The 5 Best and Worst Cereal Options

The 5 Best and Worst Cereal OptionsBreakfast is the most important meal of the day, so you have been told when you were younger.  When you look into breakfast and break down why it is important, you begin to wonder why it is pushed on many Americans.  Shouldn’t we all be skipping that first meal in order to save calories?  Doesn’t coffee give me all the energy I need to start the day?

Breakfast is important and there are no excuses around it.  You need to eat something.  After a night of fasting, your body needs some nourishment in order to function properly.  Coffee does not give you energy; it just speeds up your heart rate, increases your blood pressure, and improves cognition.  One of the biggest reasons for missing breakfast is due to time, but there are plenty of foods you can eat when strapped for time.  Cereal is a great option for anyone on the run and one aspect for which you should be aware is the cereal trap.  Listed below are some of the best and worst cereals you can eat to start your day with a little explanation.

Comparing the Best and Worst Cereals

Top 5 Best Cereals to Start your Day

  1. Original Puffins. Puffins can be found at Trader Joes and other whole food stores and are touted as being one of the best cereals to start the day.  This cereal is free from cholesterol, low in fat, does not contain GMO and is vegan [1].  In addition, Puffins contain only a teaspoon of added sugar per serving, contains five grams of wholesome fiber, and contains two grams of protein per serving, making this a balanced way to start every day.
  2. Cascadian Farm Organic Multi-Grain Squares. Starting your day off with whole grain products ensures you receive beneficial fiber and abundant carbohydrate to fuel the body.  Cascadian Farm Organic Squares only has 210 calories, one gram of fat, 190 mg of sodium, four grams of fiber, and five grams of protein per one large serving [2].  Consuming a cereal such as this will have you feeling full to last the entire morning and you are sure to not have any energy crashes as well.
  3. Erewhon Raisin Bran. This cereal touts only four ingredients including organic wheat kernels, organic raisins, sea salt, and organic barley malt [3].  Just because foods are organic does not always imply they are healthy, but this cereal is organic and healthy.  This cereal is high in fiber and will help avoid mid-morning energy crashes.
  4. General Mills Cheerios. Made using whole grain oats, Cheerios has been a morning breakfast option for many years.  The cereal is light and does not contain added sugars like many other breakfast options.  In addition to being low in sugar, Cheerios has actually been proven to help lower or reduce overall cholesterol levels [4], making Cheerios one of the healthiest options you could have to start your day.
  5. Kashi Cinnamon Harvest Whole Wheat Biscuits. Kashi is a great cereal to start the day.  One serving contains 47 grams of whole grains, five grams of soluble fiber, only one gram of fat, and is GMO-free [5].  The amount of whole grains contained in one serving of Kashi almost meets the daily recommended amount of whole grains (48 grams per day is recommended).

Worst 5 Cereals to Start your Day

  1. General Mills Rice Chex Cereal. They make a great holiday treat, but when added with milk in the morning for breakfast, you are essentially consuming sugar milk.  With 23 grams of carbohydrates per serving, little fiber, and over 10 percent of your days’ worth of sodium, you are not off to a good start [6].
  2. General Mills Trix. Marketed to be fruity and flavorful for your kids, Trix sure does contain plenty of sugar.  If you or your kids enjoy a sweet start to your day, consider other options.  One serving includes 10 percent of your days’ sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, and 10 grams of added sugar [7].
  3. Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats. This product is marketed to contain wholesome wheat per serving and fiber, but fiber may be all that is good in it.  One serving of Frosted Mini Wheats will start your day off with a minimum of 230 calories and 46 carbohydrates per serving [8], leaving you destined to have a mid-morning crash or you feeling hungry before lunch.
  4. Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal. While all “healthier” cereals appear to be a great option, do your due diligence before purchasing.  The Kashi Whole Grain Puffs contains little calories, but that is it.  Little fiber, little protein, and not much to fill your stomach [9].  Your mind needs to feel full following a meal otherwise you will crave more.  With this cereal, you are likely to be reaching for a snack in a couple hours.
  5. Post Foods Fruity Pebbles. Generally a kid’s cereal, most adults have had this cereal at some time or another and if you continue to consume it, you may be headed towards a metabolic nightmare.  Fruity Pebbles are generally a low calorie treat, but they consist primarily of sugar, carbohydrates, and fat [10].  In addition, you would need to eat a lot of servings of this cereal in order to feel full.

Choosing a cereal is a tough decision because some market to being healthy when they really are the opposite.  Be mindful of sugars in cereal and strive to eat cereal with an abundance of soluble fiber to help lower cholesterol levels.  After finding a cereal of choice, mix it with fat-free milk and a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice to start the day off in a strong way.

 

References

[1] http://barbaras.com/products/puffins-family/original-puffins/

[2] http://www.cascadianfarm.com/products/cereals/cereal/multi-grain-squares

[3] http://www.attunefoods.com/products/Erewhon-Organic-Cereals/erewhon-raisin-bran-cereal

[4] http://www.generalmills.com/Home/Brands/Cereals/Cheerios/

[5] https://www.kashi.com/our-foods/cold-cereal/kashi-cinnamon-harvest-whole-wheat-biscuits

[6] http://www.chex.com/products/gluten-free-rice-chex

[7] http://www.generalmills.com/en/Brands/Cereals/trix/brand-product-list

[8] http://www.frostedminiwheats.com/Products/Original-bite-size

[9] https://www.kashi.com/our-foods/cold-cereal/kashi-7whole-grain-puffs-cereal

[10] http://postfoods.com/our-brands/pebbles/fruity-pebbles/

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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