Breakfast Cereal: 8 Healthy, Great Tasting Picks (cont.)
The U.S. Government's Dietary Reference Intakes recommend that added sugars not exceed 25% of total calories (to ensure sufficient intake of micronutrients). And while there isn't a specific guideline for cereal, it makes sense to aim for a cereal that gets 25% or less of its calories from sugar. (If the cereal contains dried fruit, this could be a pinch higher.)
To calculate the percentage of calories from sugar in your cereal:
While you can find plenty of cereals with 5 grams of fiber per serving or more, some of them go a little bit over the "25% calories from sugar" guideline. But if the percentage of sugar calories is still below 30%, the first ingredient is a whole grain, and the cereal tastes good, it may still be a good choice overall. Here are two examples:
Choosing a Healthy Breakfast Cereal: 8 Good-Tasting Picks
After some taste testing and input from acquaintances, I came up with eight picks for the best-tasting healthful breakfast cereals. The cereals on my list had to have a whole grain as the first ingredient and 5 grams of fiber per serving. Sugar had to be around 25% calories from sugar or less, unless dried fruit was among the top three ingredients. I also tried to choose cereals that are easily found in the supermarket.
Medically Reviewed July 3, 2007.
SOURCES: Sandra G. Affenito, PhD, RD, CDN, associate professor, department of nutrition, Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, Conn. Jensen, M.K., et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2006; vol 83, No. 2: pp 275-283. Affenito, S.G., Journal of the Dietetic Association, April 2007; vol 107(4): pp 565-569. Liu, S., et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003; vol 77: pp 594-599. Barton, B.A., et al., Journal of the American Dietetic Association, September 2005; vol 105(9): pp 1383-1389. Coyle, E.F., et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2003; vol 78(4): pp 742-748. Jensen, M.K., et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 2004; vol 80(6): pp 1492-1499. Rimm, E., et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2004; vol 80(5): pp 1237-1245. Liu, S., et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2003; vol 78(5): pp 920-927.
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