5 Tips For Choosing A Healthy Breakfast Cereal
October 21, 2019
Most of us don't have a lot of time in the mornings and so many of us don't give a lot of thought to what we're grabbing to eat as we rush out the door. However, there's a lot of truth to breakfast being the most important meal of the day as what we eat at breakfast can not only have a big impact on how we feel for the rest of the day, but it can also affect if we make healthy choices or not for the rest of the day.
With entire supermarket aisles dedicated to breakfast cereals, breads and breakfast bars it can be confusing to know what to eat to make the most out of this important meal of the day. These 5 tips will help make healthier choices for breakfast and how to spot the hidden health traps.
Check the back, not the front of the pack
Food marketers have a whole host of healthy buzz words which they know we as consumers want, but many marketing terms can be either misleading or not telling the whole story. For example, 'Made with real fruit' can mean, from fruit juice concentrate which doesn't include the fiber and nutrients of real fruit; 'multi-grain' just means literally, multiple grains, which might be highly processed corn and wheat; and there are no regulated meanings for words such as super food, functional food or even natural leaving the interpretations up to the marketing department.
The only way to really know what is in your food is to check the ingredients and nutrition panel on the back. Also remember to take note of the severing size. Is a small pack of cereal that you would eat in one sitting claiming to have 2 servings per pack on the back? This of course would make the values per serve appear to be half of what you'd actually be eating.
Fill up on fiber
Adults should be eating about 30 grams of fiber a day, and breakfast is a great time to get a good start on that target. Not only will it keep you fuller for longer so you don't feel like reaching for sugary or fatty foods mid morning, but there are great breakfast options that are natural full of fiber.
Remember not to rely solely on the front of the pack for claims such as "a good source of fiber" or "high in fiber" but to read the nutrition facts panel on the back. Aim for foods that container 4 grams to 7 grams of fiber per serve.
Keep the sugars low and unrefined
Many breakfast cereals have a bad reputation for their high sugar content, not providing a lot of nutritional value and leaving you hungry before lunch time. Another sugar trap is muesli that looks to be full of natural ingredients and carrying a "no added sugar claim" but is still 25% sugar thanks to its dried fruit content. If dried fruit is in the top three ingredients it's probably quite high in sugar. Also keep an eye out for other type of sweeteners. While natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar are lovely options to provide some sweet flavor to your breakfast you need to choose for less than 10 grams per serve.
A great choice for breakfast is one with a high ratio of nuts and seeds as nuts and seeds are some of the healthiest food you can eat. Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein and healthy fats as well as providing a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, and of course, fiber to your diet. Some packs state the percentage of nuts and seeds in the mix which makes it easier to select breakfasts that have a good nut and seed content. We recommend Something To Crow About Mueslis which are high in nuts, seeds (between 60% and 80% nuts and seeds) and low in sugar.
We can wake up quite dehydrated so it's a good idea to have a big glass of water or herbal tea in the morning.
If you're like me, and love the morning cup of coffee then stick to just one and have it after a good glass of water.
Written by The Kiwi Importer. A food company that brings the best of New Zealand natural food to the USA.
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