What are Fortified Cereals?


Fortified grains are grains that contain added vitamins and minerals, which are not naturally present in them, as they aim to improve the levels of nutrients in the body. Because its deficiency may have negative effects, such as; Iron, in addition to improving food quality, and many important vitamins and minerals are usually added to fortified grains, including the following: 

  • Vitamin A.
  • Vitamin B1.
  • Vitamin B2.
  • Vitamin B6.
  • Vitamin B12.
  • Vitamin D.
  • Folic acid.
  • zinc.
  • Iron.
  • calcium.

The Benefits of Fortified Cereals

Fortified grains help improve and prevent any deficiency in nutrients or important nutrients, and they also have many other health benefits, including the following:

  1. Improving the intake of nutrients: A study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2019 found that eating fortified foods may help boost and improve folate and vitamin levels in the body, and may be greatly beneficial for children, vegetarians, pregnant or breastfeeding women; to increase their nutritional needs.
  2. Prevention of the risk of birth defects: when taking folic acid-fortified pills, which has a major role in reducing the risk of neural tube defects in the fetus, which is one of the most common birth defects; This is because folic acid has an important role in improving growth and development in children, so pregnant women are advised to take 400 micrograms of folic acid per day, either from fortified foods or nutritional supplements, after consulting a doctor.
  3. The possibility of reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes: This is because whole grains contain bran, wheat germ, and endosperm that refined grains lack, as they have a role in reducing the risk of many diseases such as; Heart diseases, diabetes, and reduce cholesterol levels in the body, especially oatmeal; to be considered a rich source of fiber.

Damage to fortified grains


Although the fortification of grains and foods enhances their content of nutrients, it is still processed food and does not necessarily have to be completely healthy, and these fortified grains may have some harm, including the following:

  1. They contain high amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates: Some fortified cereals may contain a high percentage of added sugar and refined carbohydrates, and people can eat large quantities that exceed the recommended daily share, as the permissible limit for women and men is the daily sugar intake. According to the American Heart Association, it is 25 and 37.5 grams, respectively, so eating a cup or two of fortified cereal can reach the daily limit of sugar, and increasing it may increase the risk of many chronic diseases such as; Obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
  2. Misleading health claims: Many companies that manufacture fortified cereals market that they are low-fat or that they are whole grains, but they are false claims and are usually refined grains, full of added sugar, so these advertisements may push many people to overeat these foods. Unhealthy, given that advertisements may affect people’s choices, especially children, so external labels must be read carefully.
  3. Its lack of some essential nutrients: This is because many fortified grains are refined to increase their validity, but this may remove some of the B vitamins, iron, and fiber, and fiber can rarely be added again, which increases the feeling of hunger, and reduces the period of feeling full.
  4. Excessive addition of nutrients: as most companies are working to increase the percentage of nutrients that are added to fortified grains, and when people eat a high percentage of them, this may lead to an increase in the proportions of some nutrients in the body than their normal limit, which may affect negatively , Such as; Zinc, niacin, and vitamin A.

Tips When Buying Fortified Cereal


Companies that manufacture fortified cereals often fortify and process them to be ready-to-eat and pre-packaged, as although some are made of many whole grains, rich in fiber and protein, there are types that may not contain some nutrients, so when choosing fortified cereals You should pay attention and read the external labels of the package, as the ingredients are present on the external label and there is a list of vitamins and minerals that were used and added to the product, so when buying fortified cereals, it is preferable to choose cereals that are low in sugar and rich in fiber, and you should also search for types that contain less than 6 grams of sugar, and at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

By Admin

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