While breakfast cereals are commonly regarded as a nutritious option for children and adults, many varieties are highly processed, rich in refined grains, and contain added sugar. Consuming an excessive amount of added sugar may contribute to a variety of chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver disease ( 1 ).
Additionally, refined grains contain less fiber. Fiber is an essential nutrient for enhancing satiety after a meal ( 2 ). Many types of cereals are also fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, thiamine, folic acid, and vitamin B12 ( 3 ). Look for cereals that are low in sugar and made with whole grains, such as oats, brown rice, and wheat bran.
Combine your cereal with plain yogurt or milk and fruit for a well-rounded meal. summary Many breakfast cereals contain refined grains and sugar and are highly processed. Look for cereals that contain whole grains and are low in sugar.
How do you balance breakfast cereal?
How to make a nutritious cereal bowl It has been said that cereal is the breakfast of champions, but a bowl of cereal and milk will likely leave you hungry within an hour. This is not only annoying when you have a lot of work to do, but it can also lead to excessive snacking and overeating, which can cause fatigue and weight gain.
Another possible danger with cereal: Depending on the variety, the standard portion size ranges from 14 to 1 cup. Let’s be honest. It is therefore very simple to pour yourself a larger portion and throw your meal out of balance. Here are some of my favorite methods for creating a bowl that is both filling and nutritious: Add fruit Apple or pear that has been chopped or grated, strawberries or blueberries, and cherries are all delicious cereal toppings that are high in fiber and make the bowl more filling.
If you’re feeling adventurous, add some veggies, too! Vegetables such as grated zucchini and matchstick carrots pair well with fruits. Additionally, these vegetables work well in hot cereals, such as oatmeal, and overnight oats. Gain weight with fat Adding chopped nuts or seeds (such as chia, hemp, or pumpkin seeds) to your bowl of cereal not only adds crunch and flavor, but also helps you feel fuller for longer.
In addition, these plant-based ingredients are potent anti-inflammatory agents, so they not only make your cereal bowl more filling, but also keep you healthier. Integrate some protein To maintain a balanced diet and sustain you until lunch, you need protein. This nutrient gives you a small metabolic boost, and if you consume enough of it (roughly 20 grams at each of your three meals), you can prevent the one- to two-pound annual weight gain that typically occurs in your late 30s.
Milk, unsweetened soy milk, and nondairy milk derived from peas contain between 8 and 10 grams of protein, whereas other dairy alternatives (such as almond and oat milks) fall short. Consider including a hard-boiled egg or another protein-rich option (such as Greek yogurt) on the side to reach the full 20 grams of protein.
- Or, omit the milk and use the cereal as a topping for yogurt or cottage cheese instead.
- For additional protein-rich breakfast suggestions, see my blog post on High Protein Breakfast Foods.) Use only whole grain varieties.
- The nutritional value of grains varies widely! Choose a cereal that is predominantly (or, ideally, entirely) whole grain for the healthiest and most filling option.
On the label, look for whole wheat, brown rice, oats, whole grain corn, or another whole grain as the first ingredient (such as quinoa, amaranth, or sorghum). If enriched wheat is listed as the first ingredient, the cereal is composed primarily of refined, white grains.
- In other words, don’t bother! Although some vitamins and minerals are added back, enriched cereals have been stripped of their nutrients and are less filling and easier to overeat.
- For more information on processed foods, please visit my blog, 4 Processed Foods to Avoid and What to Eat Instead.) Look for options high in fiber.
Check the nutrition facts panel to ensure that your cereal contains at least 3 grams of fiber, though more is preferable, provided that the fiber comes from real foods (such as whole grains or fruit) as opposed to manufactured ingredients (like inulin).
- Consuming an excessive amount of manufactured fibers from cereal and other foods can result in gas and bloating, which is undesirable!) In addition to fiber-rich cereals being more filling, a fiber-rich bowl can improve your bowel habits.
- According to studies, individuals with better bowel habits report lower levels of stress and anxiety and greater well-being.
