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Is Your Cereal Actually Good for You?

by | Dec 1, 2015 | Nutrition

Let’s face it guys, your bowl of cereal shouldn’t give you the shakes when you start your day– as much as we all love a mid-morning sugar crash! To help you get your cereal fix, we are arming you with 2 hacks to avoid the nutritional trainwrecks you’ll find at the supermarket (and trust us, there are a lot of them).

Graduate from childhood culprits:

We all know the cereal boxes displaying chocolate vampires, fruity toucans and ecstatic leprechauns are filled with spoon-sized shapes that are high in sugar and low in nutrition are not helping that spare tire, but what about all the cereals that claim to offer healthier options?

Don’t be fooled by healthy packaging:

Cereal manufacturers are notorious for “health washing” marketing tactics, meaning that they make products seem more wholesome than they actually are. Vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics are all well and good, but not when added sugar, sodium, artificial flavours and artificial colours go unmentioned.

What then, is a guy to do? It’s simple! 

1. Less sugar, less problems

Check the “nutrition facts” panel on the side of the box: If a serving of cereal has more than 10 grams of added sugar — that’s about the same amount as 3 chocolate chip cookies — it’s too much. The World Health Organization recommends that adults consume no more than around 50 grams of added sugar a day, and if you rack up nearly a quarter of that amount before lunch you’re likely to go over.

Beyond the info on the box: anything containing marshmallows, chocolate chips, and/or a sugary or honey coating is likely to exceed the 10 gram mark.

2. Favour fibre in your cereal

Fibre aids digestion (keeps you regular), makes you feel full longer, and stabilizes blood-sugar. Any cereal that delivers more than a quarter of your daily fibre requirements is likely a positive nutritional influence — again, check the “nutrition facts” panel for this info. A healthy adult needs approximately 21 to 38 grams per day.

Have you found a cereal that’s tasty and nutritious? Please share your breakfast secrets in the comments below.

Adam Bisby
Adam Bisby

Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.

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1 Comment

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    We’ve been battling this issue since we started the no extra sugar with our kids who are 11 and 13. We spent probably 20-30 minutes in the cereal isle looking at the labels. We said no sugar cereal. It was very difficult, besides everything has almost more than 8 grams. And I thought raisin bran would be a good choice. oh heck no. It had 18 grams of sugar!!!! That’s more than almost any other sugary kids cereal. So if you want raisins in your cereal better just buy the bran flakes and add your own raisins. But we’re going to stick with it. It’s well worth it when it comes to your health.

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