Is Cereal Good for Breakfast? This is the Facts


Is Cereal Good for Breakfast? This is the Facts

Breakfast is often dubbed as the most important meal of a day. The morning meal supplies body with energy that it needs to perform numerous daily activities. Research has even support the notion that breakfast helps controlling blood sugar level, especially for people with diabetes mellitus Type 2. Experts suggest eating fresh or non-processed breakfast meal to obtain desirable result. Not everyone has time to prepare breakfast meal from scratch every single morning, though. Ready to serve food for breakfast is automatically becoming a go-to meal in the mornings. Cereal is among the most popular breakfast food. However, is cereal good for breakfast?

Is Cereal Good or Bad for You?

Cereal is a breakfast staple for people from various age groups. Children really enjoy sweet cereals served with cold milk every morning. Even adults still love eating cereals for breakfast. It is ready to be eaten in record time, perfect for busy morning. But is cereal good for breakfast? There is a lengthy answer to that question.

How is cereal good for breakfast? Ready to eat cereal is usually enriched with nutrition. It is said to contain high vitamins, minerals, and fiber. As carbohydrate in cereal tends to be digested slower by the body, craving for food in higher sugar or fat content later in the day can be averted. This food also has long shelving life and is easy to be stored.

Even so, is cereal good for breakfast all the time? Not necessarily. Most of cereal brands that are currently distributed in the market are highly processed. It often has high sugar content. Also, ready to eat cereal is often made of very refined grains. Carbohydrate that comes from refined grains possesses high glycemic index which will stimulate heightened level of blood sugar and insulin. Nutritional content usually added into cereal is fortified nutrition. The quality of nutrition is most likely low in order to cut production cost.

There is nothing wrong with having cereal for breakfast, though. You just need to be more selective of the cereal that you buy. Here are some tips on picking good cereal.

  1. Serving Size

Dietitians suggest getting cereal that contains less than 200 calories in every portion. Usually, the recommended serving size is around half to a cup. You must also count milk into the equation. Many people go beyond the recommended serving size. It is important to follow the recommendation.

  1. Low Sugar and Fat Content

As you have learned about how good cereal for breakfast, cereal with high sugar and fat content must be avoided. It is suggested to buy cereal that contains less than 10 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fat in every serving. Cereal in the market often has sugar content equivalent to three cookies in one serving. Keeping low sugar content in cereal can prevent diabetes in the future. Saturated fat should also be avoided. Too much saturated fat consumption will increase risk of heart diseases.

  1. High Fiber

Many cereal brands boast high fiber content. Fiber helps with digestive system. It also lowers glucose and cholesterol level in the blood thus preventing chance of getting diabetes and heart diseases. Dietitians suggest eating cereal that contains 5 grams or more fiber.

  1. Whole Grains

Whole grains are going to keep you fulfilled longer than refined grains. It also improves digestive system and reduces the risk of heart diseases. Many cereal brands often use refined grains in their production. Look at Nutrition Fact before deciding on buying a brand of cereal.

  1. No Sodium

Dietitians recommend buying cereal that has less than 220 milligrams of sodium in each serving. Too much salt or sodium will inflate the risk of getting heart diseases. It will also spike blood pressure significantly, raising the chance of stroke.

Improving Nutritional Values in Cereal

There are some ways to improve nutritional values in a cereal serving. The first method is replacing full fat milk with low-fat milk. Non-dairy milk substitutes are also in rage these days. You can serve cereal with soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk, rice milk, and other kinds of non-dairy milk. Leaner milk will reduce fat content. Non-dairy milk is also said to be a great source of protein and healthy fat.

Is cereal good for breakfast if served cold? Well it can be either good or bad. As cereal served with cold milk is definitely refreshing, you may have a hard time controlling your appetite. Dietitians suggest hot cereals to curb eating pace. Eating hot cereals like oatmeal porridge or cooked quinoa is much preferable than the cold one. However, if cold cereal is consumed as per recommended serving, it is still good.

Another way to improve nutritional content in cereal is by serving it with healthy toppings. Yogurt is a go-to topping for cereal. It is better to choose non-fat plain yogurt than the one that has been sweetened or processed. Soy yogurt is readily available in the market for nondairy option. Fruits and nuts are also great choice of toppings for cereal. Mixed berries, banana, and crunchy almonds will elevate flavor of cereal and provide extra nutrients. If you are using fruits, choose the fresh and in season ones. For nuts, it is better to get the less processed and unsalted nuts.

As people are becoming more aware of healthy eating and cooking, recipes for healthy homemade cereals are readily available on the internet. Overnight oatmeal is one of the biggest healthy cereal trends that many people follow. It can be prepared up to two days in advance. Getting creative with the ingredients are also very easy. The most popular way is to make it in a mason jar. Oatmeal should be mixed with some liquid then flavored with natural sweetener and spices. Nuts and fruits are often be added into the mix too. Let the mixture soaks overnight inside refrigerator and it can be enjoyed in the morning for breakfast.

Now after you have learned is cereal good for breakfast, you can pick and even make good cereal on your own with some recipes available widely. There is no reason avoiding cereal entirely but you should not indulge too much.

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