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Healthy Breakfast: Corn Flakes vs. Shredded Wheat

May 15, 2010

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is crucial to consume a healthy breakfast to start your day off right. If you eat a nutritionally sound breakfast that’s packed with protein and fiber, you will inherit the energy to get through the day and receive the satisfaction to hold you over until lunch. However, if your breakfast is laden with sugar and fat, you will suffer the consequence of a mid-morning energy crash and will probably feel hungry again by 11am.

Cereal can be a great breakfast option, however, you need to choose one that’s loaded with the right nutrients and lacks unnecessary sugars. Corn Flakes and Shredded Wheat are two popular cereals, but which one is better for you? Many people would automatically assume Shredded Wheat, since the word "wheat" appears in the title. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Let’s examine these 2 cereals to see what’s really in your cereal bowl. Please keep in mind that these calorie and nutrition calculations do not include milk. A cup of non-fat milk will add 90 calories to your bowl.

Nutrition of Corn Flakes

Corn Flakes are a common breakfast cereal that delivers a crunchy texture and satisfying taste that’s not overly sweet. One cup of Corn Flakes contains 100 calories, and none of these calories are derived from fat. Per serving, this fat-free and cholesterol-free cereal holds:

  • 200 mg of sodium
  • 25 mg of protein
  • 24 g of carbohydrates
  • 1 g of fiber
  • 2 g of sugar
  • 2 g of protein

The following nutrients are also found in a cup of Corn Flakes:

  • Vitamin A - 10%
  • Vitamin C - 10%
  • Calcium - 0%
  • Iron - 45%
  • Vitamin D - 10%
  • Thiamin (B1 - )25%
  • Riboflavin (B2 ) - 25%
  • Niacin (B3) - 25%
  • Vitamin B6 - 25%
  • Folic Acid (Folate) - 25%
  • Vitamin B12 - 25%

Be careful if you opt for the sugary counterpart of Corn Flakes known as Frosted Flakes. While these might taste delicious, they contain 110 calories per ¾ cup, and the sugar content rises to 11g.

Nutrition of Shredded Wheat

Shredded Wheat consists of squares of whole wheat grains that have a unique texture and a taste that’s rather plain. One cup of Shredded Wheat cereal amounts to 160 calories, and 10 of these are from fat. This cereal, which contains 1 gram of fat and no cholesterol, delivers the following:

  • 0 mg of sodium
  • 190 mg of potassium
  • 40 g of carbohydrates
  • 6 g of fiber
  • 0 g of sugar
  • 5 g of protein

One cup of Shredded Wheat also contains the following nutrients:

  • Calcium - 2%
  • Iron - 6%
  • Vitamin D - 0%
  • Vitamin E - 0%
  • Thiamin (B1) - 10%
  • Riboflavin (B2) - 2%
  • Niacin (B3) - 15%
  • Vitamin B6 - 0%
  • Vitamin B12 - 0%
  • Magnesium - 15%
  • Zinc - 10%
  • Copper - 8%

Shredded Wheat also has a sugary counterpart know as Frosted Shredded Wheat, and because of the originals version’s blandness, the sweeter version is more popular. However, in this variety, the calorie count climbs to 180 and the sugar content rises to 12g.

The Better Choice?

In actuality, as long as you stick to the natural varieties and don’t add sugar to your cereal, both of these cereals are healthy breakfast options. However, Corn Flakes would be the better choice regarding weight loss. This cereal tastes good and is loaded with essential vitamins. On the flip side, Shredded Wheat contains no sugar or sodium, and it contains more fiber, protein and whole grains. If you do choose Shredded Wheat, make sure you measure out your portion, as this cereal is calorie dense.

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