LATF USA: Five Breakfast Facts You Didn’t Know About Your Cereal & Oatmeal

5 breakfast nutrition facts, nicolette pace

So many questions when it comes to the famous ‘most important meal of the day:’ breakfast. 

Nicolette M. Pace MS, RDN, CDE, CBC,CDN, CFCS ,FAND is the founder of NutriSource Inc., which provides high quality education, counseling and nutrition services. She has also served as Director of Clinical Nutrition at the NYHQ/Silvercrest Center where she provided both administrative and direct care for sub-acute and chronically ill patients.

Here are 5 Breakfast need-to-know’s from Nicolette: 

Kids Cereal

These sugary treats have classically been under fire by health advocates. Today’s versions have added fiber (and vitamins) to make them more health friendly. Unfortunately though many still deliver over 10 grams of sugar per serving and do not contain other nutrients (healthy fat and protein) your child needs for brain growth and development.

Unsweetened Grain Cereal

Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because there is no added sugar in these flakes or puffs that it is a healthy choice. Most in this category are refined starches and do not have intact whole grain nutrients and fiber for good health, digestion and appetite control. Since they are light in weight (1 cup serving = one ounce= 110 calories) you’ll need several portions to feel full.

Adult Healthy Cereal

Here’s where we take those refined flakes and puffs and add-in a variety of ingredients such as crunchy nuts, tasty dried fruits, chocolate or other candy-like morsels with the belief that these super food ingredients make them healthy. What you should realize is that is gives you a speed pass to more calories (50% more) in the same small serving which will outweigh the nutrient value of the added ingredients.

Instant Oatmeal

All oatmeal is not created equal. With the convenience of instant you are relaxing the health benefit. Processing methods involve cutting, rolling, pressing and partially cooking whole oats so that essentially “pre-digests” the starch making it more glycemic (fast absorbing, greater blood sugar impact) . Be even more careful with instant oatmeal with added sugar or sweeteners as this reinforces sugar cravings.

Granola

This health food craze leftover is still going strong in health appeal but with a meager 1/3 cup portion size it is also one of the most calorie dense choices at 125-175 calories per serving. While most granolas have healthy intact whole grains they are combined with “trail mix” type ingredients which contribute excess sugar and in some instances unhealthy trans fats. This is a cereal where you must be very careful in measuring and mindful of how you use it.

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