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Healthy cereals for the family

Choose healthy cereals for adults and children. Don’t be fooled by cereals’ packaging. Learn how to choose a healthy AND tasty cereal.

Dra. Reina Lamardo
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Tuesday, 24 December, 2013

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Having cereal for breakfast is quite common as it is a fast and convenient option. Cereal also provides energy to keep you active during the morning since it is a good source of carbohydrates, vitamins and fiber. But don’t be fooled by the colorful and provocative appearance many cereals have. You would be amazed at the amount of money companies spend on advertising cereal and trying to capture your attention. Be careful when choosing a cereal for your family since not all are healthy.

Tips for choosing a healthy cereal for adults and children

1. Carefully read the cereal nutritional information and ingredient list emphasizing the amount of:

  • Fiber
  • Sodium
  • Sugar, including corn syrup (high fructose), honey, brown sugar or dextrose
  • Calories

2. Compare the cereals you like to choose the ones that contain:

  • Less sodium and sugar per serving, or have a sugar content of 25% of the maximum calories (percent of calories from sugar are obtained by multiplying the 4 grams sugar and then dividing by the # of calories per portion and multiplying by 100).
  • Less than 160 calories per serving.
  • 5 grams of fiber or more per serving.
  • If sugar is listed further from the beginning of the list of ingredients it will indicate that the sugar amount is lower than that of other cereal ingredients which are located higher in the list of ingredients.

Cereal options

cuadro cereales

*Color gray indicates Bad, color white indicates Regular and color Green indicates Good.

We recommend you are aware of the following things when choosing a cereal.

First, cereals should have no more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Second, the amount of fiber is important. High fiber foods improve satiety. Finally, we recommend the following cereals: Post Shredded Wheat, Cheerios and Fiber One. Post Shredded Wheat also has only a small amount of salt (sodium). We include Cheerios as their percentage of sugar calories is low, which weighed against their fiber content of only 3 grams per serving.

We recommend that you make your selection based on sugar calories, especially if you want to maintain your ideal weight or lose weight.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, Consumer Reports.

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