Printer Friendly

Cereal smarts.

Countless ready-to-eat cereals line grocery store aisles, and having a bowl can provide a healthy start to your day.

"Studies show that people who eat breakfast, including cereal breakfasts, are less likely to be overweight or obese," says Rachel Combe, MS, RD, CDN, CNSC, a clinical dietitian at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. "Cold cereals are a quick and easy breakfast option, and many of them are nutrient-rich." However, even healthy-sounding cereals may contain excess sugar, calories, and fat while offering little nutrition, so take a little time when making your selection.

Go whole grain. Combe advises choosing a cereal that's rich in whole grains and provides at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Check the box for a statement about how much whole grains it actually contains; 16 grams of whole grains is considered one serving (the daily goal for whole grains is 48 grams). Or, check the ingredient list. If a cereal lists "whole wheat," "whole rolled oats," or "brown rice" as the first ingredient, that's generally a sign it contains a good amount of whole grains.

Cereals made with quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat are typically whole grain, even though they don't necessarily have the word "whole" in front of them.

Fill up without filling out. The calories in cereal generally range from 80 to 240 or more calories per serving (without milk), depending on what they contain, while the serving size may vary anywhere from one-quarter cup to more than one cup. Granola and cluster-type cereals generally pack more calories (in part from fat) in a smaller serving. Combe says such cereals may be more filling, but people often fail to adjust their portion size downward for denser cereals and end up overeating. Protein and/or fiber, which are sometimes added to cereal, may help boost a cereals hunger-satisfying potential.

Avoid unnecessary additives. Skip cereals that contain artificial food colors, which are typically made from coal tar or petroleum by-products. Some cereals also contain chemical preservatives and other additives that you're better off limiting, including sweeteners and sodium. "Choose cereal with no more than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving, and comparison shop to find cereals with the least sugar," Combe advises. Cereals with added fruit often have higher sugar counts, but it's more important to limit refined sweeteners. If a cereal doesn't contain added fruit, aim for less than 10 grams of sugars per serving (four grams equals one teaspoon of sugar).

Got GMOs? Some cereal boxes now sport special seals or footnotes saying they don't contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The vast majority of com, soy, sugar beets, and canola oil produced in the U.S.--all common breakfast cereal ingredients--are GMOs. Genetic modification involves artificially placing genes of one species into another, often unrelated, species to give it a new trait, such as better pest resistance

Although the U.S. government recognizes GMOs as safe, a few animal studies have raised questions about their potential to increase cancer risk and other health issues. If you prefer to avoid GMOs, select certified organic cereals or those bearing the Non-GMO Project Vertical seal.

SUPERMARKET SLEUTH: TOP 10 COLD CEREALS               SERVING   CALORIES
                                                     (CUPS)

1. Nature's Path Organic Smart Bran                   1/2 c       80
2. Kind Maple Quinoa Clusters with Chia Seeds (GF)    1/3 c      120
3. Udi's Active Omega-3 Cherry Walnut Granola         1/4 c      120
   Clusters (GF)
4. Van's Honey Nut Crunch Cereal (GF)                 3/4 c      120
5. Freedom Foods Cornflakes, Low Salt (GF)             1 c       174
6. Kashi Go Lean Crisp! Cereal, Cinnamon Crumble      3/4 c      180
7. Barbara's High Fiber Medley Cereal, Original        1 c       180
8. Erewhon Organic Raisin Bran Cereal                  1 c       180
9. Arrowhead Mills Shredded Wheat, Bite Size           1 c       190
10. Enjoy Life Perky's Crunchy Flax Cereal,           3/4 c      200
    Original (GF)

SUPERMARKET SLEUTH: TOP 10 COLD CEREALS               FAT/SAT    SODIUM
                                                     FAT (G)     (MG)

1. Nature's Path Organic Smart Bran                    1/0       130
2. Kind Maple Quinoa Clusters with Chia Seeds (GF)     3/0        40
3. Udi's Active Omega-3 Cherry Walnut Granola         3.5/0       15
   Clusters (GF)
4. Van's Honey Nut Crunch Cereal (GF)                  1/0       105
5. Freedom Foods Cornflakes, Low Salt (GF)            1.5/0       54
6. Kashi Go Lean Crisp! Cereal, Cinnamon Crumble      4/0.5      125
7. Barbara's High Fiber Medley Cereal, Original       1.5/0      140
8. Erewhon Organic Raisin Bran Cereal                  1/0       115
9. Arrowhead Mills Shredded Wheat, Bite Size           1/0        5
10. Enjoy Life Perky's Crunchy Flax Cereal,            3/0       115
    Original (GF)

SUPERMARKET SLEUTH: TOP 10 COLD CEREALS               CARB(G)   FIBER
                                                                (G)

1. Nature's Path Organic Smart Bran                    24        13
2. Kind Maple Quinoa Clusters with Chia Seeds (GF)     22        3
3. Udi's Active Omega-3 Cherry Walnut Granola          20        3
   Clusters (GF)
4. Van's Honey Nut Crunch Cereal (GF)                  26        5
5. Freedom Foods Cornflakes, Low Salt (GF)             37        4
6. Kashi Go Lean Crisp! Cereal, Cinnamon Crumble       32        9
7. Barbara's High Fiber Medley Cereal, Original        42        14
8. Erewhon Organic Raisin Bran Cereal                  40        6
9. Arrowhead Mills Shredded Wheat, Bite Size           38        6
10. Enjoy Life Perky's Crunchy Flax Cereal,            42        6
    Original (GF)

SUPERMARKET SLEUTH: TOP 10 COLD CEREALS               SUGAR    PROTEIN
                                                      (MG)      (G)

1. Nature's Path Organic Smart Bran                    6         3
2. Kind Maple Quinoa Clusters with Chia Seeds (GF)     5         3
3. Udi's Active Omega-3 Cherry Walnut Granola          8         3
   Clusters (GF)
4. Van's Honey Nut Crunch Cereal (GF)                  7         2
5. Freedom Foods Cornflakes, Low Salt (GF)             4         3
6. Kashi Go Lean Crisp! Cereal, Cinnamon Crumble       9        11
7. Barbara's High Fiber Medley Cereal, Original        8         5
8. Erewhon Organic Raisin Bran Cereal                  8         6
9. Arrowhead Mills Shredded Wheat, Bite Size           2         6
10. Enjoy Life Perky's Crunchy Flax Cereal,            2         7
    Original (GF)

Note: GF = gluten free, c = cups, g = grams, mg = milligrams, Sat
Fat = saturated fat, Carb = carbohydrate.

Nutritional information from manufacturer labeling and
manufacturer websites.

Top 10 List (based on supermarket survey of popular brands, but
may not include all products available): Shown in ascending order
of calories; at or below 200 calories, 140 mg sodium, and 9 g
sugars; at least 3 g fiber; no artificial ingredients; Non-GMO
COPYRIGHT 2014 Belvoir Media Group, LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2014 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:SUPERMARKET SLEUTH
Publication:Women's Nutrition Connection
Date:Sep 1, 2014
Words:1037
Previous Article:Supplements for brain health: stick to the basics, and don't be fooled by flashy names.
Next Article:Relieve the pain and prevent progression of knee osteoarthritis.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters