing butter and cheese with “vegetable oil.” Because we all know a Mediterranean diet doesn’t have much cheese or butter, but lots of soy oil and corn oil.

      Sure, preferably from GMO crops.

      Reply
  43. Janknitz

    Walk into any hospital and you’ll see a variation of that “balanced” breakfast (“healthy whole grain” cereal replacing the sugared stuff) on every diabetic and heart patient’s tray. If they’re lucky, there might even be an egg white omelette or a fruit cup, too.

    Well, if you run a hospital, you may as well serve foods that drum up business.

    Reply
  44. Geoff

    I ate most of those…and several bowls in the morning. I also grew up in rural Colorado…so after breakfast I was outside running around until dusk…so never really affected me. So I have fond memories of these…loved cinnamon toast crunch…but I don’t eat cereal anymore… prefer bacon and sausage.

    I ran around too, but the sugar caught up with me.

    Reply

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