Tips for a healthier breakfast cereal

Many of us do not have time for an elaborate breakfast. For this reason, cereal boxes litter kitchen tables across the land because it is a quick and easy solution. Cereal is fast food when we need it so what’s the problem?
It’s simple really. Breakfast cereal is often highly processed with added sugar, fat or salt. They are often made from refined grain by a process called extrusion. This is a highly processed product which reaches your bowl with many added ingredients that are not nourishing to your body.
Most cereals are high in sugar and lots of the worst offenders are marketed at our kids.  Big food companies are skilled at grabbing their interest with bright colours, happy characters and affiliations with theme parks and popular figures. 
Cereal manufacturers also make massive health claims but you shouldn’t believe the hype, they can mask a multitude of bad ingredients with a beneficial chosen few. ‘Healthy’ adult versions of low fat muesli can often be relatively high in sugars and if you are watching the calories don’t be fooled by the fancy granola’s they can really ramp up the calorie count.
If there is one product label on the supermarket shelf you should take time to read it’s on the breakfast cereal box.
Some healthy breakfast cereal tips
Aim for less than 5g of sugar per serving (check the nutritional label this information is mandatory)

Aim for 3g of fibre per serving

Read the list of ingredients they run from largest to smallest so the first three are very important. Don’t be fooled by those sneaky food companies that list sugar under three different names on the box! 

Most of us pour a large portion of cereal over the recommended size, it’s easy to overeat the tasty, crunchy stuff. Try measuring a 40g portion and see what it looks like. I’m sure your will be surprised. Try to keep to the recommended portion size and take the box away from the kitchen table so you won’t be tempted to refill.

Adding protein to your cereal helps to make you feel fuller and reduces appetite. Add yoghurt, seeds and nuts to your bowl. Read How to protein boost your porridge.

Choose the healthiest options and then control the amount of sugar you add. Porridge oats, wheat biscuits and shredded grain pillows are all good choices. Top with sweet fruit so that you gain from all the vitamin and minerals. 

Make your own. If you have the time mixing up your own granola or overnight oats is surprisingly simple and you control the ingredients.

Opt for a wholegrain cereal, it is unprocessed and will contain maximum nutrients to nourish your body without the sugar spike of processed cereal.

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