Breakfast cereals are a convenient and tasty way to get some nutrients into your body. But it’s important to choose the right ones so you can enjoy a healthy and nutritious breakfast that will leave you feeling full throughout the day.
“You want to pick one with no more than 9 grams of sugar per serving,” says dietitian Katie Czerwony. Also, look for cereals that have fewer sugar imposters like glucose, maltodextrin and high-fructose corn syrup.
High in fibre
Eating breakfast cereals that are high in fibre is a good way to start your day. This is because high-fibre foods can help lower your cholesterol, prevent heart disease, and help you manage your weight.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that women get 21 to 25 grams of fiber each day and men get 30 to 38 grams. However, you should also be aware that consuming too much fibre can cause cramping, gas and bloating, so it is important to gradually add it to your diet.
To make sure you are getting enough fibre each day, try to choose cereals that are made from whole grains. These will contain a combination of both soluble and insoluble fibre, which is more beneficial for your digestive health than just one type alone.
Low in sugar
Breakfast cereals are an easy way to start the day, but if you’re consuming too much sugar it can negatively affect your health. The American Heart Association recommends women and children limit their added sugar to no more than 9 teaspoons per day (36 grams), while men should consume no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams).
If you’re looking for a healthy option, choose a low-sugar breakfast cereal that is packed with fiber. The best cereals will have at least 4-5 grams of fiber per serving.
You can also check the ingredient label for hidden sources of sugar. Often, ingredients like evaporated cane juice, fruit juice, high fructose corn syrup, barley malt and maple syrup are all considered added sugars on the nutrition label.
Low in fat
It’s important to choose breakfast cereals that are low in fat. Limiting fat intake can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other health problems.
The best cereals are made from whole grains such as oats, wheat, corn, buckwheat or rice. They should also contain protein and fibre, which promote satiety and aid digestion.
When choosing a healthy breakfast cereal, choose one that is low in sugar and high in fiber (which promotes a healthy gut). These nutrients will help keep you full until lunchtime.
For example, Cheerios are a popular low-fat cereal that is also low in sugar. They also contain 8 grams of fiber per serving, which is an impressive amount of fiber, according to the Mayo Clinic website.
High in protein
Traditionally breakfast cereals have been seen as an unhealthy option, but that hasn’t stopped many brands from producing a range of protein-packed alternatives. Not only are they better for you than sugar-laden options, they also help to keep you feeling fuller for longer and can be a great way to add extra protein to your diet during the day.
The key is to look for a cereal that’s low in sugar and has a good amount of protein, advises registered dietitian Roxana Ehsani. You should also be able to find a cereal that has no added fat or saturated fat, and that’s made with whole grains, nuts, seeds and other protein sources.
For example, Alpen muesli, which is made with oat groats and whole oat bran, is a good source of protein and also contains heart healthy ingredients like oat fiber, vitamins and minerals (4). Other high-protein cereals include Cheerios Protein Oats & Honey and Special K protein, which contains 15 grams of protein per 1 1/3 cup serving and is made with soy protein isolate.