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Kelowna nutritionist urges healthier habits as Kellogg’s promotes cereal for dinner

In an interview with an American news outlet last week, Kellogg’s CEO Gary Pilnick recommended families eat cereal for dinner as a means to stay within their budgets, but nutritionists are warning people of the associated risks.

“Your blood sugar's going to spike, your heart rate goes up, so rather than being conducive to bringing all those things down and helping you relax to get a good sleep at night, you're all wound up,” said Tania Gustafson, a Kelowna-based nutritionist, to NowMedia earlier this week.

“Not to mention, it spikes your cortisol levels, spikes your blood sugar, and although most of those boxes of cereal say that they contain no fat, what happens when our blood sugar spikes is our body stores fat.”

Those were only a few of the points that Gustafson mentioned when discussing the effects of eating cereal, which is generally high in sugar, for dinner and feeding it to children, potentially affecting their schooling performances.

Gustafson worked in the education system for nearly 20 years and said it was evident what kids had eaten in the morning.

“When I was in the classroom, we could tell what kids had not had breakfast to begin with, or they'd had something with sugar before they showed up,” she explained.

Gustafson recommended a breakfast that included protein, stating that it helps stabilize blood sugar, preventing energy spikes and crashes in the day.

“You've had something to fuel your body before you left the house. Everybody is in a better state. You've set your body up for better success,” added Gustafson.

“You can focus and tend more for all of your tasks because you've started the day off well (and) you have the energy rather than crashing.”

Instead of cereal for dinner, though it may be affordable, Gustafson had other recommendations on how to stay within a budget while eating healthier.

Her recommendations included nutrient-dense foods that are not processed and are one single ingredient, keeping you satisfied longer and eating less.

“If we don't just put something in the stomach bucket, we actually give it nutrients, we're gonna have to eat less in volume because you have better quality,” she said.

Gustafson went on to recommend spending less on “snacky things” and instead spending that money on fruit, vegetables and lean meats.

“It might seem like that larger amount of money is a little bit much right now, but if you can swing it, you are actually saving,” said Gustafson.

Watch the full interview for more insights from Gustafson on how to eat healthy while staying within a budget.

Thumbnail Photo Courtesy of Fit Nutrition and Getty Images

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