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Good and Good for You: The Healthiest Breakfast Cereals

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When I posted “Ten Breakfast Cereals to Avoid,” I seemed to have suffered a sugar flashback; and the 1970s-swank, Henry Mancini jingle for Pink Panther Flakes has been stuck in my head ever since. The fuchsia frosted flakes were painfully pink and shamefully sweet, and thankfully, haven’t been seen for several decades—but what an enduring testament to marketing for kids and the girl-pleasing power of pink sugar! Today’s sock-it-to-you-with-the-sweet cereals aren’t much better, as evidenced by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity’s report on cereal nutrition—but at least some healthier options do exist.


Reading the report’s list of the most nutritious cereals, I didn’t expect to find products made by the same companies responsible for some of the shady cereals that ranked as the most egregious, but sure enough, there they were. This goes to show that some of these companies are indeed making more healthful options; they’re just not pushing them as diligently. Cereal companies spend more money than any other packaged-food category in marketing their products to children ($229 million in 2006), which is why we may be more familiar with Post Fruity Pebbles, one of the worst offenders, than with Post Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Wheat’n Bran, one of the best cereal choices.


Although within each brand, there is a wide range. Kashi ranks as the best brand overall in terms of ingredients, according to the report. If you don’t see a cereal you eat in this list (number one being the healthiest), you can check the Rudd Center’s database.


10. Nature’s Path: Synergy 8 Whole Grains
Nutritional score: 78
Artificial sweeteners: No
Artificial food dyes: No
Sugar content: 13%
Fiber content: 17%
Sodium (milligrams per 100 grams): 0


9. Kashi: Shredded Wheat, Autumn Wheat
Nutritional score: 78
Artificial sweeteners: No
Artificial food dyes: No
Sugar content: 13%
Fiber content: 11%
Sodium (milligrams per 100 grams): 0


8. General Mills: Fiber One, Original (bran)
Nutritional score: 78
Artificial sweeteners: Aspartame
Artificial food dyes: No
Sugar content: 0%
Fiber content: 47%
Sodium (milligrams per 100 grams): 350


7. Uncle Sam: Uncle Sam
Nutritional score: 78
Artificial sweeteners: No
Artificial food dyes: No
Sugar content: 2%
Fiber Content: 18%
Sodium (milligrams per 100 grams): 245


6. Kellogg: Mini-Wheats, Unfrosted/Bite Size
Nutritional score: 82
Artificial sweeteners: No
Artificial food dyes: No
Sugar content: 2%
Fiber content: 10%
Sodium (milligrams per 100 grams): 17


5. Post: Shredded Wheat, Spoon Size Wheat’n Bran
Nutritional score: 82
Artificial sweeteners: No
Artificial food dyes: No
Sugar content: 2%
Fiber content: 14%
Sodium (milligrams per 100 grams): 0


4. Kashi: Puffs, 7 Whole Grains Puffs
Nutritional score: 82
Artificial sweeteners: No
Artificial food dyes: No
Sugar content: 0%
Fiber content: 5%
Sodium (milligrams per 100 grams): 0


3. Barbara’s Bakery: Shredded Wheat
Nutritional score: 82
Artificial sweeteners: No
Artificial food dyes: No
Sugar content: 0%
Fiber content: 12%
Sodium (milligrams per 100 grams): 0


2. Post: Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Original
Nutritional score: 82
Artificial sweeteners: No
Artificial food dyes: No
Sugar content: 0%
Fiber content: 12%
Sodium (milligrams per 100 grams): 0


1. Post: Shredded Wheat Original
Nutritional score: 82
Artificial sweeteners: No
Artificial food dyes: No
Sugar content: 0%
Fiber content: 13%
Sodium (milligrams per 100 grams): 0


Do you eat cereal, and if so, is yours on the list? If you don’t eat packaged cereal for breakfast, what do you eat? Share in the comments.


Related articles:
New Program Rewards Shoppers for Recycling Cereal Boxes
My Favorite Healthy Breakfast
Ten Breakfast Cereals to Avoid

Originally published on Care2



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