Friday, March 5, 2010

A day to be celebrated, indeed.

Today is a holiday. For me at least. Today is national cereal day. If you know me at all you know I LOVE cereal. I will confess that I eat it for breakfast and dinner sometimes. I like it hot, I like it cold, I like it dry, I like it in yogurt, I like it in the form of treats...I mean let's be honest...It's just SO good. And luckily it can be so good for you too!

I am somewhat of a cereal suicide-er if you will. I just like so many kinds that I find that mixing them can give you the best of so many worlds. My current favorite is Kashi Golean Crunch mixed with Special K Protein Plus.

I mix 1/2 cup Kashi, 3/4 cup Special K, and about a cup of milk and I end up with a delish breakfast which comes out to be 286 calories, 5 grams of fat, 43 grams of carbs, and 23 grams of protein. I seriously get excited about waking up to eat it...I love it that much.

So, how do you know if your cereal is a good choice? Here are some guidelines:

- the first ingredient listed should be "whole grain" "whole wheat" or "wheat bran." Avoid cereals with the word "enriched." That usually means processed.
- 5 grams of fiber
- 3 grams of protein
- Added sugars shouldn't be more than 25% of the total calories (To figure this out multiply the grams of sugar per serving by 4. Divide this number by the total calories per serving. Multiply this # by 100 for the percentage of calories from sugar) If you can find a cereal that is just above the 25% mark, has 5+ grams of fiber, and the first ingredient is "whole grains," it would still be a great choice considering it's no higher than 30%. Generally, more than 7 grams of sugar is too high.
- Avoid cereals with phrases like: "hydrogenated oils," "dyes or artificial colors," and "chemical preservatives."
- If it looks to delish to be might be. Look at the nutrition facts first!

Some good Cereal Picks:
- Fiber One Bran Cereal* a great one to mix with other more flavorful cereals.
- Fiber One Honey Clusters
- Quaker Oatmeal Squares
- Shredded Wheat
- Frosted Mini Wheats
- Raisin Bran* this one appears to be high in sugar, but the sugar content is actually coming from the raisins in the cereal.
- Kashi cereals

Serve up some of this deliciousness with a little bit of skim milk, soy milk, or almond milk, & Voila! You are a happy camper.

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