As everyone knows breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For many the goal is to eat a balanced meal that jump-starts your day in the best way possible, for others it’s grabbing whatever food is around, usually sugary snack-like foods or cereals. Over the years my taste in cereal has changed greatly. With my effort to become healthier I’ve looked into which cereals are the healthiest and which ones should be avoided. Here are the top five healthiest and healthiest cereals for you to consider for your breakfast.
These cereals offer a healthy way to start your day right. They feature multigrains, protein in the form of nuts, and low sugar content that will ultimately lead to less health risks like cavities and blood sugar spikes. I enjoy each of these and am prone to choose these over any sugary food for breakfast whenever I can.
1. Barbara’s Cinnamon Puffins– (90 Calories) This cereal is healthy while still adding a slight sugary kick to your breakfast. This cereal is great for transitioning from bad cereals to good. With 6 grams of fiber these puffins will keep you feeling full while satisfying that sweet tooth.
2. Bob’s Red Mill Granola-(210 Calories) Bob’s granola offers a unique combination of healthy yet delicious flavors you’re sure to enjoy. Every ingredient is a flavorful addition including molasses, coconut, sesame seeds, and vanilla. This cereal is great by itself and with milk. I like to keep some extra in a bag to snack on throughout the day to satisfy any cravings.
3. Cascadian Farms Purely O’s– (120 Calories) These are a great healthy alternative to the almost equally sound Cheerio brand cereal. The organic ingredients are pure and delicious and offer you the healthy start your body needs.
4. Erewhon Raisin Bran– (170 Calories)- This cereal is delicious and includes only five ingredients, so you know exactly what you’re eating. Instead of sugary sweeteners the raisins provide the taste you crave. The six grams of protein will keep you satisfied until it’s time for your lunch break.
5. Total– (100 Calories) This cereal by General Mills is a classic in the healthy cereal category and is 100% whole grain. The cereal not only tastes great but is also full of vitamins for a healthy body and brain. You can even add fresh fruit to this cereal for an even better breakfast.
These cereals are aimed at kids with fun marketing and bright colors, but I also know a ton of adults that forgo any benefits by choosing these over a healthier alternative. With precessed ingredients and high sugar levels, these cereals can easily weigh you down in a completely unproductive manner.
1. Fruit Loops– (41.4% Sugar) This food is a classic and one many people, including myself, would eat with horrifying regularity. The processed ingredients, dyes, and artificial flavors offer little to no actual health benefits.
2. Apple Jacks– (42.9% Sugar) This used to be my absolute favorite cereal for breakfast or snacking on a daily basis until I found out the truth behind this cereal. While with cereals the nutrition statistics go in order from most to least, the ingredients are not required to do this. By separating the bad ingredients like corn syrup and sugar in the list they can make it seem like it is healthier than it is for people who only skim the list.
3. Quaker Oats Oh’s– (44.4% Sugar) This cereal boasts that it is made from whole grains and healthy ingredients but in reality these don’t make up the bulk of the cereal. This cereal is mostly comprised of refined grains with some whole grains thrown in for credibility to their claims.
4. Golden Crisp– (51.9% Sugar) This cereal made by Post has spent more money than almost any company in the world in marketing their product to kids, ringing in at 229 million dollars and more annually. This sugar is entirely comprised of sugar and refined flours and should be avoided.
5. Honey Smacks– (55.6% Sugar) This cereal has an appropriate name since it smacks you in the face with it’s sugar laden, unhealthy nutrition. This cereal is nothing but glucose, corn syrup, and malt sugar that will make you wish you had reached for something else on the store shelf.
Choosing the right way to start your day is essential for being a healthy and productive individual. Think twice before reaching for that fun looking, brightly colored cereal for you or your kids the next time you’re at the grocery store.
Care2- Worst Cereals
Great-ist- The Top 20 Healthiest Cereals Around
For more health and diet information from this author, check out:
Pros and Cons of Switching to a Paleo Diet
Fad Diets That Never Got Off The Ground
10 Great Natural Ways to Boost Your Metabolism