Don't Let Eye-Catching Phrases Fool You!
Trying to feed your family healthier foods, bold words like "Reduced Sugar" or "Whole Grain" on food packages probably catch your attention.
However, experts from five universities reviewed the leading kid's cereals, including these reduced sugar versions, only to discover that the calorie amount was equal to the regular high sugar variety. In fact, the ONLY one that had somewhat fewer calories was General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch--and it only dropped by 10 calories in each serving.
How can this be?! Well, the manufacturers replaced the sugar with other forms of refined carbohydrates. So the manufacturers are legal in their marketing endeavors, but the calorie amount is virtually the same. Check out the nutrition labels the next time you are in the grocery store. You'll be truly amazed... as well as deceived, frustrated and angered. Select a healthy breakfast cereal based on the following these tips:
For a fiber-rich, healthy breakfast cereal, enjoy whole grain cereals like oatmeal, Cheerios, Wheaties, shredded wheat, raisin bran, or Kashi.
Add sweetness with fresh, frozen, or fruit canned in its own juice. Give sliced bananas, canned peaches, frozen blueberries, or fresh strawberries a try. Top it all off with some low-fat milk or soymilk.
If you, your spouse, or children are screaming for the sweeter stuff, first try to go half-and-half. For example, half chocolate puffs mixed with half Cheerios. The amount of sugar and flavorings is more than ample to sweeten the contents in the entire bowl.
Ignore those catchy claims on the front of the box. Go straight to the nutrition facts label:
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- Remember the Rule of Fives: Choose cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving, and less than 5 grams of sugar.
- Look for each serving to contain at least 3 grams of protein.
- Read the ingredients list. The top ingredients should be "whole wheat," or "wheat bran" -- not just "wheat." These whole grains are naturally low in fat, and high in fiber.
- Avoid cereals that list hydrogenated oils, artificial dyes or colors, and chemical preservatives as ingredients -- these have no place in a healthy diet!