Cereal is another word for grain, but it has come to mean ‘boxed, cold breakfast food’, in the vernacular. Cold breakfast cereal brands vary greatly in their nutrition content and health benefits. Here are the healthiest, most nutritious breakfast cereals.
Obviously, highly sugared breakfast cereals are less healthy than breakfast cereals with lower sugar content. But it’s not just about sugar content in breakfast cereal. Whole grains, natural sweetener vs. high fructose corn syrup, fewer additives and preservatives, less processing, no artificial colors, all these factors contribute to a healthier breakfast cereal. Here are the best breakfast cereal brands, available in local grocery stores.
Cascadian Farm Organic Granola: Although higher in fat, Cascadian Farm Organic granola contains no transfat or hydrogenated fat. Cascadian Farm Organic granola is made with sunflower oil, molasses and whole grain oats. Cascadian Farm Organic granola also contains 5 grams of protein; a large amount of protein for breakfast cereal. Cascadian Farm Organic is now readily available in grocery stores like Wal-Mart and Meijer, where originally it had to be ordered from food co-operatives. The price is comparable to less healthy breakfast cereals. Cascadian Farm Organic granola is a good source of fiber.
Kashi: Like Cascadian Farm Organic, Kashi is now available in local grocery stores and not just from co-ops. There are several varieties of Kashi cereals, all organic and most with high protein content (7-12 grams per serving). Kashi is also a good source of fiber.
Cheerios: Long touted for being to reducing cholesterol, Cheerios breakfast cereal, from General Mills, is high in whole grain oat bran, low in sugar (only one gram) and low in fat content. Cheerios contains no artificial preservatives and uses mixed tocopherols (vitamin e) to preserve freshness. Cheerios is a good source of dietary fiber.
Post Grape-Nuts: made with whole grain wheat and barley, Grape-Nuts has the best fat to protein ratio: 1 gram of fat (no transfat, hydrogenated fat or cholesterol) to 6 grams of protein. Grape-Nuts is high in fiber an iron and contains only 4 grams of sugar per serving.
Kellogg’s Special K: Special K has always been advertised as a weight loss cereal. Special K is low in sugar (4 grams) and fat (0 grams) and high in fiber (6 grams). Special K is now available in Protein Plus, with 3 grams of fat (no cholesterol), 4 grams or fiber and 10 grams of protein and only 2 grams of sugar.
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