this is the last ‘hit’ of Hacendado

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Breakfast, contrary to what we may have been taught, is not “the most important meal of the day”: you can easily survive on a mid-day snack. However, put to breakfast, it is necessary to do it with healthy foods. And it is at this point where Spain tends to falter: orange juice instead of whole fruit, industrial pastries, white bread toast with butter and jam… and breakfast cereals, true insane ‘bombs’.

“For what a cereal can be considered healthy has to be integral. And the offer is really reduced in that aspect”, lamented in conversation with EL ESPAÑOL the nutritionist Daniel Ursua. “Most of the cereals that you are going to find are sugary cereals. Hyperpalatable cereals are created, easy to preserve and consume”, valued the specialist. And he concluded: “You cannot fall into the false dichotomy of either you have a bad breakfast or you don’t have breakfast“.

The 58% of breakfast cereals contain high blood sugarhigher than 22.5%, and are made with refined grain. This means that they have lost many of the healthy elements that the original food would contain, such as the essential dietary fiber that keeps the cholesterol and that preserves the whole grain in parts such as bran. Nor do they take advantage of healthy natural compounds such as polyphenols with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, important for reducing high blood pressure.

To all this is added that refined carbohydrates, unlike the complex carbohydrates contained in whole grains, are absorb very quickly once ingested through the walls of the small intestine. In this way, they become glucose in the bloodstream, causing the so-called ‘glycemic peak‘ which further aggravates the contribution of added sugars to breakfast cereals. In these circumstances, the risk of overweight and metabolic problems such as type 2 diabetes skyrockets.

Fortunately, the lack of alternatives that Ursúa deplored is rapidly shrinking. An example is found in Mercadona’s shelves. The supermarket chain has won praise from nutritionists with two varieties of breakfasts under its Hacendado brand that we have discussed in EL ESPAÑOL: on the one hand, the ‘Cereal Mix’ with oats (40%), corn (40%) quinoa (10%) and rice (10%). On the other, the ‘Avena Crunchy’, with to 85% whole grain oats and low in sugar. It is the turn to address the third, the ‘0% Spelled Wheat‘.

Spelled is a cereal low in fat and rich in vitamins of group B and Eminerals such as magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, copper, zinc, selenium and potassium. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemical compounds are intact in this case, and its great contribution of fiber helps prevent cardiovascular problems and cholesterol. It also strengthens the immune system and improves digestion, by avoiding the aforementioned glycemic peak.

In the case of the new Hacendado flakes, we will only find three ingredients, so it is a minimum processing: wholemeal spelled flour (97.2%), barley malt flour and salt. This last ingredient would be the only one to watch: with 0.78 grams per 100, it is considered moderate content‘, but we must not forget that the World Consumption Organization (WHO) recommends not taking more than 5 grams of salt per day.

In exchange, these cereals will provide 8.8 grams of fiber per 100, in addition to almost 15 grams of vegetable proteinof great importance also since the main protein contribution of our diet is usually of animal origin. The rest is made up of 66% carbohydrates, but since it is a whole grain with no added sugar, this translates into less than two grams of sugar per 100. A balanced balance, in short, that makes them an ideal food option to start the day.