Best of the Bites: Cold Cereal

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Here's the scenario...you're standing in the supermarket aisle staring at the hundreds of food products on the shelves, BUT you are at a loss as to which one really is the best one to buy. Do you choose organic, whole grain, low fat, "heart smart", etc? The answer to these questions is yes but that still leaves you baffled. Being a nutritionist, I'm always asked what and how do I choose? Of course you want to make the healthiest choices possible but it would take a year to go through all the products on the market. Hopefully I'll be able to help make food shopping a little less daunting for you. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, let's start with cold cereals.

Rule #1: Make sure the first ingredient listed is as WHOLE grain (oats or wheat) or all bran.
Rule #2: The higher the fiber content the better, no less than 5g per serving (more is always better). Since we need 25-35 grams per day, this is a great jump start to your daily total.
Rule #3: No more than 200 calories per 3/4-1 cup serving
Rule #4: You definitely want to choose a cereal that is low in sugar (keep in mind 40 grams of sugar is the equivalent of 10 teaspoons) and low in fat

Here are a few of my picks, in no particular order:
  • Kashi GoLean (1 cup = 140 calories, 10 grams Fiber, 6 grams sugar, 1 gram Fat)
  • Kellogg's All Bran Extra Fiber (1/2 cup = 50 calories, 13 grams Fiber, 0 grams sugar, 1 gram Fat)
  • Post Spoon Size Shredded Wheat'n Bran (1 cup =200 calories, 8 grams Fiber, 1 gram sugar, 1 gram Fat)
  • General Mills Fiber One (1/2 cup = 60 calories, 14 grams Fiber, 0 grams sugar BUT does contain the artificial sweetener aspartame, 1 gram Fat). If that's not your thing, General Mills also has Fiber One with Honey Clusters (1-1/4 cup = 170 calories, 14 grams Fiber, 6 grams sugar, 1.5 grams Fat)
  • Uncle Sam Original (3/4 cup = 190 calories, 10 grams Fiber, <1 gram sugar, 5 grams Fat). Higher in fat than I normally like, but also contains Omega-3s from the addition of flaxseed.
Add skim milk and top with fruit and it's a great way to start your day. Enjoy!

2 Comments

kim said:

now that we know what cereal to eat. What do we put in it? Soy milk? Almond, skim, rice? It's all so confusing. I know that there's fat in all except skim but it's good fat isn't it? Help!!

alphabitesnyc said:

That's a great question, but the choice is really up to you. We all know that skim milk (cow's milk) is a great source of calcium and protein (8 oz= 8g protein, 300mg Calcium, 30% of your DV) and of course 0% fat. But what if you are lactose intolerant or a vegetarian, there are many great dairy-free milk substitutes (from plants) on the market. Depending upon your desired taste and texture, you want to look for a milk that provides the same great health benefits. That means no more than 130 calories per 8 oz and at least 30% of your daily calcium needs. Just as in cow's milk, these milks do contain some fat, so if you are watching your calories and fat intake, many brands offer "light" varieties, (~2g total fat and 0g Sat Fat). I hope this helped. Enjoy!

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This page contains a single entry by alphabitesnyc published on March 18, 2008 1:33 PM.

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