Breakfast is still an important start to anyone’s day. But can you guess what breakfast food might not be as healthy as you think? If you guessed breakfast cereal you are correct (and more informed than the average parent.) Shockingly, it’s the fifth highest source of added sugar in children’s diets. Heading off to school or work after eating a sugary cereal might leave you feeling unsatisfied and hungry much sooner than lunchtime.
According to the latest research by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), children’s cereals have 40% more added sugar than those marketed to adults. The average children’s cereal contains 2.5 teaspoons of sugar (or 40 calories) per unrealistically small serving size. That is equal to eating three Chips Ahoy cookies…for breakfast.
EWG Recommends Looking for Three Things When Choosing Cereal:
· Short ingredient list: the shorter the list, the less processed the food is.
· Fiber content: A good source of fiber will provide 2.5-5.0 grams of fiber per serving.
· Very little added sugar: Cereals with no more than 1-1.5 teaspoons (4-6 grams) of sugar per serving are best. Watch out for hidden sugar in the ingredient list including honey, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, brown sugar, corn sweetener, sucrose, lactose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, and malt syrup.
Too much added sugar is a large contributor to child and adult obesity and diabetes. 9Health Fair monitors trends in these areas closely and provides adult participants with helpful screenings such as glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Starting up again this fall, 9Health Fair will offer these screenings at various Denver area locations. Bring your family and learn and own your health together.
The next time you are in the cereal aisle, don’t despair. EWG reports Cheerios, Sesame Street’s C is for Cereal, regular and gluten free Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, and Crispix all containing 1 teaspoon or less of added sugar. Enjoy breakfast cereal with a little less guilt!