Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cereal Killers

Question of the day. Dear RD to Be: What kind of cereal do you recommend that is high fiber, low sugar, and tastes good? I cannot believe how much sugar is in my Kashi Go Lean Crunch! Sincerely, Bowled Over

Dear Bowled Over:

Beware the so-called "health halo" that surround cereals. If you're not careful about reading labels, you could be in for a shock. Turns out Trix AREN'T just for kids. Many brands targeted for adults (Fiber One, Special K, and yes, even Kashi)have too much added sugar and not enough fiber. So what's a good morning pick? Taste will be a personal preference, but here's a few that stock my cabinet:

Kashi Go Lean
Post Spoon Size Shredded Wheat-n-Bran
Barbara's Cinnamon Puffins
Plain instant Quaker Oatmeal (yep, the old school version in the canister.)

Most of these are pretty bland. I admit. Most good-for-you cereals will tend to be so. But, before you run away from the cereal bowl, remember the following:

- You are ALWAYS better off controlling what YOU put into your food. So buy bland, then add your own sweetness. Great combos include fresh or dried fruit, sugar (try brown sugar for something different), honey, cinnamon, yogurt or Splenda.

- It's ok to mix and match. Try to add a 1/4 portion of your favorite indulgent cereal to 3/4 of a type that's more sensible.

- When shopping,check the label-- not the packaging claims! A good guideline is 6 g of sugar or less per serving, and 5-10 g or more of fiber per serving. And watch the portion size listed.

- And remember, choose low-fat diary products to go with your cereal, like skim milk. Or grab breakfast to go by mixing your cereal with fat free yogurt instead.