March 3, 2017
by Hy-Vee Dietitian

How to Pick the Best Breakfast Cereal

The cereal aisle is lined with so many varieties that you could spend hours looking at nutrition facts labels. To help save you time, we have focused on three main nutrients to look at when choosing a cereal. The big three include FIBER, SUGAR & SALT.

  1. Fabulous Fiber
    • When choosing wholesome carbohydrates, always focus on whole grains. Whole grains provide the most nutrients by including all three parts of the grain, especially fiber.
    • The word “whole grain” should be listed as one of the first ingredients. Some cereals increase the fiber content with functional fibers, such as inulin and oat fiber.
    • Aim for a cereal with at least 3 grams of fiber
  2. Skinny on the Sugar
    • Sugar provides little nutrition. Look for sugar to be listed toward the end of the ingredient list, which will indicate there is less sugar in the product.
    • Here is a tip to figure out how many teaspoons of actual sugar are in each serving: Divide the grams of sugar by 4 and that will equal the number of teaspoons.
      • For example, if there are 8 grams of sugar listed per serving, that equates to 2 teaspoons of sugar. For a simple sweetness, add fruit to your cereal.
      • Aim for a cereal with fewer than 8 grams of sugar per serving.
  3. Limit Sodium
    • Sodium is a necessary nutrient in the diet, but too much is not a good thing.
    • Sodium is found in processed foods.
    • Make sure you are eating the proper serving size, because if you consume double the portion, the nutrients can easily add up. That’s especially true with sodium.
    • Aim for a cereal with less than 240 mg per serving.




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