Top 10 Healthiest Cereals

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There are dozens of cereals available on the super market shelves.  There are so many choices that it is difficult to pick the cereal which is actually good for you.  So what are the two basic criteria which you should look for while picking your cereal.  The two things are Sugar and Dietary fiber.  Try to pick the cereal with lowest amount of sugar and highest amount of dietary fiber.

If this combination is right then you will be able to start the day with a great breakfast.  In this article you will find the top ten cereals which are available on the market and some more information which will help you decide on how to choose the right cereal.

Ready–to-eat cereal is one of the most popular breakfast choices in the United States, with 50 percent of Americans starting each morning with a bowl of some kind.

Whole-grain cereals, which can be one of the healthiest breakfast choices, include toasted oats, whole-grain flakes, bran flakes, shredded wheat and oatmeal. Granola and muesli are other whole-grain choices.

These cereals provide iron, zinc, folic acid and B vitamins. Most are a good source of fiber, vitamin E and manganese.

Whole grains have more fiber than refined grains, which have been processed to remove bran and germ. Whole grains will help you feel full longer.

Mayo Clinic recommends using the following guidelines when selecting a nutritious whole-grain cereal. The cereal should:

• Contain at least 3 grams of fiber per serving; aim for 5 grams.

• Contain less than 160 calories per serving.

• Have 8 grams or less of sugar.

• Provide 10 to 25 percent of daily needs for vitamins and minerals .

“The cereal aisle at the grocery store can be very confusing due to the large variety of choices available and all of the marketing claims found on packages,” said Susan Krahn, a registered dietitian and public health nutritionist for the Eau Claire City-County Health Department.

She recommended choosing breakfast items that are labeled “100 percent whole wheat” or “100 percent whole grains” on the package. Shoppers also can check the ingredient list to see if the word “whole“ comes before the first ingredient listed, such as whole-wheat flour.

Color is not an indication of whole grains. Molasses can be added to make a bread or cereal brown.

“Many cereals claim to be made with whole grains, but this doesn’t tell you how healthy the cereal actually is. Don’t be distracted by claims made on the front of the package. Instead, pick up the box and look for the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredients list,” Krahn said.

“Some cereals that seem healthy can have lots of added sugar. Choose cereals that are lower in sugar and make them sweeter at home by adding fresh or dried fruit,” she suggested.

The Nutrition Facts label lists the serving size and number of calories per serving size. A serving of ready-to-eat cereal is w cup of flakes, ½ cup of grape nuts or 1¼ cups of puffed cereal. One serving of a cooked cereal such as oatmeal is ½ cup uncooked or one packet of instant oatmeal.

The label breaks down the number of carbohydrate grams into grams of dietary fiber, sugar and other carbohydrates. For example, one serving size of Cheerios is one cup. It has 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of soluble fiber, 1 gram of sugar and 17 grams of other carbohydrates. A serving of Cheerios also has 3 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fat.

The Livestrong Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides support for people affected by cancer, has identified Cheerios as No. 4 on their list of the top 10 healthiest cereals. These cereals are low in calories, high in fiber, high in protein and packed with vitamins and minerals for a good start to the day.

Following is the complete list:

  1. • Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats.
  2. • Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs.
  3. • Post Grape-Nuts.
  4. • General Mills’ Cheerios.
  5. • General Mills’ Total Whole Grain.
  6. • General Mills’ Fiber One.
  7. • Kellogg’s Special K Protein Plus.
  8. • General Mills’ Kix.
  9. • Kellogg’s All-Bran.
  10. • Quaker Oats-Quick Oats.

Cater is a registered dietitian and public health nutritionist with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department.

Source – http://www.leadertelegram.com/features/food/article_61c10910-9296-11e4-aa17-bfe312faaa69.html

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