If you have been following the
news, you’ve noticed there is a lot of controversy about what cereal options are
healthy and what advertisements are misleading. A good rule of thumb is to not be fooled by advertising. ALWAYS read and compare food labels to
really understand which choice is the healthier option for you. Example, most of us would think of
Raisin Bran as a healthier cereal.
However if you glance at the food label, it’s loaded in sugar, with 19 g
per cup. So, be a smart shopper
and take a few extra seconds to examine the label. Four key things to look at are Calories, Sugar, Fiber, and
Vitamins and Minerals.
Calories: Of course calories are always
important. You want to look at
calories PER SERVING. Many of us
do not eat the standard ¾ cup serving, so look for a cereal that will not ruin
Sugar: Try and aim for 8 g or less per
serving. Many companies are
voluntarily reducing sugar levels.
If 8 g is hard to fine, at least try and stay in the single digits.
Fiber: A good cereal has at least 2.5 g fiber
per serving but try to aim for 4 g or more. Many companies are advertising that their cereals are made
with whole grain. A basic rule is
the more whole grain, the more fiber.
The more fiber, the longer the cereal will fill you up.
Vitamins and Minerals: Try to aim for cereals with majority of
vitamins and minerals at 25% or above.
You can find these numbers under %DV.
I realize it may be hard to find a variety of cereals that
meet all this criteria. Your goal
is to find a cereal that satisfies your taste buds while meeting majority of
Here are just a few examples of common cereals that meet all
criteria listed above:
√ Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat:
¾ cup = 120 calories, 5 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 25%-100%
of Vitamin A, C, E, B6, B12, and Folic Acid
√ Kellogg’s Smart Start Strong Heart
Strawberry Oat Bites:
30 biscuits = 200 calories, 6 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 25%-100%
of Vitamin A, D, E, B6, B12, Iron, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folic Acid,
Pantothenate, and Zinc.
√ Post Bran Flakes for Digestive Health:
cup = 100 calories, 5 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 25-50% of Vitamin D, B6, B12, Iron,
Thiamin, Riboflavin Niacin, Folic Acid, and Phosphorus.
√ Fiber One Honey Clusters:
cup = 160 calories, 13 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 25-35% of Vitamin B6, B12, Calcium,
Iron, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folic Acid, ,and Zinc.
Estelle L. Benoit, RD, LDN