Healthy Breakfast Cereal Choices - Best & Worst! - Mind Over Munch
Best Cereals For A Healthy Morning
Kool-Aid and pop-tarts get dumped with high school sweethearts, but cereal somehow survives. A 2005 ABC poll found it's what 31 percent of breakfast eaters devour. And bowlfuls of whole grains, nuts, and fiber can reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Our experts singled out some breakfast bad boys clogging up the aisle (and, thanks to hidden fats, your arteries), then suggested some real breakfast champs to replace them. For a complete guide to packaged foods, check outWH's 125 Best Supermarket Foods.
If you like General Mills Basic 4
A little healthy fat from nuts or seeds is good, says Kristine Clark, Ph.D.,R.D., director of sports nutrition at Pennsylvania State University. It slows digestion and keeps you full longer. But Basic 4's partially hydrogenated oil (aka trans fat) increases your risk of cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
Switch to Kashi Heart to Heart Oat Flakes and Wild Blueberry Clusters
Dried blueberries, puffed rice, and honey make this healthy cereal light, crunchy, and plenty sweet. No trans fat here and just 0.5gram of saturated fat per generous 1 1/4-cup serving.
If you like Kellogg's Raisin Bran
A handful of raisins and whole wheat sounds healthy, right? It would be, says New York City nutritionist Joy Bauer,R.D., if it weren't for high-fructose corn syrup, which jacks the sugar content up to 19 grams, landing Raisin Bran alongside Lucky Charms. And its whopping 350 milligrams of sodium don't help.
Switch to Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value Raisin Bran
"[It has] less calories, sugar, and sodium, but the healthy protein remains," Bauer says. "And there's no extra bad stuff." 365 puts Kellogg's sugar surplus to shame with just 8 grams per 3/4-cup serving and a hefty 6 grams of fiber.
If you like Post Fruity Pebbles
Been eating it since the Stone Age? With hydrogenated oils — highly saturated fats that contribute to clogged arteries — and artificial ingredients, "this cereal might be harmful in the long run," says Barbara Olendzki, R.D., a University of Massachusetts nutritionist. "Even the fiber's fake," she says of the polydextrose, which is mostly sugar and only keeps the pebbles from crumbling. Yabba dabba yuck.
Switch to Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats
The whole-grain side fills your tank while the frosted side satisfies your sweet tooth. "This appears higher in calories than other cereals," Clark says. But it's really just a bigger bowl: Each 200 calorie, 24-biscuit serving also provides a quarter of your fiber RDA and 6 grams of hunger-fighting protein.
If you like General Mills Honey Nut Clusters
"Your digestive enzymes don't have to spend a lot of time breaking this lightweight cereal down, so you'll end up hungrier sooner," Olendzki says. Add that to its absurd 17 grams of sugar and 47grams of carbohydrates for only 3 grams of fiber a cup and all you've got is a quick fix.
Switch to Health Valley Real Oat Bran Almond Crunch
Just a half cup of this crispy heavyweight packs 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein to supercharge your engine. Natural vanilla, amaretto, and barley malt provide sweetness and keep the glycemic index low, Olendzki says. So you'll digest it slowly, preventing the kind of hunger-inducing insulin rush that a bowl of Clusters can cause.
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