One of the most challenging aisles in the grocery store is the cereal and granola bar aisle as there are so many choices and it’s hard to know what’s good and what’s not! For those regular followers of our blog, you probably know by now that you should choose a whole grain cereal, but from there…how do you decipher which choice is better than another?! Well, let’s start with the basics…you want to avoid any of the real high sugar cereals such as Lucky Charms, Cocoa Pebbles, etc due to their high levels of white, refined sugars.
Here are some tips to help you make a healthy choices:
• 8 grams (g) of sugar or less/serving, if the cereal contains 3 g or less of fiber/serving
• 16 g or less of sugar/serving, if the cereal contains 5 g or more of fiber/serving
Note: raisin bran contains 20 g of sugar/serving and is the exception to the rule—still a great choice due to its higher fiber content)
• Instant hot cereals should contain no more than 100-150 milligrams (mg) of sodium/serving. A better choice is cooking oatmeal the old fashioned way on the stove from the canister as the instant packets have a lot of sodium.
In addition, be sure to fully read the nutrition facts label and not rely on the manufacturers marketing claims as they can often be misleading!
A way to make breakfast a more balanced meal is to add a source of protein and a serving of fruit to your meal. With the balance of protein, fiber found in your cereal, and some natural sugars, you are set to start your day off in a great way!