Some serious cereal

My current breakfast of choice is cereal – something hearty and not syrupy sweet.  So when Attune Foods sent me some samples recently, I couldn’t resist opening the boxes right away.  This is some serious cereal.

not for sugar addicts

Cereal and milk makes a great convenient breakfast.  Actually it can be a great lunch, snack or dinner too.  It’s easy and potentially nutritious.  Unfortunately it can also be a health nightmare, if you limit your choices to insubstantial sugary cereals, and worse, load more sugar on them.  Breakfast should not be a high sugar meal.  The best cereals are high fiber/whole grain, with some significant protein.  One of the cereals I received, Uncle Sam Original, fits that description to the max.  This is not a cereal for sissies or sugar addicts.  Kids may not like it either.  It’s made with whole wheat kernels and flaxseed, and flavored with a bit of salt and barley malt.  A 3/4 cup serving has a whopping 10 grams of fiber, more than Raisin Bran, and less than a gram of sugar.   When you combine the 7 grams of protein per serving with the protein in the milk, you’ve got a respectable amount to start your day.  I am now a fan, although I admit I mix it with a big of Raisin Bran to add variety.  I think sliced bananas would go particularly well with the toasted wheat flavor.  There are other flavors, which are sweeter, but a serving ends up with slightly less protein and fiber.

I also received a box of Erewhon Brown Rice cereal, which is gluten-free.  It’s got more of a puffed crispy texture, like Rice Krispies, but healthier.  Kids might like this one better, assuming you add fruit.

There are a few other brands of cereal that don’t make me cringe when I walk down the cereal aisle.  Here are some examples, although certainly not a complete list of all possible healthier cereal choices:

  • oatmeal – rolled oats, Irish Oatmeal or steel cut oats
  • wheat germ – you’d usually add this to something else
  • whole bran or raisin bran-type cereals
  • unsweetened shredded wheat
  • lower sugar varieties of Kashi, Barbaras, Cascadian Farms and other brands
  • Swiss Muesli

What about granola, which has a major Health Halo?  Most granolas are high sugar, high fat and high calorie.   It’s really easy to pour 300-400 calories of granola into your bowl, so if you’re trying to control calories, go with a cereal that’s lower calorie and lower sugar.

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