Can Someone Say Cereal?

I’m not a huge cereal eater, due to the fact that large bowls of oatmeal fill up my belly most mornings (sometimes I wish I had more more mornings per week).  I know I can rely on oatmeal as a relatively healthy, unprocessed breakfast that will fill me up.  However, I do enjoy an occasional bowl of cereal, especially when I’m in a crunch for time.

IMG_5043Cold soymilk poured over a crunchy bowl of cereal can taste truly refreshing.  However, I won’t just eat any bowl of cereal.  If’ I’m going to purchase a box of cereal, it has to be low in sugar, high in fiber, and made from whole grains.  This can sometimes be a difficult find.  With a whole aisle dedicated to cereal, you would think grocery stores would offer more healthy options.  But instead, the shelves of the cereal aisles are lined with one sugary box of cereal after another.

So usually I have to spend a little time reading labels and scanning boxes in searching for that healthy gem within the aisle.  However, I think the search is worth the effort because I can ensure that I’m fortifying my body with healthy nutrients.  If I were to awaken my body with sugar in the morning, I’d much prefer to eat pancakes or waffles with an intense maple-y syrup rather than an overly-sweet bowl of artificially colored cereal.

Why would I waste my sugar indulgence immediately in the morning on cereal, when I could wait to indulge in something far more superior, such as a rich, chocolaty square of delicious Lindt chocolate later on in the afternoon?  There are plenty of tasty breakfast alternatives, thus I don’t ever feel the need to eat or crave sugary cereal.

With that being said, opt for cereal containing minimal amounts of sweeteners.  If you feel the cereal you’ve chosen truly needs a little sugar, add it naturally by slicing up a banana or throwing a few raisins into your bowl.

When looking for a nourishing cereal, choose ones that contain a short list of wholesome ingredients.  Cereal boxes that seem to have neverending ingredient lists tend to be filled with artificial flavorings and processed ingredients = not good for your body.  While I’m always searching for new choices, here are a few cereal varieties that I know I can count on to taste good and start my day off on the right foot.

NP-OptiPurple-USNature’s Path Organic Optimum Slim:  Made with whole grains and organic ingredients, this cereal is a hit.  It’s slightly sweet and has subtle accents of vanilla.  Plus, it has 9 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber per servingIMG_5046

The Next Step Up- Kashi GoLean: Similar tasting to Optimum Slim, with a little less sugar and a little more protein and fiber.  As seen on the box, it boasts of 13 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber per serving, figures that top my normal bowl of oatmeal.

IMG_5045 Trader Joe’s Toasted Oatmeal Flakes: I love this cerel because it contains a short list of 8 ingredient:  Whole grain rolled oats, whole grain wehat, sugar, salt, honey, molasses, natural flavor.  It’s not bad for flakes, containing just 110 calories per serving and 3 grams of fiber.NP-Heritage_US-RGB



Next Step Up-  Heritage Flakes: These are my all-time favorite flakes.  They have a similar texture to the Trader Joe’s flakes but aren’t nearly as sweet.  They’re made with organic, wholesome ingredients and contain 5 grams of protein per serving.

heroKashi Heart to Heart: Five grams of fiber and four grams of protein, this cereal makes a great starter.  Containing just a hint of sweetness, it also makes a good dry snack when paired with a few raisins and nuts.hero

Next Step Up- Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs: This cereal lacks fiber, but it’s super low in calories, contains no sugar, and holds a short ingredient list.  Throw in some chopped fruit to add your own fiber for a light, clean breakfast.






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  • Reply
    November 16, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Great review honey =) I am a Kashi fan and love mostly all of their cereals

  • Reply
    Simply Life
    November 16, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    YUM! I love cereal and usually go with Kashi GoLean – it’s one of my favorites and seems to be on sale a lot 🙂 These all look great!

  • Reply
    The Candid RD
    November 16, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Great post! I completely agree with your thoughts as to why in the heck would anyone want to waste all of their sugar intake on breakfast?! Of course, many people don’t watch their sugar so they don’t even care that they get in a ton of sugar in the am, because they will just keep adding to that throughout the day without giving it any thought!

    I love Kashi cereal. If only it was a LITTLE cheaper. It’s on sale sometimes, then I stock up 🙂

  • Reply
    November 16, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Yep, total agreement, once again! 🙂

    I buy cereal almost only for yogurt, or smoothies, on top for crunch.

    Some of my faves: Nature’s Path granola (all flavors), Kashi Cinnaharvest wheat biscuits (the ingredient list is seriously three or four items. LOVE that.) and Kashi GoLean Crunch! 🙂 haha

  • Reply
    November 16, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    my favorite breakfast is a piece of toast, a nice slab of peanut butter, and sliced bananas on top. it is absolutely delish!!!!!!! oh yeah, i meant to ask you, how long do those shredded carrot peanut butter balls last? what abt outside of refrigerator?

  • Reply
    November 16, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    What a great review! I’m not a cereal eater but your choices are very helpful for me because my husband and my son love cereals. Thanks for doing this wonderful research for us all:)

  • Reply
    November 17, 2009 at 12:22 am

    Thanks for the informative post on cereal. It is really hard to find a good cereal out there. My fave is Barbara’s Shredded Oats. It has about 11 grams of sugar, which is a little high, but it sure is tasty. I don’t usually eat just a bowl of cereal though, it’s more a topping for other things. I agree, that if I’m gonna have sugar with breakfast, I want pancakes covered in syrup!

  • Reply
    November 17, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I’m usually an oatmeal girl as well (just finished a big bowl!) but sometimes I get big cereal cravings. I ate it most mornings growing up, and it’s a nice cold, refreshing breakfast.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    I am a big fan of Kashi’s Honey Sunshine cereal. It does not taste anything like their other cereals which can sometimes taste dry and close to dog food (had to say it!). Anyway, whole grains are important during the entire day. I wrote an article referring to whole grain recipes that I enjoy and the health benefits of each:

    Feel free to comment! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 18, 2009 at 11:50 am

    This is such a scholarly post! It’s cereal-ology! So helpful, thank you!

  • Reply
    Pumpkin Butter « Food-Fitness-FreshAir
    November 20, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    […] I picked up the butter on my last trip to Trader Joe’s and have been consistently using it ever since.  I particularly liked the Trader Joe’s brand because it has a mere 5 simple ingredients.  It’s sweet like pie, but doesn’t have any more sugar than a corresponding fruit jelly would.  The pumpkin butter contains 9 grams of sugar per tablespoon.  Not too shabby.  This is definitely less than most sugary breakfast cereals. […]

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    oooh, im an oatmeal girl, too. every morning, i have oatmeal with soymilk, 1/2 a banana, raisins, prunes, a few slivered almonds, and whatever other fruit / berries are around. it’s probably a little too heavy on the sugar with all that fruit, but it’s delicious.

    as for cereal, though, i have one addiction: puffins! especially the peanut butter ones. i swear, though, every puffins flavor (cinnamon, pb, etc) has a different look and texture. theyre amazing.

  • Reply
    Tina @ dietary fiber
    December 14, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Breakfast isn’t called the most important meal of the day for no reason, we need more articles like this to raise awareness of this problem!Fiber is also really hard to get into kids diets because of all the cereal companies valuing sugar over what is supposed to be healthy for them.

  • Reply
    Adam @ powdered cellulose
    December 14, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Most peoples health these days is a sorry state or affairs, dietary fiber, that’s soluable and insoluble, are crucial to any healthy persons diet.

  • Reply
    A Look Back + Californication! « Food-Fitness-FreshAir
    January 3, 2010 at 7:52 am

    […] Can Someone Say Cereal? […]

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