There’s no doubt that cereal can be a great and easy way to fuel up in the morning. But the problem is that many popular brands are loaded with sugar and other not-so-healthy ingredients.
That’s why it’s important to know how to find a healthy breakfast cereal that will help you start the day off right.
1. They’re low in calories
Eating a bowl of cereal is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to start your day. Unfortunately, many varieties are loaded with sugar and unhealthy ingredients, so it’s important to choose the right one for your health goals.
Luckily, there are healthy options for breakfast that taste great and can help keep you full all morning. Here are some of the best reasons why:
First, they’re low in calories. This means that they’re a good choice for people looking to lose weight or maintain their current weight.
2. They’re high in fiber
Breakfast cereals don’t have to be a poor-quality way to start your day, and many of them are healthy because they’re high in fiber. This nutrient keeps your digestive system healthy and helps you stay full throughout the day.
It’s recommended that you eat at least 30 grams of fiber per day. This includes foods like whole grains, nuts and seeds, fruit, and vegetables.
If you’re looking for a high-fiber cereal, choose one that is made from whole grains, oats or bran flakes. Also, look for a cereal that is low in sugar or has no added sugar.
3. They’re low in sugar
Breakfast cereals are a convenient option, but if you’re trying to limit your sugar intake you need to choose healthy options. Look for cereals with no more than 5 to 10 grams of added sugar per serving and try to opt for unsweetened versions.
You can also swap out some of your favorite breakfasts for healthier ones like cornflakes and puffed rice served with low-fat milk. These types of cereals are low in fibre so a piece of fruit or berries added to them will help balance out your intake and add some extra sweetness.
You can also opt for wholegrain oat and wheat based cereals that are high in fiber to help with digestion and improve heart health too. You can also find a number of organic oat and wheat based cereals on the market that are free from added sweeteners.
4. They’re high in protein
Starting your day with a bowl of cereal has a lot of health benefits. It’s a good source of fiber, which can help lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer, notes registered dietitian Roxana Ehsani, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D.
Protein is a vital macronutrient that helps your body build muscle, repair cells and keep you full longer than carbs alone. Plus, it can stabilize blood sugar, says Whittington.
Look for cereals with at least 8 grams of protein per serving to boost your overall intake. These options often pair well with a cup of low-fat milk or yogurt for an extra boost, suggests Keating.
5. They’re low in fat
You might be surprised to learn that some cereals are actually quite low in fat. This is a bonus because eating too much fat can lead to weight gain, so it’s important to choose cereals with limited added sugar and healthy fat sources like seeds and nuts.
When choosing a healthy breakfast cereal, you should look for ingredients such as whole grains, oats and fiber-rich fruits. These are nutrient-dense foods that help decrease your risk of disease, stabilize your blood sugar and lower your cholesterol.
Some brands also add protein to their cereals, which is a good source of energy and can help keep you full longer. To make sure you’re getting a healthy amount of protein, check the nutrition label for at least 5 grams per serving.