Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day. For that reason, it is crucial that you start your morning off with the right food choices. Many of the breakfast cereals on the market today are full of added sugars, chemicals, and fats. Thus, choosing the right cereal can be the most important decision you make all day.
With all of the unhealthy options available to you in the world of breakfast cereals, it can be hard to find one that gets your day off to a good start. This article highlights the things to look for in a healthy cereal, and what to avoid.
What to Look For:
Not only does having a lot of added refined sugars in your diet increase your risk for health concerns, but cereals high in sugar also provide a lot of empty calories early in the day. Cereals that have less than 10 grams of cereal per serving are ideal.
Cereals high in fiber not only aid in digestion, but also help regulate blood sugar levels. Americans are especially deficient of fiber in their diets, and looking for cereals that have high levels of the nutrient is a good way to reverse that trend.
Cereal can be a good way to get a healthy amount of protein in your system early in the day. This can curb your appetite to avoid overeating later. Also, high-protein cereals are one way you can integrate protein from sources other than red meats into your diet.
Besides lacking in healthy ingredients, so-called “bad” cereals can also contain chemicals and other non-nutrients that can be harmful. A lot of cereals are made with processed, treated grains and filler material that lack in nutrition and have been linked to the development of serious medical conditions, like heart disease and even cancer. One guideline to follow is to choose cereals with a whole grain as the first ingredient. Another rule of thumb that will usually work: the fewer ingredients that you can’t pronounce, the better.
Even if some cereals may look like they have well-balanced levels of healthy and unhealthy ingredients (preferably none of the latter) they can be tricking you with the portion size. Know how much cereal you actually eat, and if the portion size is deceptively small on the package, take that into account when calculating the true amount of the cereal’s components.
CATEGORIES: Blood Sugar, Healthy Foods, Junk Food Alternatives , Kids' Health