Are Your Breakfast Foods Hiding GMOs?

By Sara Novak
Sara Novak
Sara Novak
Sara Novak specializes in health and food policy writing for Discovery Health. Her work has also been featured on TreeHugger,, TLC Cooking, and Animal Planet. After graduating from the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia, Sara headed up the communication efforts for a national scholarship program in Washington, D.C. She loves fiddling with healthful recipes, traveling, and exploring life atop her yoga mat.
May 22, 2014 Updated: May 22, 2014

GMOs are commonly found in corn, soy, and sugar beets, and as a result, they’re also common in many of the breakfast foods that we consider healthy. GMOs have so saturated our food system that it’s difficult to find breakfast foods without them unless you know what you’re really looking for at the grocery store. Here are some foods to avoid:

1.  Cereals With HFCS or Corn

Cereals made with high fructose corn syrup are usually GMO because there is no non-GMO high fructose corn syrup. The corn used in cereals is often GMO. Be vigilant and look for organic cereals that include the NON GMO Project verification.

2.  Veggie Breakfast Sausage

Conventional veggie breakfast sausages are made with processed soy, which is often GMO. We tend to think that if it’s vegetarian, it’s automatically healthy, but that’s not true of highly processed GMO soy. According to health guru Christina Pirello, soy isolates–the fake cold cuts, veggie sausage, and vegan salad dressings of the world–are carcinogenic and incredibly unhealthy.

3.  Eggs

We would never think of eggs as GMO except for the fact that chickens are often fed a diet loaded with GMO corn and soy, which they pass onto you. Instead, choose organic, free range, and local eggs to avoid GMOs in your morning omelette.

4.  Instant Oatmeal

Hearty whole grain oatmeal–it must be natural, right? Wrong. Conventional instant oatmeal has added sugars, which come from GMO sugar beets. Not to mention the artificial flavors and colors. Instead, make a healthier choice like Country Choice Organic Instant Oatmeal. It is NON GMO Project certified, has no sulfites, and all of its ingredients are organic (no pesticide residue). Or if you have time, consider making oatmeal from scratch. You can use whatever you want like cinnamon, raw honey, organic fruits, and coconut milk cooked slowly over the stove. Yum.

5.  Breakfast Bars

You have to work really hard to find breakfast bars that aren’t loaded with questionable ingredients and tons of sugar. When you’re reading a breakfast bar label, bear in mind all the GMO ingredients like sugar, whey, soy lecithin, high fructose corn syrup, soy protein isolate, cottonseed oil, and so many more. Today, there are a number of healthy breakfast bars available, but you just have to know what you’re looking for on the label. Look for organic or raw bars and avoid added sugars, artificial colors, preservatives, and artificial flavors.

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