Nutrition Label

Eating cereal for breakfast can be a quick and healthy way to help you lose weight or maintain your weight loss; but only if you choose the right cereal! Studies show that breakfast eaters are leaner than those who do not, and are more successful at loosing weight (National Weight Control Registry).

But with the huge number of breakfast choices available, choosing the right breakfast cereal can be a challenge.  Learn how to make the best choice by reading the Nutrition Facts Label.

Here’s how:

1. First, look at the “ingredients” list, located at the bottom of the Nutrition Facts panel.  Ingredients are listed in order from largest to smallest amounts. Whole grain should be listed as the first ingredient.  Avoid cereals that have sugar listed as a first or second ingredient, and avoid those made with artificial coloring.

2. Next, check the serving size and number of servings at the top of the label. All the information on a Nutrition Facts label is based on one serving, but beware, this can vary from ½ cup to one cup for different cereals.

3. Then, look at the calorie amount.  This is the amount of calories per serving. When you compare calories between different cereals, make sure the serving sizes are the same.

4. Percent Daily Value (% DV) can help you determine if a food is high or low in a nutrient.
5% or less means a food is LOW in this nutrient
10-19% is a GOOD source of a nutrient
20% or more means a food is HIGH in this nutrient

5. Limit total fats, saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol and sodium. Choose cereals with less than 3 g of fat and zero trans and saturated fats. Sodium should be less than 210 mg per serving, ideally even less than 140mg.

6. Next, check Total Carbohydrates. Dietary fiber and sugar are types of carbohydrates.  Choose cereals with at least 3 g of fiber per serving (more is better) and less than 8 g of sugar per serving.

Examples of some good choices are (listed in no particular order):

Post Shredded Wheat Original

Cheerios

Kellogg’s Unfrosted Mini Wheats

Kashi Go Lean

Prepare with skim milk or unsweetened soy milk and some fruit, and you have a winning meal.


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