Cereal is a kind of grain used for making human and animal food. All are forms of edible grasses grown around the world in a variety of climates and soils. The term comes from the Roman Goddess Ceres, who was aligned with the yearly harvest, but it is often more closely associated with breakfast cereals such as cornflakes and puffed rice.
These grains are processed into a wide variety of products including breads, cakes, desserts, and other meals. Cereal can definitely be a healthy breakfast option if you choose something with good nutritional balance. The breakfast cereal aisle at the grocery store is loaded with colourful boxes featuring cute characters to attract kids.
They also are tagged with claims such as “whole grains” or “reduced sugar” aimed to reassure adults. In fact, many of them are still just puffed candy in a box, with a few vitamins added to make them seem healthful.
The Way to the Better Cereals
Lots of cereals are full of refined carbohydrates and added sugars. If you’re looking for something healthier, you probably know to avoid the varieties that are neon-coloured or shaped like miniature cookies. But you can’t always judge a cereal box by its cover. To tell the genuinely healthy options from the sweet-treats-in-disguise, peek at the nutrition label and ingredient list. This is where you’ll find all the information you need to know. Check the sugar, fibre, vitamins, minerals, and the ingredients list.
Here is what to look for:
- Sugar: 6 grams or less per dry ounce
- Fibre: 5 grams or more per serving
- Vitamins and minerals: Look for calcium, vitamin D, folic acid, iron, or B vitamins
- Ingredients: The list should begin with a whole grain, such as whole grain oats, rye, or wheat
Spot the Sugars
You may not be able to recognize sugar in the ingredient list, as it is often disguised with different terms such as brown rice syrup or evaporated cane juice Instead, look at the numbers you suppose to choose cereals with fewer than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce. That means a max of 6 grams of sugar for a 30-gram serving1. A 30g serving may be equivalent to about 3/4 cup, but this depends on the density of the cereal.
Corn or wheat flakes have fewer grams per cup than granola, for example: Avoid cereals with lots of sugar—some cereals have 10 grams of sugar (that’s nearly three teaspoons) in one serving. While some cereals may have natural sugars included in raisins and other dried fruit, these are also often coated with additional sugar.
Look for Whole Grains
Look over the ingredients list for the word “whole” in the first ingredient whether it’s whole wheat, whole-grain oats or whole-grain brown rice, whole-grain cereal is the way to go. Compared to white flour and other refined grains, whole grains are higher in fibre, protein and nutrients like iron, magnesium, selenium and B vitamins. A diet rich in whole grains can lower the risk of heart disease.
Choose High Fibre Cereals
Choose a cereal that is high in fibre—at least 2.5 grams per serving. You’ll find the most in high-fibre cereals such as shredded wheat, oat cereals, puffed wheat, and bran cereals. Usually, the more sugar cereal has, the less fibre it has per serving. The sugary cereals typically have about 1 gram per serving. Fibre provides complex carbohydrates that will have less effect in raising your blood sugar. It also supports digestive health and cholesterol and lipid metabolism. Fibre and whole grains go hand in hand. Fibre is good for healthy digestion and helps you stay full.
Protein can also help you feel full. Some cereals have added protein, and some, like oatmeal, are naturally a little higher in protein. While sweet cereals may have only 1 or 2 grams of protein, healthier options can have closer to 10 grams.
Check the Fats
Varieties of cereal have no added fat. If you are looking at a cereal that does contain fat, see if it comes from “good” fat sources such as nuts and/or seeds. It makes you healthy too.
Some brands that claim to be heart-healthy cereals have a lot of sodium. So you need to Choose a cereal with less than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving.
The Best Healthy Cereal Options
Many high-fibre cereals are pretty carb-dense, so pay attention to portion sizes and calories. And healthy-sounding options like granola, with all its whole grains and good-for-you nuts and seeds, can pack a surprising amount of fat and sugar into those crunchy nuggets. It is easy and convenient for those who live busy lifestyles, but is often loaded with added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. The good news is that there are several nutritious alternatives available, both do-it-yourself (DIY) varieties and brands you can purchase at the store.
Some healthiest cereals you can eat are:
- Bran flakes.
- Shredded wheat.
- Puffed brown rice cereal.
- Cream of Wheat
- DIY Muesli
- Homemade Granola
- DIY Cinnamon Crunch Cereal
Cereal Toppings for a Healthy Breakfast
A bowl of whole-grain cereal is a great way to start your day, but it can get monotonous after a while. Jazz up your bowl with these toppings.
- Chopped Nuts for a Crunchy Breakfast
Cashew, almonds and walnuts are not only tasty, but they also add protein to your diet. So why not take crunchiness to a new level and add your favourite nuts to a bowl of shreddies?
- Peanut Butter for a Smooth Nutty Flavour
The peanut butter is works as a magic upon your daily monotonous cereal bowl. The nutty flavours in a scoop of peanut butter make a good pair with breakfast cereals. Add it to milk and dissolve it in the pan over medium heat before pouring it over your favourite cereals. You can also mix it with your favourite fruit and add it as a cereal topping.
Hemp seeds are a great source of protein, while flaxseed adds a healthy dose of omega 3s. They blend especially well into hot cereals like oatmeal and Cream of Wheat.
Cereals with dried fruits in the box aren’t always the best choice, since the raisins or cranberries are often coated with sugar. To avoid added sugar, buy plain flakes and add your own raisins. Even better, reach for fresh or thawed frozen fruit, which has less sugar than its dried counterparts. Berries, bananas, diced apples, blueberries, strawberries, chia seeds are great choices for a healthy cereal bowl.
Sprinkle on some spice to add flavour and a suggestion of sweetness — without dipping into the sugar bowl.
With a little planning, cereal can be a nutritious way to start your day. If you want to stay fit beside give you a boost up cereal bowl for breakfast then this may help you definitely.