I don’t know about you, but, I do struggle when it comes to picking a cereal. I know what I am looking for, at least 3 grams of fiber per serving, as little sugar as possible (<10 grams per serving), and as low calorie as possible (<200 calories per serving).
The truth is I don’t really have a favorite, and switch types and brands regularly. In the May 2009 Nutrition Action Healthletter, there is an article comparing the current line up of breakfast cereals and how they stack up against each other. They organized them into “Best Bites” and “Honorable Mentions.”
The criteria for the “Best Bites” was:
- a cereal must be 100% whole grain (or at least the first two ingredients in the cereal are whole)
- must have at least 3 grams of fiber per 100 calorie serving
- must not contain any ingredients that are considered an isolated fiber (i.e. inulin)
- must have no more than 1 gram of saturated fat per serving
- must be free of aspartame
Since I thought this criteria was great and we know that reading each and every nutrition label when trying to pick a cereal can be a pain, I will share some of CSPI’s Best Bites recommendations with you:
Best Bites (according to the May 2009 Nutrition Action Healthletter
Kellogg’s All Bran, Original
Weetabix Organic Crispy Flakes
Post Original Shredded Wheat
General Mills Wheaties
Kashi Organic-Autumn Wheat or Cinnamon Harvest
Though this is not the complete list, I was surprised that only one Kashi cereal made the list of best bites. I was also surprised that General Mills Cheerios did not make a “Best bite” (though they were listed as an honorable mention on account of their containing an isolated fiber).
One limitation to this article was that they did not cover non big-brand cereals, and you can definitely find some cereals at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods that would fit my criteria, or that of the CSPI.
What’s your favorite “healthy” breakfast cereal?