New Restaurant Serves Cereal All Day
New Cafe featuring flakes and O's could be latest option for healthy fast-food fare.
Know Your Cereals continued...
"Snacking on cereal is a great way to get fiber," Tanner says.
"The more fiber, the better. It decreases the risk of colon cancer, keeps
your intestines clean, reduces constipation and bloating ... and you're just
going to feel better."
While whole-grain and bran cereals usually contain the most fiber; don't go
by the name alone. "Sometimes there are cereals that sound healthful, but
the title is deceiving," Tanner tells WebMD. "Be careful about the fat
content." Don't assume a cereal is at the healthy end of the spectrum just
because the box says "granola" or "bran." Take the time to
check the label for fat, sugar, and fiber content.
"The least healthy cereals are the ones with the most sugar and the
least fiber," Tanner says. "Even those are usually fortified with
vitamins and minerals. But eating something with protein and fiber will carry
you through a lot longer."
Dress Up Your Cereal
If the words "oat bran" don't make your mouth water, try dressing up
your cereal with fresh or dried fruits -- a strategy that adds fiber as well as
flavor. "For people who aren't so excited about bran, use fruit as a means
to make your mouth happy while getting extra nutrients," Tanner says.
"Fresh fruits taste wonderful and have a health benefit."
For those with a more demanding sweet tooth, Tanner says there's nothing
wrong with "taking something healthful and adding something fun."
Mixing a high-fiber cereal with a sweeter cereal and "tossing in a few malt
balls for a chocolate fix" is better than not eating the fibrous cereal at
all, she adds. The key is to find a combination that you enjoy enough to eat
"People veer toward sweet things," says Cathy Nonas, RD.
"They're not so familiar with high-fiber cereals." Nonas, who is an
American Dietetic Association spokeswoman and author of Outwit Your
Weight, tells WebMD sugared cereals tend to have less sugar and fat than
other snack foods. "As a snack, they're not terrible. They have nutrients.
You get calcium from the milk."
But Nonas cautions against choosing cereals solely based on their ability to
satisfy your sweet tooth. "This is a wonderful opportunity to get a whole
lot of nutrition and it would be a shame to waste it," she says. "If
you use cereal like a desert, it could contain as many calories and as little
nutrition as a piece of chocolate cake. If you have a regular sugared cereal
and you add a little bran or granola, or fresh or dried fruit, you have a much
better opportunity to improve your nutritional picture. And if you have a
high-fiber, low-sugar cereal with some fresh or dried fruit, you have something
that will probably be your most nutritious meal of the day."