Breakfast is without doubt the most important meal of the day. A healthy morning meal can set up your day perfectly, whereas a breakfast that lacks in key nutrients can cause blood sugar spikes and increased food cravings for hours to come.
It’s no surprise that breakfast influences health and weight like no other meal or snack. With so many varieties and variations of cereals available in supermarket ales today, it can be difficult to decide what to choose and what to avoid.
What to look for in a breakfast cereal
There are 4 important factors to pay attention to when choosing a cereal. These are fiber, added sugar, whole-grains and sodium.Many cereals are processed with little whole grain and added sugar. These types of cereal may be tasty, however they are deficient in key B group vitamins found in whole- grains and fiber. The result will be a spike in blood sugar levels leading to increased hunger and excess intake throughout the day. What is the Glycemic Index?
Below I have ranked my top 10 breakfast cereals that are widely available in supermarkets based on these 4 key factors. Always look for a breakfast cereal that is high in fiber, low in added sugar, mostly whole-grain and low in sodium (salt).
My Top 10 healthy breakfast cereals
1. Rolled Oats (0% sugar, 10% fiber, 7mg sodium)
A great start to the day. Rolled oat contains no added sugar and is the least processed of all breakfast cereals. Adding fresh fruit is a great way to increase sweetness, and a drop of honey won’t hurt either.
2. Shredded Wheat- Uncle Tobies (2% sugar, 13% fiber, 10mg sodium)
A very close second. Jammed packed full of vitamins and minerals due to its high wholegrain content. Very low in sodium compared to most breakfast cereals.
3. Weet-bix (3% sugar, 11% fiber, 290mg sodium)
9 our of 10 Nutritionists recommend kinds eat weet-bix… and rightly so. Try to avoid adding sugar, rather try berries or sliced banana for sweetness and more fiber.
4. Muelsi (18% sugar, 11% fiber, 28mg sodium)
Although higher in sugar that others on this list, most of this comes from the dried fruit content. Muesli is very high in fiber and low in sodium making it an ideal meal to keep you feeling full and satisfied well into your day.
High in Fiber with virtually no added sugar. Personally I prefer the taste of Vita- Brits over Weet- bix but I may be in the minority. Slightly higher in Sodium content means it’s a little lower on the list, but still a wonderful start to the day.
6. Weeties (1% sugar, 12% fiber, 400mg sodium)
Almost identical in nutritional makeup to Vita- Brits. A very healthy breakfast with lots of whole-grain goodness. Add some fresh fruit for extra sweetness.
7. Guardian (12% sugar, 22% fiber, 215mg sodium)
A good all rounder with plenty of taste. The extra fiber content will help with meeting daily requirements.
8. Bran Plus (14% sugar, 40% fiber, 390mg sodium)
Super high in Fiber and perfect for those needing some assistance keeping regular. Mixing with other cereals is a good way to use this as a full bowl can be a bit bland.
9. All Bran (14% sugar, 30% fiber, 380mg sodium)
Similar to Bran Plus but slightly lower in Fiber.
10. BarleyMax Digestive (21% sugar, 25% fiber, 56mg sodium)
Just makes the list due to its high fiber and low sodium content. Another great way to start the day.
Some notable absentees…
Many cereals appear healthy due to claims made on the box however fall short when put under the microscope. Some of these include Special K, Corn Flakes, Rice Bubbles, Crunchy Nut Clusters, Sustain and Just Right.
Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day so it’s vital that you pay extra attention to your choice of cereal. Get this right and you will find yourself eating healthier across the whole day!