Friday, December 18, 2009

How to choose a good cereal

A better cereal choice will have

At least 4 g Total Fibre per 30 g serving.

Less than 1-3 g fat per serving - some granola-type cereals* can have up to 5 g per serving!

Less than 10g sugar per serving.

Moreover,

The first ingredient should NOT be sugar.

The first ingredient should be a "whole grain"- the word "whole" should be present.

*A better granola-type cereal will have fruit and nuts listed on the ingredient list before sugar and oil.


Let's look at a few examples:


SPECIAL K




Ingredients

Rice, wheat gluten, sugar/glucose-fructose,defatted wheat germ, salt, malt (corn flour, malted barley), vitamins (thiamine hydrochloride, niacinamide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, d-calcium pantothenate), iron. BHT added to package material to maintain product freshness.


Ok... Special K's Ingredient list: sugar is not the first ingredient which is good, but the first ingredient is not a whole grain, not so good.



A look at the label, and although there is no fat, there is also no fibre... no good.


All in all, not the best choice- not horrible, since there are only has 2g sugar per serving, but definitely not the best.











SHREDDED WHEAT
(original)


Ingredients: Whole grain wheat, BHT is added to packaging material to preserve product freshness.



Shredded Wheat:
Whole grain is the first (and only!) ingredient on the ingredient list- great!!





The label shows that, per serving, there is only 1g fat, 0g sugar and a great 6g total fibre!!

Excellent choice.













CASCADIAN FARM- Organic Oats & Honey Granola


Ingredients (all organic): Whole grain oats, sugar, crisp rice (rice, sugar, sea salt, malt), sunflower oil, whole grain oat flour, molasses, maltodextrin, honey, sea salt, vanilla extract.


So... First ingredient is a whole grain, which is good. However, a look at the label and there are 6g fat and 14 grams sugar per sugar- too much- and only 3 g fibre- not enough.


Not a good choice!


3 comments:

Melissa said...

I love cereal and usually purchase only healthy ones, but every once in a while Fruity Pebbles call my name. Ironic, considering we never even had sugary cereals in my house growing up.

Sybil Hebert, RD said...

I'm the same way! It's nice to sprinkle some Lucky Charms or Frosted Flakes on top of a healthy cereal, or just snack on a sweet cereal on occasion!! Nothing wrong with that... :)

Purohit D said...

Breakfast cereal product like Grain Oats and rolled oats are one of the most healthy breakfast foods.