I think we all have some sort of idea what the “ideal healthy breakfast” is, stretching from eggs to oatmeal, from hashbrowns to fruit, or non-fat yogurt to that weird smelling 800 different grains of wheat bread with just a sneaky little splat of butter. Most of us wouldn’t say cereal, but let’s be real… It’s what most of us have. It’s quick, no long preparation time, just need some type of milk, bowl with spoon, and cereal and that’s it. We could all probably eat two bowls of our favorite cereal before we can even finish making scrambled eggs. Cereal overall gets a bad wrap for being unhealthy and not filling. But there are many cereals that slip through that stereotype! Check out some reasons below as to why cereal isn’t a bad option, as well as what to look for in a cereal so that you know you are getting the most beneficial cereal for keeping your health in mind.
Whole grains make the cereal worth a million dollars ~ Whole grains such as wheat flour, contain nutrients and fiber. Essentially, no modifications done to the genetic makeup of the grain whatsoever, meaning the three parts of the grain (bran, germ, and endosperm) are all still there. Eating whole grains can have additional benefits such as multiple vitamins, help distribute fat, lower BMI, and improved cholesterol levels. Look for whole grains as an ingredient at the top of the list, most cereals advertise their high whole grains levels with high priority.
Fiber for the ages ~ Breakfast-cereal eaters are more likely to hit their recommended daily requirement for fiber (25 to 38 grams for adults, depending on age and gender), according to a 2014 scientific review*. Fiber is an important part of a healthy balanced diet. It can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and can also improve digestive health. Some brands even use added fiber, like inulin (aka chicory root), which is similar to the quality of the fiber you’d get from grain, just amplified.
Watch out for the tricky tricks ~ Along with the more recognizable ingredients of oats, grains, corn… there are a few additives that you may spot that you might not be familiar with. There are a lot of common cereal ingredients that aren’t the healthiest yet they might sound like it or appear next to a healthy one. For example, barley malt extract. That’s just another name for sugar, don’t let the word “barley” confuse you (like it did to me… WHAT THE HECK THERE SHOULD BE RULES ABOUT THIS).
You can add fruit for a healthy and sweet twist ~ Some brands although healthy, can be a little boring. By putting some different fruits or nuts on your cereal, you can improve the taste and add some more nutrients as well. A suggestion would be to then decrease the portion of the cereal when you add a topping, so you can maintain the same caloric intake.
*BONUS SIDE TIP*
What you’re putting in the bowl with the cereal matters too ~ Certainly, there are lots of vitamins in this beverage. But today there is a wide array of different types of milk with varied health benefits. What milk to drink is all user depending. It will make a difference what allergies you have, what you goals are (lose weight compared to gain), what your dairy intake can be, etc.
*Be Proud, But Never Satisfied*