Is cereal really bad for us?
We see too often that cereal is demonized for containing too much sugar, “e-numbers” and so forth. In addition, diet giants often restrict portion sizes or put them into a selective category. By doing this it only creates restriction and binge habits that we want to avoid at all costs. To settle any concerns, we wanted to break down some key points to consider when eating cereal.
Some positive associations with eating cereals:
- They’re an affordable and quick breakfast option – When you’re on the go and have to get out of the house quickly, cereals are a great option! They are also super affordable so a great way to feed a family.
- They are versatile – cereals themselves lack variety however, by adding fresh fruits, dried fruits, nuts or seeds, they can create a balanced breakfast with extra nutrition.
- Additives – In cereals did you know that some of the additives are actually beneficial? Cereals are eaten population wide which means that by adding particular vitamins that the nation lacks, it is a cost effective and beneficial way to increase the nutrition of our nation. Additives added into cereal include: vitamin B12, folate, vitamin D and other B vitamins.
- Fibre – as a nation fibre is something which we lack in. Wholegrain cereals contain fibre which aid digestion and are used as a weight management tool, so choosing wholegrain options can be beneficial! Options would be: fruit & fibre, shredded wheat, all bran and oats.
Some key points to consider when buying and consuming cereal:
- Sugar content – with an array of cereals on the market the key thing to look out for is sugar content. Lower sugar options tend to be those which are typically “blander”. For example: oats, all bran, bran flakes, shredded wheat, rice krispies etc.
b. Some of these cereals do contain sugar but a lower amount. To give them more flavour and variety you can add fresh or dried fruit, or nuts and seeds.
c. If possible, avoid the high sugar cereals! Unfortunately, these tend to be the cereal aimed at children. If it isn’t possible to avoid this make sure to balance out the rest of your day to avoid excess sugar intake.
- Variety – as explained above you can add more variety to your cereal by adding fruits and nuts etc. Cereal does have added nutrients in it but if possible try adding some extra wholesome foods in there, or simply a yoghurt or small juice on the side. Variety is the key to a healthy diet.
- Mix up your cereal: Granola is a cereal we really enjoy however due to its higher sugar content we mix it with a bran variety. By doing this we still eat granola but a smaller portion!
- Switch up your breakfasts: cereal has it’s benefits but do try and mix up your breakfasts if possible. It’s good to have a variety of nutrients in the diet and having other wholesome options is really beneficial.
- Don’t be afraid to eat cereal. There are benefits to eating cereals in the morning and being mindful of your eating and options can make this possible.
- Make your own! – If you want to know exactly what goes into your cereal, with your own eyes, why not make your own! Add puffed grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, buckwheat, oats and more. Homemade muesli and granola are two great options.
Love, Hannah and Elysia.