Get answers to your nutrition and healthy eating questions. Visit www.eatrightontario.ca or call us toll-free at 1-877-510-510-2.
Get answers to your nutrition & healthy eating questions.
Call us toll-free† at 1-877-510-510-2 to speak directly with a Registered Dietitian.
Breakfast cereals are a quick and easy way to start your day. But not all cereals have the same health benefits. Here are a few tips on choosing the best cereals the next time you are shopping for cereal.
Choose cereals where the first ingredient is a whole grain. Look for the word “whole” in front of the grain. For example, “whole grain whole wheat flour” and “whole oats”.
Whole grains have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. They can also help to maintain a healthy weight.
Not all whole grains are high in fibre. Men need 38 grams of fibre a day, and women need 25 grams each day. Choose a high fibre cereal with at least 4 grams of fibre in every serving. Check the serving size as it may be a lot smaller than you think.
Fibre helps keep our digestive system healthy, lowers blood cholesterol and control blood glucose (in people with diabetes), and can prevent some cancers. And because fibre keeps you feeling full, it can also help control your appetite and maintain your weight.
Choose cereals with no added sugar whenever possible. Sweeten the cereal yourself. Try fresh, frozen or dried fruit, vanilla or cinnamon for added sweetness and flavour.
If your cereal is sweetened, compare nutrition labels and choose cereals with less sugar.
Look for cereals with less than 3 grams of fat or no added fat per serving. Granola-type cereals that have nuts in them will usually have more fat than plain cereals.
Look for cereal with less than 360 mg of sodium per serving.
Check the Nutrition Facts table for what is considered one serving of that cereal. A dense bran cereal will likely have a smaller serving size than a light cereal like rice puffs. Use measuring cups or a scale to see how much you’re eating. If you’re going to eat more than one serving, double or triple the numbers you see on the Nutrition Facts table. Watch this video for help reading the label.
Instead of just having plain cereal and milk at breakfast, try some of these ideas.
This site is maintained by Dietitians of Canada.
Copyright © Dietitians of Canada 2016. All rights reserved.
Dietitians of Canada acknowledges the financial support of EatRight Ontario by the Ontario government. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.