Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s that meal you have after an 8 or so hour fast while you sleep. When you eat breakfast after waking, you help to boost your metabolism and get yourself in the right state of mind for a long day.
While you can eat anything, you want to make sure your breakfast is healthy. The problem is most of us don’t have the time to cook something every single morning. Sure eggs and oats can only take minutes to make, but we sometimes don’t even have that.
We have lives, right? We have to get the kids ready, help other members of the family get their breakfasts, and get ourselves for work. And many of us just aren’t morning people!
Cereal tends to be the easiest option. It’s quick to grab, and you can eat it around doing everything else. You can even take it to work with you—just have the milk separately to avoid soggy cereal.
Cereal Isn’t Healthy?
I know what you’re thinking. You hear all the time that cereal isn’t healthy. You need to avoid it if you want to lose weight and support your whole body.
Well, what ‘experts’ tell you isn’t quite the truth. Sure, some cereals out there aren’t healthy, but others are excellent for you. They can fill you up with fibre and don’t have the sugars that leave you craving more later on in the day.
It’s all about finding the right types of cereals to start your day. They can be extremely healthy for you! Some of them offer you better starts to the day than eggs, bacon, and other options.
But where do you start in your hunt for healthy breakfast cereals? What do you need to avoid and what do you need to look out for?
The main focus is to look for cereals that are high in fibre and low in sugar. Don’t judge by looking at the packet and a guess at the ingredients in them. You may be surprised to hear that some of those dried fruit muesli and granola are actually relatively high in sugar and bad for you.
So, rather than guess and hope, why not have a select few bowls of cereal and tips to find the healthiest breakfast cereals for the best start to your day? Here’s seven that you can try.
Crunchy Coconut Granola
Not all granolas are good for you, but a crunchy coconut granola will be. You could even make this yourself by getting some shredded coconut, sesame seeds, and granola pieces (without the fruit!). You just throw it all into a bowl, and you get something sweet, crunchy, and delicious.
The sweetness from the coconut isn’t going to be too bad for you. It’s large amounts of refined sugar that you want to avoid, as well as sugars from most dried fruits. Coconut is naturally sweet but on the lower side.
There are branded products available if you don’t fancy making your own. Do watch out for the amount of sugar in the branded options, because they do tend to have added sugar. You want to find something that has 10g or lower of sugar in a normal serving. Less than 5g of sugar would be better, but this can be difficult with coconut.
Why coconut over all the other fruits? Well, it’s not just the natural sugar levels. Coconuts are also full of various minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin E and vitamin C. They’re full of antioxidants to help boost your immunity while boosting your metabolism.
Why not look at some multi-grain squares? They tend to be pockets of goodness, full of fibre and protein. The majority of them are also low in sugar. You end up feeling fuller for longer while getting all the nutrients from whole grain rice and oats.
Do watch out with these multi-grain squares. The branded products can add sugar to their products, which will counter some of the goodness that they provide. You want to look at the full list of ingredients and assess just how much sugar is in them. You should find that the sugar count doesn’t go over the 10g per serving mark.
One of the best things about the multi-grain squares is that they can be eaten dry. They are also delicious with milk alternatives. If you really want to add some natural sugars to them, chop up some fresh banana to enjoy with your breakfast cereal. You’ll get more fibre and nutrients!
Try to avoid the branded options that come with dried fruits. They have more sugar because of the dried fruits options. If you really want to add some to your day, raisins are going to be your best options.
Instead of dried fruit, why not add some nuts and seeds to your cereal? Nuts are full of healthy fats and protein. They also have selenium to help boost your energy levels and metabolism.
Some raisin brans can be good as a start to the day. You will need to check the labeling for the sugars, as added sugar can be included to ruin the health benefits of the actual bran flakes.
If you don’t want raisins in your cereal, bran flakes are going to be the best option. It’s actually the bran flakes that do all the good. They’re full of fibre, helping to boost your digestive system and get your body ready for the start of the day. The fibre will digest slowly, so you feel fuller for longer and eat fewer calories throughout the day.
Raisins in the bran flakes aren’t too bad. They’re not the best start to the day, but they do offer some extra vitamins, including vitamin C. However, the dehydration process to get the raisins will lead to some of the nutrients being damaged. Top your bran flakes with some fresh fruit instead. Defrost some frozen berries in the microwave and pour them over the top. Allow the juices to soak into the bran flakes for a naturally sweeter and healthier start to your morning.
