Improving Heart Health: Start the Day with a Strong Breakfast
A healthy breakfast cereal can be the perfect start to the day, being a source of whole grains, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. But, unfortunately not all cereals are created equal, with some are actually more like confectionery than a healthy food.
Have you noticed how cereal manufacturers are the ultimate wizards of spin? They seem to have an impeccable ability to take the most highly processed, sugary, salty, and low in fiber cereal, and shamelessly promote it as the greatest product you could possibly eat!
When food shopping you ought to be wise to these sly marketing ploys, whatever product you're purchasing, and make time to read labels carefully.
If you want to know the truth about your favorite cereal, don't be sucked in by the colourful and exciting images on the front of the pack - my advice is to scour the small print at the back for the ghastly truth!
Breakfast IS important!
You've heard it before, but I'll say it again: breakfast is associated with increased alertness, and work performance, higher micronutrient intake, lower blood cholesterol levels, and decreased fat intake. So, there's no doubt breakfast can be a really heart healthy option, if you choose wisely!
Here are a few guidelines for making the best choice:
So, for example if you picked up a pack of cereal containing:
• 4g fibre per 100g
• 50g sugar per 100g
• 571mg sodium per 100g
Applying the information in the table above, you would find that this cereal is an okay source of fibre, however the sugar and sodium content is too high.
Comparison of higher fiber cereals
I've put together a side-by-side comparison of some of the more popular high fibre breakfast cereals. If you've been eating cereal based on how delicious it is this is your chance to start taking stock of the nutritional content.
Please note each cereal has been compared per 100g due to the variation in serving size (a serving is generally considered to be 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or ½ cup of cooked cereal), and has been coloured coded according to the table above.
Melanie Thomassian is a professional dietitian, and author of the award winning Dietriffic.com. She has recently released an eBook, "The Lifestyle Makeover Guide," you can get your own copy for FREE by registering now.