Are corn flakes healthy? The background of the well-known Kellogg’s breakfast cereal

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NEW Fox News articles can now be heard on audio! With roots in the late 19th century, Kellogg’s Cereal Company is the biggest distributor of cereal in the United States.

The initial product that established Kellogg’s the king of cereal and a major player in the American morning market was corn flakes. The product was developed by Will and John Kellogg in an effort to provide middle-class Americans with a cheap, easily digestible breakfast option. Due to the few nutritional options available to middle-class Americans during this time, many Americans experienced digestive problems.

The Kellogg brothers jointly marketed their new product as a “nutritious and healthy” breakfast option, but a quarrel over a minor point caused them to split up and found the Kellogg cereal company.

WHO MADE CORN FLAKES AND WHY? In 1894, Will and John Kellogg created corn flakes for the patients of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. The patients liked the cereal, and two years later, in 1896, a patent was granted for the recipe. After arguing about whether to add sugar to the cereal, the two brothers ultimately parted ways.

The Kellogg company originally promoted cornflakes for its health benefits.

Initially, the Kellogg firm marketed cornflakes as having health advantages. (Getty)

By the 20th century, Kellogg’s Cereal Company cereal was promoted as an easily digestible meal and for daily health advantages. They also highlight the flakes’ sweet flavor and “dainty crispness.” Since there were few options for breakfast dining at the time, indigestion was a major worry for Americans with sensitive stomachs.

Additionally, the cereal was developed to comply with the nutritional guidelines of the Seventh Day Adventist church that the Kellogg family members attended.


Kellogg's cornflakes are made from sugar, salt, barely malt extract and vitamin E.

Sugar, salt, malt extract, and vitamin E are the main ingredients in Kellogg’s cornflakes. (WireImage/Noam Galai)

A nutritious, quickly assimilable cereal that would appeal to a wide range of Americans was the goal when corn flakes were developed. Even when consumed with reduced-fat milk, corn flakes, like all other cereals, are poor in fiber, thus they are not the healthiest choice for a balanced meal. The healthiest way to eat cornflakes is to pair them with a piece of fruit or a snack.

WTF CONTAINS CORN FLAKES? Due to the substances that go into making the golden flakes—sugar, salt, barley malt extract, and vitamin E—is Kellogg’s appropriate for vegans. The context is made up of corn to a degree of about 90%.

The inclusion of sugar in the product was a big subject of contention between the Kellogg brothers since John wanted no traces of sugar in his corn flakes while Will thought it would draw in more customers.

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