is cereal really bad for us?

Is cereal really bad for us?

Is cereal really bad for us?

We often see cereal being demonised for containing too much sugar, having “e-numbers” and for minimal nutrition. Popular diet plans will often ban cereals from their diet plans, or strictly limit portion sizes. By doing this it creates restriction which can lead of binge habits, and this does not promote a healthy relationship with food that is so essential. To settle any concerns, we have broken down some key points to consider when choosing the right cereals for your health.

Benefits of cereals in the diet:

  • They’re an affordable and quick breakfast option – When you’re on the go or have to get out of the house quickly, cereals are a great option! They are also super affordable so are a great way to feed a family.
  • They are versatile – cereals themselves lack variety however, by adding milk (or yoghurt), fresh or dried fruits, nuts or seeds, they can create a balanced breakfast with extra nutrition.
  • Additives – additives in cereal are beneficial for our health. 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 the diet. 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, Weetabix, All bran and Oats.
is cereal really bad for us?

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 varieties such as: oats, All bran, Bran flakes, Shredded Wheat and Rice Krispies.
  • 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.

Healthy extras:

  • Mix up your cereal: Granola is a delicious cereal but can be high in sugar. Try halving your usual portion of granola and mixing it with a bran cereal instead. Alternatively look for low sugar options.
  • 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.

Nutrition and Cake is a Nutrition business - Run by Registered Nutritionists Hannah and Elysia, they provide Nutrition Education to help others lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

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