Navigate The Cereal Aisle
Don’t be dazzled by flashy packaging. Follow this guide to the big boasts and fine print on the boxes, so that you don’t start your day on the wrong note
Skip “Made With Whole Grain”
This phrase is as empty as a donut’s hole. Apple Jacks bears this claim, but the cereal’s first ingredient is sugar. “Anytime you see a claim on the front of the box, check the ingredients on the back,” says Phil Lempert of Supermarket Guru. Something like “whole grain wheat” should occupy that first spot in the ingredients list.
Beware Of Stealth Sugars
Sucrose, fructose, rice syrup – it’s all sweet stuff. Stay under 10 grams of sugar per serving, says Valerie Berkowitz, R.D., of the Center for Balanced Health. Don’t be seduced by branding. Cascadian Farm Organic French Vanilla Almond granola has 13 grams of sugar—that’s the same as Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles.
Fill Your Bowl With Fibre
Aim for at least 5 grams of fibre per serving, Berkowitz says. To stay full until lunch, add a minimum of 30 grams of protein to your cereal: stir in Greek yogurt (17 grams of protein in 6 ounces, or 170g; versus 8 grams in a cup of milk), protein powder (10 grams in 2 tablespoons), and almonds (8 grams in ¼ cup). Don’t Fall For Fruit Surprise: Strawberry Frosted Mini-Wheats has no actual strawberries! Even most cereals with freeze-dried berries or raisins don’t have enough of them to equal a serving. Yes, not even Raisin Bran. So eat real fruit instead. A delicious way: top your bowl with kiwis, peaches, green apples, pomegranate seeds, or figs.