How to Find a Healthy Cereal

When done right, it can fuel your ride and satisfy your late-night craving.

By Heather Mayer Irvine, Bicycling

Breakfast cereal gets a bad rap, thanks to the sugar-laden varieties pushed by cartoon characters. But cereal can be a part of a well-balanced breakfast or snack, says Jordan Mazur, M.S., R.D., sports dietitian for the San Francisco 49ers.

“When paired with milk, cereal can be a high-protein, high-fiber food with lots of complex carbohydrates,” says Mazur. “You just have to sort through the aisle to find the healthiest ones.”

When it comes to choosing a healthier cereal, whether that’s to fuel up quickly after a morning ride or to satisfy a light-night craving during peak training, Mazur says to follow these rules of thumb when reading the food label:
  • Whole grains should be listed as one of the first ingredients, which indicates the greatest amounts used
  • Look for cereals with low or no added sugar and no more than 10g of total sugar per serving
  • Aim for at least 3g of fiber per serving—5g is optimal
  • Opt for adequate protein—a minimum of 5g per serving
Once you’ve chosen your go-to cereal, you can ramp up the health benefits even more by using whole milk instead of skim or almond, thanks to its fat, calcium, and vitamin D content. Or, Mazur says, mix your cereal with full-fat Greek yogurt instead of milk, and top with blueberries or powdered peanut butter for extra protein and antioxidants. For a boost of healthy fat, sprinkle ground flaxseed or chia seeds.

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Finally, you’ll want to be wary of portion size, Mazur says.

“If you have specific weight goals, such as weight loss or weight gain, take a look at the nutrition facts label to be aware how much you are consuming,” he says. “Cereal and granola can be deceivingly calorically dense.” By adding healthy add-ins, you’ll find it more satisfying to stop after one bowl than to mindlessly consume two or three with just milk. Here are 10 of the healthiest cereals for athletes like you.
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U.S. Daily News: How to Find a Healthy Cereal
How to Find a Healthy Cereal
U.S. Daily News
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