If breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, then choosing the right cereal is key for a healthy start. While many of us are guilty of skipping breakfast, it’s a bad thing to do – and not just because you kick off the day with a hungry stomach.
“Sumo wrestlers, for example, actually skip breakfast to gain weight,” explains nutritionist Melissa Ramos of Sexy Food Therapy. “So breakfast actually helps to move the metabolism in the morning.”
On this episode of The Perfect Bite, host Andrea Jenna and Melissa Ramos examine the nutritional claims made by five popular cereal brands, and see if the claims match the actual nutritional value.
Special K Satisfaction (Andrea’s favourite, least healthy option)
“It’s a big sugary for me,” Melissa immediately comments.
“I probably have the worst taste because I actually really like this,” Andrea admits of the cereal which she calls a “party in your mouth.”
But, unfortunately, while it’s tasty, the Special K doesn’t fare the best health-wise.
Also see: The Perfect Bite: Which margarine is the healthiest and best tasting?
“There’s a lot of ingredients in that box that I can’t really pronounce, that’s the first thing,” Melissa explains. “The second thing is that it contains sucralose. Sucralose is essentially white sugar chlorinated.”
“So it’s not exactly healthy for you – it’s got a lot of sugar per serving, about 25 per cent of your actual serving size, which is huge.”
“I would need to add something to it, it’s a bit bland for my liking,” comments Andrea.”
But hey, you can always add a healthy, tasty topping – Melissa suggests bananas.
“I know this isn’t very sugary, but there’s still something about it that I’m not very keen on, and I don’t really know what it is,” Melissa says. “I’d actually like this better dry.”
Nature’s Path Organic Flax Plus Multibran Flakes (Melissa’s favourite, healthiest option)
“This tastes earthy,” Andrea says. “Like, good for you earthy.”
Melissa immediately says she likes this healthy-tasting option. “It feels like a stick-to-your-bones type cereal.”
So it’s no surprise she named this organic option her favourite pick. “I just felt like it would actually keep me full,” she says.
“Of course, the nutritionist went for the Nature’s Path,” laughs Andrea.
Turns out, this option is also the best for you.
“When you look at the ingredient list, it has the least amount of ingredients in it, and a lot of them are organic, so that actually helps quite a bit,” Melissa says. “Some of these others have a lot of preservatives in them – things like BHT, which is a detergent.”
Kellogg’s Two Scoops Raisin Bran
“This one has raisins in it that look sugar coated,” Andrea notices.
“I actually don’t mind it,” says “Cereal can be healthy – it depends on what’s in the box.”
If we looked at the label, the real ingredients, what would we find out? “There’s a lot of fillers, and there’s a lot of various preservatives that you can find lurking in those boxes. Some of these fillers actually can be quite harmful or they can be something that’s called ‘fake fibres,” Ramos explains. “So you think you’re getting a big fibre increase, but really you’re not. Plus, some of them are really, really high in sugars.”Melissa. “But I like raisins.”
Which breakfast cereal do you like? What do you look for in a breakfast cereal -- taste, health, or both? Let us know in the comments below and your opinion could be featured in a future blog.