If you are not aware by now, you should be-- breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even if that means just having a bowl of cereal. If you have a busy schedule, breakfast cereal is quick, easy and convenient. It’s also typically something you can get your kids to eat without too much fuss.
Choosing a healthy breakfast cereal is one of the best ways to start a day with nutrition, but how can you tell what cereals are the healthiest for you and your family?
#1 – Cereals that Include Whole Grains
The first thing to look at when choosing a breakfast cereal for yourself and your family is the grain content. You should look for cereals containing whole grains as opposed to any refined grains. Whole grains contain more natural fiber, potassium and magnesium, among other nutrients. Whole grains are easier to digest and keep you feeling fuller longer.
#2 – Cereals Low in Sugar
Another important element to healthy breakfast cereals is low sugar content. Loading up on sugar first thing in the morning, or at any time, is not conducive to optimum health. In fact, feeding your children heavily laden sugar cereal each morning is harmful to their learning processes and overall health.
#3 – Cereals with Little or no High Fructose Corn Syrup
In addition to having low sugar content, a healthy cereal should not contain high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is considered a sweetener but it is typically highly processed and modified, not something you or family should be ingesting first thing in the morning, or at all.
#4 – Cereals with Little or no Fat Content
One thing you should be paying attention to when you are looking to purchase a healthy cereal is the fat content. The types of fats to avoid are saturated and trans fats. These types of fats are contributors to heart disease and high cholesterol as well as major factors in the onset of obesity.
Top Five Healthy Cereals
Knowing what types of cereals to look for can help with maintaining a healthy weight and give your body the right nutrition. There are many cereals to choose from. This list of five cereals will help you get started in making healthy choices but is not all inclusive.
- Whole Grain Cheerios
- Shredded Wheat (the plain type with no added sugar)
- Fiber One Bran Cereal
- Raisin Bran
It does take a little more effort to prepare oatmeal in the morning, but the health results are well worth it and oatmeal does come in instant packages. No matter what cereal you choose to purchase, simply reading the ingredient labels will help you make healthier choices.