Best bets for breakfast cereals

February 16, 2006 in Healthy Eating

Best bets for breakfast cereals

Whole grains and antioxidants are hot in the cold cereal aisle. Following are a few of the latest releases. Our September 2006 eNutrition News compared numerous brands of cereals, praising them in general for their fibre, calcium, iron and zinc contents - all in a low-calorie bowlful. Whole grains in breakfast cereals such as oats, flaxseed, brown rice and whole-wheat are nutrition powerhouses, with mounting evidence to show a steady intake helps ward off certain cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Keep in mind that added fruit is often in the form of freeze-dried slices, and may only contribute a negligible amount to your daily fruit requirements.
To choose a healthy breakfast cereal, you need to read labels. Our Best Bets have, per serving:

  • no more than 8 grams of sugar
  • no more than 4 grams of fat
  • at least 5 grams of fibre
  • is also made from whole grains (e.g. a whole grain is the first ingredient listed)

The sugar numbers on cereal include both added sugars and the naturally occurring sugar in fruit. Cereals with dried fruit will boost the sugar content, but it will also boost the fibre and nutrient content. Another exception to the sugar cut off is for high fibre cereals. Some cereals that have more than 5 grams of fibre per serving may have more sugar, which is added to make it more palatable. It's more important to choose a cereal with more fibre, even if it has a few extra grams of sugar.

How does your favourite breakfast cereal rate?

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.