If you watch TV at all, you've probably seen the commercials for Kellogg's special attempt at a special diet with their famed Special K products. Basically, they claim if you eat two 1 cup bowls of their cereal a day, you will lose six pounds in two weeks.* In short, the program instructs you to start your day with a piece of fruit, a cup of their cereal and skim milk. And then at lunch, you get to do the same thing. And then at dinner, you get to eat normally. Oh, yes, and you get two snacks a day that are Special K branded. Argh! This kind of marketing ploy makes me crazy! Why? Well for one, this is a very unhealthy, unbalanced diet approach. You aren't getting all the nutrients that you need to keep your body functioning properly. This is what you are getting:
- Little to no fiber. Fiber is important in that it makes you feel fuller longer. Further, it prevents or relieve constipation, as well as lowers risk of diabetes and heart disease. Without it, you can experience constipation, infrequent and hard stools and abdominal pains.
- Little to no healthy fat. Why is this a problem? Fat is bad, right? Wrong. Fat is essential for lubricating your joints and manufacturing hormones, and actually making you feel satisfied. Also, healthy fat (unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids) is important in keeping your cholesterol levels in check and your body systems functioning properly.
- High in Saturated fat. Special K non-cereal products tend to be high in saturated fat, which raises LDL, the bad type of cholesterol and therefore increases your risk of heart disease.
- You are getting a lot of sugar. Sugar is an enemy of a healthy diet. It is digested quickly and contains few essential vitamins and minerals.
- You get a decent amount of protein. This is a good thing...but when combined with all of the factors above, it isn't. You need fiber and healthy fat too.