Breakfast Cereals: Is Cereal Healthy?
Convenient and gratifying, breakfast cereal will forever be a breakfast essential for most people. But if do not consider carefully what is the best cereal for you and your family then the calories can start to add up fast. Much of the cereal that you can buy at the store is closer to being a candy rather than a nutritious way to fuel your body as you begin your day so the question is simply put, is cereal healthy for you. If you make your choice wisely however breakfast cereals are a nourishing and delicious breakfast choice for most of us.
The breakfast cereal aisle in your local store will be lined up with boxes of bright and colorful tasty cereals that are designed to grab your interest. The trouble is that are often full of chocolate pieces, dried fruits, frosted coatings, butter, marshmallows and other sugar packed foods. These types of breakfast cereal are going to be bad for your health if eaten on a daily basis. It is important to ask yourself is cereal bad for you if you are choosing to eat the wrong kind.
Many cereals claim impressive health benefits, but it is important to check that these cereals are as healthy as they first appear. Not only that, they are often full of unhealth preservatives so that they stay fresher for longer and colorings to make them bright and appealing. And whilst adults may be drawn toward the healthier-looking whole grain breakfast cereals with loads of dried fruit and crunchy nuts, the trouble is that these alternatives might not in fact be any healthier than the colorful chocolaty cereals on the shelves.
Which Breakfast Cereal Is The Healthiest?
The good news is that there are quite a few healthy cereals available, both homemade varieties and popular products you can buy at the store, you just need to remember to ready the nutritional information on the packet to make certain that you know exactly what it is that you are eating.
- Homemade Granola is a really healthy breakfast cereal choice. It is normally made by baking a mixture of rolled oats and various dried fruit and nuts in an oven until they all turn out to be crispy. Nearly all forms of granola include a large amount of healthy fats and protein. Furthermore, it offers different minerals and vitamins like B vitamins. If you are buying it from the store granola tends to have a lot more added sugar, so it is better to make your own at home. Keep in mind that granola is quite high in calories. It can be higher in calories, but it is still a healthy choice when eaten as part of a balanced diet.
- Oats are a nourishing cereal option. They are usually rolled and then eaten as oatmeal. Oats are whole grains which means that they are high in fiber and essential nutrients and have a substantial amount of vitamin B and iron. You can buy pre- flavored oats, but it is just as easy to make your own porridge from scratch. Store-bought oats can still be high in sugars and ingredients like dried fruit which are high in sugars. Oatmeal is extremely useful and can be made in many various ways. Just boil oats with milk and then sprinkle with fresh fruit or nuts. You are also able to make “overnight” oats, in your crockpot which you can leave so that they will be prepared in the morning for breakfast. By doing this you get a hassle-free start to your day and you get the chance to add lots of healthy ingredients to your breakfast cereal.
- Shredded wheat cereals are also a good healthy cereal and a great way to start your day off in the right way. Usually they stand out from other kinds of cereal when looking into what is the healthiest cereal as generally, they have just one single ingredient in them which is whole wheat. The wheat is usually shredded and turned into biscuits or bite size pieces which you can serve with milk. Shredded wheat cereals contain little or zero grams of sugar, depending on which cereal brands you purchase, and they provide a huge amount of your daily fiber requirements.
Things To Look For In A Healthy Breakfast Cereal
- Read the ingredients list thoroughly. Disregard the health assertions on the front of the cereal box and ensure that you examine the ingredients list fully. Always it will be the first three ingredients listed that are most crucial, as they consist of the bulk of the cereal. Sometimes, food manufacturers have a way to hide sugar in this list as sugar can often be listed numerous times under various names making the product very high in sugar without you realizing.
- Look out for unexpected oils. Bad fats can be used to make popular cereals but some breakfast cereals like Granola are also made using olive oil which can mean it is full of calories.
- Go for a high fiber breakfast cereal with 5 grams or more, and also go for a high protein cereal which is packed full of organic nuts and seeds. High fibre cereals will digest in the body much more slowly and will therefore keep you feeling full for longer.
- Choose low sugar content breakfast cereals, those with less than 5 grams of sugar is what you should be going for. And remember that the breakfast cereals packed full of dried fruit will ramp up the sugar content of the cereal and so will contain extra calories.
- If it says ‘organic’ on the box this does not always mean that it is a healthy cereal. Organic sugar is still fattening sugar and can still be unhealthy. Always weigh up the quality of the breakfast cereals ingredients and do not just count the calories.
- Breakfast cereals are usually crunchy and delicious, so it can be really easy to eat a high number of calories in a short space of time. Try to keep an eye on your measurements and just what you are eating by using the data on the packaging for advice.
Benefits Of Cereal
- Helps you to control your weight and hunger levels
If you choose to eat cereal in first thing in the morning, this means that you will be less likely to get cravings later in the day for unhealthy, sugary and high-fat foods to keep you going. Skipping breakfast can lead to weight gain and mean that you feel less productive during the day and get tired quicker. Consequently, it is better for you to eat a bowl of cereal of your choosing in the morning rather than nothing, but you can have increased health benefits if you choose a healthy selection.
- It is good for the heart
There is a lot of evidence to suggest that high fiber breakfast cereals when eaten regularly can contribute to good heart health. They are a heathy was to get heart healthy vitamins and minerals into your body and help you to stay feeling well. Also, breakfast cereals give you all the energy that you need to keep you busy and active, keeping your heart heathy.
- Impact on your gut
The benefits of eating healthy cereal for breakfast go well beyond helping you to remain feeling full throughout the day. Fiber packed cereals, like bran will promote good digestive health and even help to decrease cholesterol and reduce the risks of colon cancer. You can pack even more fiber per into your morning meal by eating your breakfast cereal with fruit and berries. This will help your bodies digestive system to function better keeping you healthier.
- Added calcium
Serving cereal with milk or yoghurt give you an extra opportunity to boost your health. Having breakfast cereal with a dash of dairy then this is a great chance to include calcium in your diet. Go for low fat milk to make sure you are eating healthily. Milk and yoghurt are excellent ways to get calcium and even protein into a daily eating plan and to be extra healthy you could opt for vegan milks like soya and oat milks.
- Ease of use
Cereal as all busy people know also has a lot of practical benefits separate from its health or diet pluses. It is an inexpensive meal, which is easy to store, quick to prepare and as there is so much choice there is bound to be a variety that pleases everyone.
So, the question of whether or not breakfast cereals are healthy or not is really down to what you choose to eat. If you are short on time getting everyone ready for their day in the morning, breakfast cereals are just so easy to get ready. You can even now take a pot of porridge with you as you go about your day and cereals are one of the best value breakfasts that you can buy to help you to stay healthy.