There’s a reason why this is a staple in cupboards around the world. The multiple oats used in the cereal are full of fibre. You get a whole 3g of fibre per serving, which is far more than the majority of other cereals. At the same time, you get 3g of protein.
Protein is an essential start to the day. It helps to build and strengthen the muscles and tissues in the body, improving your overall health.
Let’s not also forget the low sugar count in Cheerios. One serving will give you just 1g of sugar! That’s it! You’ll get a little sweet taste but know that they are perfectly fine for you.
Cheerios don’t need milk to make them yummy. They are one of the best snack foods for kids. Just pop a handful in a small tub for lunch, and your kids will think you’re the best.
You can also mix some yoghurt in with your Cheerios and even some nut butter. This will help to boost up the protein levels.
Do you have a box of Wheaties in the cupboard? Worried that they will need to be thrown out? Well, don’t jump to the trash just yet!
Wheaties are known as the “breakfast of champions”, and there is a very good reason for that. You see the grains that make up the cereal are actually very good for you. And there aren’t many sugars added unless you add them yourself. In fact, some people claim that they taste a little bland because they don’t have sugar and then pile up on the sugar themselves.
Like with the Cheerios, Wheaties will give you 3g of fibre per serving. They don’t give you as much protein, but the fat count is also lower. The sugars are unfortunately higher than Cheerios, but lower than many others already on our list, sitting at 4g per serving.
This is a good thing. You get all the fibre to help you feel fuller for longer, without any type of sugar rush.
If you feel like you do need some sugars added to get a sweeter start to your morning, why not add some fruit instead? Bananas, strawberries, and coconut all make excellent choices.
It’s time to look at other wheat cereals to start your morning. Weetabix is a brand found mostly in the United Kingdom, but there will be other non-branded versions elsewhere. They have shredded oats packed together into bowl-sized bites. There are even smaller versions if you’d prefer to feel like you have more in your bowl.
Weetabix can be eaten in a variety of ways. While many will put sugar on top, they are delicious when served with chopped banana, strawberries, or mixed berries. You can defrost your frozen berries in the microwave and pour over the top of your cereal and mix in with some yoghurt.
This is one of those cereals that has no added sugar (depending on the brand, of course) and plenty of fibre. They’re made from 100% wholegrain, which means they will fuel your body and aid your digestive system. You will barely need to eat a snack throughout the day.
One of the downsides to Weetabix is that they can end up going soggy. When you leave the milk or yoghurt on them too long, the oats expand and soak them up. If you don’t have enough milk, they end up soggy but still a little dry to taste. You need to get the balance just right for your tastes.
While you may not have time to make oats in the morning, you don’t need to rules them out completely. It is possible to make them up the night before and have them ready for you the next morning.
The success in this is all about layers. And there are diet programs lie Weight Watchers that praise the idea to make breakfast simple and healthy!
Start with a layer of oats and then a layer of fruit. Add a layer of yoghurt on the top. Do not mix! Overnight the yoghurt will seep down into the layers of fruit and oats to soften them gradually. On a morning you can then mix everything together and enjoy. If you mix the night before, you end up with a soggy mess on a morning!
The amount of sugar you end up with will depend on the ingredients that you use. While the oats are full of fibre, the yoghurts can end up being bad for you. Look out for natural Greek yoghurt to avoid as much added sugar as possible. You really don’t need the fruity options considering the fruits that you will include instead.
As for fruits, you have complete control. Why not try some bananas and berries? You could also opt for some mangoes or pineapples if you want a tropical start to the morning. The choice really is up to you.
It’s Time to Start Your Day Right
Don’t be tempted to skip breakfast. You will need it if you want to lose weight and live a healthy life. While it seems like you’re not eating that much, those who skip breakfast are more likely to eat more throughout the day. You start snacking more because you’re not full enough.
One thing that you want to do is make sure that your breakfast is healthy. You want to fill up on fibre and proteins, avoiding the sugars as much as possible. It’s the sugars that will cause you to eat more and gain weight. They break down quickly and leave you far hungrier later on.
Cereal can be healthy. Look out for those that offer you the high fibre and low sugar counts. The seven above are perfect for stocking up on for both you and your family. It’s time to start your day just right.