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What should I watch out for with breakfast cereals?

  1. Starting your day with a good breakfast offers many benefits. A number of studies suggest that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight than those who regularly skip breakfast. For children, breakfast helps to stay focused and perform well in school.

  1. You should be confident that your favorite breakfast cereal will provide you with the necessary carbohydrates and especially fiber, and as little salt, sugar and saturated fats as possible. But is that always the case? Let's take a closer look at our cereals.

  1. In March 2010, Nestlà ©, Kellogg's, Aldi and several other supermarkets signed a charter promising to reduce the salt content in their breakfast cereals by 15% over four years. Cornflakes and Rice Crispies have indeed already done so, and even by 20%. And Aldi reduced the salt content in its breakfast cereals by as much as 30%. It should be noted, however, that Aldi breakfast cereals used to be the most salty cereal on the market.

  1. Such changes are a step in the right direction, but they are still insufficient and consumers would do well to inform themselves about the content of the breakfast cereals they serve themselves and their children.]

  1. Our body's favorite energy source is carbohydrates. So to start your day right, cereals, naturally rich in carbohydrates, are generally a good choice. And cereals rich in fiber are even better. Adults need about 25-30g of fiber per day and most of us don't get it.

  1. But children don't eat enough fiber either. An Australian study showed that only 18% of the children there ate enough fiber on a daily basis.

  1. However, not all breakfast cereals are created equal, and some offer little more than a hearty dose of sugar and refined white flour. In fact, some cereals offer more than 50% of their calories per serving in the form of sugar!

  1. Choosing this for breakfast is as good as eating cookies with milk every morning.

  1. Here are three simple rules you can follow to make sure you choose healthy breakfast cereals for you and your family:

The main ingredient should be whole grain

  1. Check the ingredients list and make sure the first ingredient is whole grain. You can be sure that oats or brown rice are always whole grain.

  1. If the main ingredient is bran (oat bran or corn bran) then good too. Bran may not technically be whole grain, but only one component of whole grain, but it is a concentrated source of naturally occurring fiber, making it just as healthy as whole grains.

At least three grams of fiber per serving

  1. A high-fiber diet has been shown to protect against heart disease and may reduce the risk of diabetes 2 Â and the metabolism syndrome. Hence, it is recommended that you eat breakfast with at least three grams of fiber per serving. That is a good step for you and your whole family on the way to the recommended daily amount of this.

  1. The amount of fiber in breakfast cereals is normally a good indication of how much whole grains or bran they contain, although there are cornflakes that provide added fiber, such as polydextrose or inulin.

No more than 8 grams of sugar per serving

  1. Even if your breakfast cereals are made from whole grains or packed with other healthy ingredients, they can still be harmful to your health if they contain too much sugar. Most of the sugars found in breakfast cereals are added sugars (white or brown sugar, honey and cane sugar).

  1. In addition, they sometimes contain natural sugars from raisins and other dried fruits. Too much sugar in the morning can spike your blood sugar and leave you tired later in the day. Eight grams of sugar per serving is a healthy maximum for breakfast cereals.

  1. What is your favorite breakfast? Do you opt for cereal? Which brand do you choose? And do you pay attention to how healthy the composition is or do you just choose the brand that you like best? Let me know!

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