The Low-Down on Breakfast Cereals: How to make the right choice.
Food packaging and labels can trick you very easily. Sometimes you think you’re making the healthy breakfast choice but in reality you’re choosing a high glycemic index, low protein, sugar-filled cereal with poor nutritional content. Just because the box says high in fiber and “bran” does not mean it is a healthy choice.
For example, In one cup of Raisin Bran cereal there is 15g of sugar and in Kashi Blueberry Cluster cereal there 12g… and lets be honest most of us will eat more than 1 cup.
To put that into perspective, there is 35g of sugar in 1 (50g) individual package of Smarties! You might as well almost finish off a pack of Smartie’s for breakfast……. (please don’t).
Your morning bowl of cereal may contain the same amount of sugar as a serving of candy! … Doesn’t sound like a healthy breakfast now does it?
How to choose a healthy breakfast cereal:
- The first ingredient should always be whole grain, brown rice, oats, or some form of natural grain ingredient (look for the word WHOLE)
- Avoid cereals with added sugar (anything ending in ‘–ose’ is a sugar)
- Try to avoid cereals with added dried fruit as they tend to be dried/coated in sugars for flavor (Tip: add your own raisins, fresh fruit, frozen fruit, etc).
- Choose a cereal with less than 5g of sugar per serving
- Choose a cereal with at least 5g of fiber per serving
- Choose a cereal with less than 3g fat per serving
Your best bet is to choose a plain whole grain cereal and add ingredients (E.g. fresh fruit, chia, nuts) to it yourself.
I choose to avoid breakfast cereals and have a homemade bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit, yogurt with homemade granola, a smoothie, an omelet, or many healthier breakfast alternatives instead.
**Always remember food companies/manufacturers have the ability to change the serving size amount on their nutrition facts label. Pay attention to this as the cereal may appear to have only 3g of fat BUT this may be for only a serving size of ¼ cup.**