10 of the Best Cereals You Should Be Eating

By Tanya Jolliffe, for SparkPeople

You have heard it said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While some people question this recommendation, others have quick and healthy breakfast favorites they regularly include at the beginning of their day. Many of us enjoy a warm bowl of oatmeal during the cold winter months and have created healthy recipes to tickle our taste buds. As the weather changes, some of us seek out cooler healthy breakfast alternatives like fruit smoothies, yogurt or cold cereal.

With all the food-labeling loopholes, selecting a healthy cereal can be tricky. Ignore the catchy claims on the front of the box and go straight to the nutrition facts label instead. Here's what to look for:

  • Remember the "Rule of Fives": Choose cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving, and less than 5 grams of sugar.
  • Look for each serving to contain at least 3 grams of protein.
  • Read the ingredients list. The top ingredients should be "whole wheat," or "wheat bran"-not just "wheat." These whole grains are naturally low in fat, and high in fiber.
  • Avoid cereals that list hydrogenated oils, artificial dyes or colors, and chemical preservatives as ingredients-these have no place in a healthy diet!
Here are 10 of the best cold cereals to keep on your pantry shelf.

Cereal Serving Size Nutrition Profiling Index (NPI) Score Total Carbs (g) Fat (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g)
Post Spoon Size Shredded Wheat 1 cup 82 40 g 1 g 6 g 6 g 0 g
Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs 2 cup 82 30 g 1 g 4 g 2 g 0 g
Kellogg's Unfrosted Mini Wheat Bites 1 cup 82 46 g 1 g 6 g 6 g 1 g
Uncle Sam Flakes 3/4 cup 78 38 g 5 g 7 g 10 g 1 g
Fiber One - Original 1 cup 78 50 g 2 g 4 g 28 g 0 g
Nature's Path Synergy 8 Cereal 3/4 cup 78 24 g 1 g 3 g 5 g 4 g
Weetabix 1/2 cup 74 26 g 1 g 4 g 4 g 4 g
Kellogg's All-Bran Original 1/2 cup 72 23 g 1 g 4 g 10 g 6 g
Cascadian Farms Multigrain Squares 3/4 cup 70 25 g 0.5 g 3 g 2 g 4 g
General Mill's Cheerios 1 cup 58 20 g 2 g 3 g 3 g 1 g
The Nutrition Profiling Index (NPI) Score is a measure (0-100) of overall nutrition quality based on both the positive and negative aspects of the nutritional profile.

Click here for the 10 worst cold cereal choices!


Related links:
How to Pick a Healthy Breakfast Cereal
No More Boring Oatmeal!
Eat Breakfast to lose Weight

SparkPeople
is the country's largest health and fitness website. Learn more--and get a free fitness and diet plan.