(1,2) Reduce added sugars. Many cereals, including whole grain varieties, are loaded with added sugars, as I’m sure you are aware. You eat breakfast to stave off hunger and fuel a productive morning, and sugar is not your ally in either situation. Empty sugar calories do not contribute to a cereal’s satiety, and too much sugar will only lead to decreased concentration and focus (in other words, a less productive morning).
Choose a cereal without added sugar whenever possible. If you prefer a sweeter cereal, limit added sugars to 6 grams (about 1 1/2 teaspoons). And if you choose plant-based milk, check the label to ensure that you are not adding sugar to your cereal along with your dairy substitute. Many of these milks (whether flavored or unflavored) contain hidden sugar.
(Continue reading for additional tips on reducing added sugars in cereal.) Avoid cereals that contain artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. This has nothing to do with filling a cereal bowl, but it’s a good idea nonetheless. These types of ingredients are typically a sign that a food has been excessively processed and is therefore unhealthy.
It makes nutritional sense to restrict these ingredients to the greatest extent possible.4 Nutritious Cereals Since I know you enjoy product recommendations, here are three that meet these criteria: Food To Live On Ezekiel 4:9 Cinnamon Raisin Organic Sprouted Grain Cereal Nature’s Way Cheerios Heritage Flakes (If you’re looking for simple recipes, be sure to download my free booklet containing 10 meals and snacks that can be prepared in 10 minutes or less!) Four Strategies for Making Sugary Cereal Healthier If you’re addicted to less filling, sugary cereal, here are some ways to make it healthier.
As a snack, combine it with other wholesome ingredients, such as unsweetened dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and popcorn (which is a whole grain). Combine sweetened and unsweetened cereals to reduce the amount of added sugars. See if you can eventually switch to a lightly sweetened or unsweetened variety.
Utilize as a side dish. If you enjoy a bowl of sweetened cereal and milk, serve it as a side dish to a more nutritious meal. For instance, serve scrambled eggs with vegetables and avocado along with a side of cereal instead of toast. Have cereal for dessert! If you enjoy sweet cereal, enjoy a serving for dessert, with or without milk.
Desserts are not restricted to ice cream, cookies, and candies. A sweetened cereal can be a nutritious alternative, especially if it contains whole grains and fiber in sufficient amounts. REFERENCES If you want to geek out with me about science, the following links will help: 1.
Should I consume cereal or eggs first?
Breakfast Cereals Versus Eggs: A Comparison of Health Benefits – Eggs are incredibly nutritious, but breakfast cereals have their merits as well. There are many breakfast cereals on the market, making it difficult to choose the best one. A good rule of thumb is to choose the option with the least amount of added sugars, calories, and fiber.
- Don’t be misled by the colorful packaging and “healthy product” marketing strategy; instead, check the label on the packaging to determine the nutritional value of each breakfast cereal.
- Choose whole grains, such as oats and brown rice, over breakfast cereals containing refined grains.
- Also see: Tips for a Healthy Breakfast Cereals for breakfast can be loaded with sugar and artificial flavors.
Avoid breakfast cereals that contain an excessive amount of artificial flavors or sodium. When you’ve identified a breakfast cereal that appears to meet all nutritional criteria, you can easily improve the nutritional value of your cereal by adding nuts and fresh or dried fruits.
A bowl of nutritious breakfast cereal can provide you with a variety of nutrients, such as fiber (from the cereal), natural sugars and vitamins (from fruits and nuts), and protein (from the nuts and milk). In contrast, eggs contain no fiber but a significant amount of healthy fats (in the yolk) and protein (in the yolk and whites).
However, you can make up for the lack of healthy carbohydrates by pairing your eggs with a slice of whole wheat toast. Also see: Conclusion: There is no clear winner when it comes to breakfast, and you can choose between a bowl of breakfast cereal or eggs in the morning, so long as you prepare the meal healthily and with care.
It also depends on the objectives you have for breakfast. If you’re looking to increase muscle gain and weight loss, choose eggs, but if you’re seeking convenience and satiety, you may want to choose a bowl of cereal. This content, including any advice, provides only general information. It is in no way a replacement for professional medical advice.
Consult a specialist or your personal physician for further information. NDTV disclaims all responsibility for the accuracy of this information. Which Is The Healthier Morning Meal: Breakfast Cereals Or Eggs?