Even if you avoid the brightly colored boxes of sugarcoated kids’ cereals, you may not be picking the healthiest breakfast options. Sugars, calories and fats can be hidden in many cereals – including those that are marketed as “healthy.” Consider the following when choosing cereals:
Sugars: Choose varieties with eight grams of sugar or less per serving. Be aware that cereals with dried fruits provide additional sugar that can quickly add up. Instead of dried fruit, add fresh, whole fruit to your cereal.
Fiber: Aim for at least three grams of fiber per serving. The words whole grain and whole wheat are not always good indicators that fiber content will be substantial, especially if they appear as flour on the ingredient panel. Some healthful choices are steel-cut oats, bran and wheat germ cereals, and whole grain cereals with actual bits of grain and no added sugars.
Fats: Avoid any product that contains trans-fats, and choose cereals that have less than one gram of saturated fat. Be aware that granola, regarded by many as the quintessential health food, can pack plenty of unhealthy fats – and sugars – so read labels carefully before buying.