Choosing the Best Breakfast Cereals
Written by Claudia Coombes
Breakfast is often regarded as the most important meal of the day and there are many reasons why. A healthy breakfast will help to kickstart the metabolism, stabilise blood sugar levels and refuel the body by providing us with long-lasting energy.
With the ever increasing range of breakfast products available in the supermarket today, it can be very difficult to know which ones are better for you. Some cereals are disguised in beautiful packaging with numerous health claims all over the front but they are in fact highly processed, contain a lot of added sugar and salt and very little nutrients. Don’t even get us started on a particular cereal that claims to be an ‘Iron Man Food’….
Yes, we totally understand your frustrations and we are fed up with sneaky marketing too. Our aim is to educate you so you can look past the unreliable health claims and make an informed choice.
What to Look For
Choose cereals that are based on wholegrains, preferably with at least 50% wholegrains (you will find this information on the ingredients list). Cereals that are higher in fibre and protein & lower in fat and added sugar are better options. Starting your day with a high fibre cereal is great for keeping you full throughout the day and preventing that mid-afternoon slump when you might find yourself reaching for high sugar snacks for a quick-fix.
Doing the Detective Work
To check if the cereal is a healthy choice, turn the packaging around to the back to look at the nutrition information panel. Use the information in the table below to help you choose healthier cereals:
|Per 100 g|
|Fat||Less than 10g|
|Saturated Fat||Less than 3g|
|Sugar||Less than 15g (less than 5g is ideal)|
|Fibre||More than 3g fibre per serve|
|Sodium (salt)||Less than 120mg is ideal, but no more than 400mg.|
Muesli and other cereals containing dried fruit can be tricky because they are naturally higher in sugar. If you see that sugar is listed in the first 3 ingredients on the ingredients list and it contains more than 20g sugar per 100g, you can assume that most of the sugar is coming from an added source and it will be best to avoid it.
Our Top 5 Breakfast Cereal
Rolled oats or steel-cut oats
Be Natural Mini Bites
Freedom Foods Active Balance range
Carman’s Berry Bircher Muesli
Our top tips for choosing a healthy and tasty cereal are:
- Look for products with plenty of wholegrains (more than 50%) and high in fibre (more than 3g per serve)
- Choose cereal products with less than 15g of sugar and less than 10g of fat.
- Refrain from adding sugar or honey to your cereal. Try flavouring your breakfast with fruit, yoghurt, nuts, seeds or natural nut butter.
- Short for time in the morning? Soak your oats overnight in milk for a tasty bircher muesli or try our overnight oats recipe here.
Watch this space for a healthy & flavoursome homemade muesli recipe coming tomorrow!