HOW TO PICK A BREAKFAST CEREAL

Diana Mirkin

The healthiest breakfast is whole grain cereal. If you’re trying to lose weight, control cholesterol or diabetes, or just need a lot

of energy, your best bet is a hot cooked cereal of whole grains, such as oat groats, barley or wheat berries, served like oatmeal - perhaps

with cinnamon or raisins. Most of the prepared hot cereals such as oatmeal are made from whole grains and are just fine, too, but not as

filling.

If you prefer cold cereal, you need to check the list of ingredients carefully. The FIRST ingredient should be a whole grain. Then

scan through the entire list and if you see the words “partially hydrogenated,” put the box back on the shelf. You should

avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oils (or “trans fats”), and they show up in an alarming number of cereal brands (see

the list below.)

Once you’ve eliminated all the brands made with refined grains or partially hydrogenated oils, check for added sugars (you

want little or none) and fiber (you want a lot.)

The fiber content listed on the nutrition label can be confusing because it’s based on serving size, and very light cereals (such

as puffed wheat) show little fiber per serving, but an acceptable amount when you adjust for weight. Cereals made from bran (the outer

covering removed from whole grains) will have higher fiber content than cereals made from whole grains (which have the germ and

starchy parts of the grains as well as the fiber), but they can be hard to digest.

Recommended: Cereals made from Whole Grains

(no trans fats, little or no added sugars -- as of Fall 1999. Check the labels occasionally -- ingredients can change. )

Cheerios - General Mills

Chex, Wheat - General Mills

Grape Nuts - Post

Healthy Choice Toasted Brown Sugar Squares - Kelloggs

Just Right with Fruit & Nuts - Kelloggs

Kashi - Kashi Company

Mini-Wheats, Raisin Squares - Kelloggs

Mini-Wheats, Frosted, Bite-Size - Kelloggs

Mini-Wheats, Frosted - Kelloggs

Muesli - Familia

Nutri-Grain, Golden Wheat - Kelloggs

Nutri-Grain, Almond-Raisin - Kelloggs

Oatmeal Crisp, Almond - General Mills

Oatmeal Crisp, Apple Cinnamon - General Mills

Oatmeal Crisp, Raisin - General Mills

Oatmeal Squares - Quaker

Organic Healthy Fiber Multigrain Flakes - Health Valley

Puffed Wheat - Quaker

Shredded Wheat - Post

Shredded Wheat & Bran - Post

Shredded Wheat, Frosted - Post

Shredded Wheat, Spoon Size - Post

Uncle Sam - U.S. Mills

Wheaties, Crispy’ n’ Raisins - General Mills

Recommended: All Bran or High Bran Cereals

(no trans fats, little or no added sugars. )

100% Bran - Post

All Bran, bran buds - Kelloggs

All-Bran, extra fiber - Kelloggs

All-Bran, original - Kelloggs

Bran Flakes - Post

Chex, Multi-Bran - General Mills

Complete Wheat Bran Flakes - Kelloggs

Complete Oat Bran Flakes - Kelloggs

Fiber 7 Flakes - Health Valley

Fiber One - General Mills

Oat Bran - Quaker

Oat Bran Flakes - Health Valley

Oat Bran Flakes with Raisins - Health Valley

Organic Bran with Raisins - Health Valley

Raisin Bran - Kelloggs

Raisin Bran Flakes - Health Valley

Raisin Bran, Whole Grain Wheat - Post

Total, Raisin Bran - General Mills

Not Recommended - Cereals that Contain Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Trans Fats)

Many also are primarily refined grains and high in added sugars.

100% Natural Granola with Raisins, Low Fat - Quaker

100% Natural Granola - Quaker

Alpha Bits, Frosted - Post

Alpha Bits, Marshmallow - Post

Apple Zaps - Quaker

Basic Four - General Mills

Cap’n Crunch - Quaker

Cap’n Crunch, Crunch Berries - Quaker

Cap’n Crunch, Peanut Butter Crunch - Quaker

Cap’n Crunch, Oops, All Berries - Quaker

Cheerios, Multi-Grain Plus - General Mills

Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon - General Mills

Cinnamon Toast Crunch - General Mills

Cinnamon Grahams - General Mills

Cocoa Frosted Flakes - Kelloggs

Cocoa Blasts - Quaker

Cocoa Krispies - Kelloggs

Cocoa Pebbles - Post

Cocoa Puffs - General Mills

Cookie Crisp/Chocolate Chip - General Mills

Count Chocula - General Mills

Cracklin’ Oat Bran - Kelloggs

French Toast Crunch - General Mills

Froot Loops - Kelloggs

Fruit & Fiber with Dates, Raisins & Walnuts - Post

Fruit & Fiber with Peaches, Raisins & Almonds - Post

Fruity Pebbles - Post

Golden Grahams - General Mills

Golden Crisp - Post

Granola, Low Fat - Kelloggs

Granola with Raisins, Low Fat

Grape Nut Flakes - Post

Healthy Choice Mueslix - Kelloggs

Healthy Choice Almond Crunch with Raisins - Kelloggs

Healthy Choice Low Fat Granola with Raisins - Kelloggs

Honey Bunches of Oats, Almond - Post

Honey Bunches of Oats, Honey Roasted - Post

Just Right with Crunchy Nuggets - Kelloggs

Kix, Berry Berry - General Mills

Mini-Wheats, Strawberry Squares - Kelloggs

Morning Traditions, Great Grains, Raisins, Dates & Pecans - Post

Morning Traditions, Great Grains, Crunchy Pecan - Post

Morning Traditions, Banana Nut Crunch - Post

Morning Traditions, Blueberry Morning - Post

Oreo O’s - Post

Raisin Nut Bran - General Mills

Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs - General Mills

Shredded Wheat, Honey Nut, Bite Size - Post

Smacks - Kelloggs

Sweet Crunch - Quaker

Toasted Oatmeal, Honey Nut - Quaker

Toasted Oatmeal - Quaker

Trix, Wildberry - General Mills

Waffle Crisp - Post

Wheaties (plain) - General Mills

Not Recommended - Cereals Made from Refined Grains

Many of these also contain a lot of added sugar

Apple Jacks - Kelloggs

Breakfast Mates, Corn Flakes - Kelloggs

Breakfast Mates, Frosted Flakes - Kelloggs

Breakfast Mates, Milk - Kelloggs

Cheerios, Team - General Mills

Cheerios, Honey Nut - General Mills

Cheerios, Frosted - General Mills

Chex, Rice - General Mills

Chex, Corn - General Mills

Clusters, Honey Nut - General Mills

Corn Pops - Kelloggs

Corn Flakes, Honey Crunch - Kelloggs

Corn Flakes - Kelloggs

Crispix - Kelloggs

Frosted Flakes - Kelloggs

Honey Comb - Post

Kix - General Mills

Life - Quaker

Life, Cinnamon - Quaker

Lucky Charms - General Mills

Product 19 - Kelloggs

Puffed Rice - Quaker

Rice Krispies, Razzle Dazzle - Kelloggs

Rice Krispies - Kelloggs

Smart Start - Kelloggs

Special K - Kelloggs

Total, Corn Flakes - General Mills

Wheaties, Honey Frosted - General Mills