Many of us have heard that we should start the day with a healthy breakfast. Some of the reasons why eating breakfast is good for us are:
Breakfast eaters tend to have lower blood cholesterol levels;
Eating breakfast will help ‘kick-start’ our metabolism;
A good breakfast can provide us with the fuel we need for a mornings work, and;
Eating breakfast is associated with a greater intake of certain vitamins and minerals.
A bowl of breakfast cereal – such as Dick Smith Foods’ Bush Foods Breakfast – combined with milk / soy drink and fruit is a great breakfast. Our supermarkets are stocked with a wide range of cereals, from wheat biscuits, muesli’s, corn or rice cereals, energy/sport cereals and even some that should probably be sold in the confectionery aisles! So, how do you choose the healthier cereals among the wide range available in the cereal aisle?
The National Heart Foundation Pick the Tick program allows food company’s to display the heart tick on products that are healthier choices in their category. To be able to display the tick on breakfast cereals, the cereal must have:
no more than 5g fat/100g (or up to 10g fat if the cereal is low in saturated [cholesterol raising] fats);
no more than 15g added sugar/100g;
no more than 400mg sodium/100g, and;
at least 3g dietary fibre/100g.
Just because a cereal does not have the ‘tick’, does not mean that it is unsuitable to include in your shopping trolley. Reading nutrition panels on packaging can help compare different brands of cereals to determine if they are better choices. Nutrition panels tell us the levels of nutrients in 100g of cereal and in a standard serve of cereal. Because the size of a standard serve of cereal is not necessarily the same for all cereal brands, it is easier to compare cereals based on the nutrients per 100g. Don’t be fooled by the marketing images of certain cereals that promise slim bodies or energy & power – read for yourself and compare the facts.
Below are nutrition panels of two different cereals. Cereal A would meet the National Heart Foundation’s guidelines shown above, whereas cereal B would not.