The scoop on healthy cereal

By: Health Local Staff Jul 31, 2013
  Article
Low Calorie Cereal

Here are some helpful tips to choosing the right cereal for your health.

Breakfast cereal has gotten a bad reputation due to the abundance of sugary grains and sweet-filled bites lining the grocery store shelves. But, according to nutrition experts, eating a bowl of cereal is a healthy way to fuel the body. In fact, cereal eaters are more prone to eating their veggies and other healthy foods throughout the day.

There is a catch. You can’t eat just any bowl of sugary sweets. Your cereal must be healthy and rich in fortified nutrients. Here are some helpful tips to choosing the right cereal for your health.

Pay Attention to the Label

Beware of cereal box labels containing words you don’t understand or can even pronounce. Your cereal should include calcium, iron and other well-known vitamins and nutrients. Avoid choosing cereals that have names you cannot pronounce or do not know. Skip the front of the cereal box and gather information listed on the back of the box. The front may be misleading and regret to inform you just how much sugar is found in the cereal.

Watch Your Portion Size

Avoid pouring a heaping bowl of cereal and stick to a one-cup serving size. Resist filling your cereal bowl to the brim, especially if you are trying to cut back on calories and additional carbohydrates.

Nutritionists recommend avoiding the bowl completely and eating your cereal out of a small to mid-sized coffee mug. After pouring your cereal, put the box away to avoid the temptation of eating another cup.  Eating with a smaller spoon helps you to eat slower and cut calories with each bite.

Avoid the White Stuff

Adding sugar to sweeten the contents of the cereal box should be avoided at all costs. Using whole milk will cause your calorie intake to spike while packing on the fat. The best choice is to pour skim milk, which is only 80 calories per cup, on your cereal.

Skim milk may leave you feeling hungry an hour later, so look for added ingredients that are rich in good fats. A tablespoon or two of sliced almonds, nuts or dried fruits can satiate your stomach without filling it out. Be sure to stick to your calorie quota, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Flax seeds or nuts are among the top choices for healthy cereal toppings.

Watch the Fiber Content

Choosing cereals that have a healthy dose of fiber are great for weight loss and a healthy heart. Cereals with at least three grams of fiber per serving will also keep your stomach fuller for lengthier periods of time.

Try to avoid eating more than eight grams of sugar per serving, keep the fiber content up and watch your portions. Before you know it, you’ll be fitting into your summer bathing suit without concern.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.