I always say I'm the breakfast cereal queen! I cannot live without my cereal in the morning.
Like some who crave their chocolate, I wake up dreaming about my mix of cereals with fresh fruit and juicy raisins (I never buy cereal with "added fruit" -- I add my own). I eat cereal every day of my life.
It may sound boring, but it's the habit I developed when I was 26 years old, the year I decided to get healthy: I dropped my daily gargantuan muffin with about 800 calories (I found out later -- I was suspicious but in denial) and ultimately achieved permanent weight loss.
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Researchers show that people who eat a low-sugar, low-fat cereal for breakfast are more successful at maintaining their weight loss. I can attest to that!
The following are my favorite cereals. I thought about boycotting the companies that make those "children's cereals." You know, the ones that show pictures of chocolate and candy on the front of the package along with bold labels that say "contains 11 essential nutrients," even though it's really candy masquerading as cereal. But since most of these companies also make some pretty healthy cereals, I decided to give them a break. It is, after all, up to us to choose right.
One caveat: If you're on a low-sodium diet, the nutrition facts panels on breakfast cereals are important reading. Most commercial cereals are fairly high in sodium. Exceptions are puffed cereals, hot oatmeal and whole grains -- and there are some without any added sodium. But sodium is generally used ubiquitously, as flavoring and as preservative.
1. Kashi GoLean: Kellogg's now owns Kashi, and it worries me that they're now offering "crunchy" versions of my favorite cereal. "Crunchy" is code for "added sugar and fat," but the original version of GoLean has only five grams of sugar per serving and is a mix of "crunchy fiber twigs, crispy soy protein grahams and honey-toasted Seven Whole Grains & Sesame puffs." Love those twigs and sticks!
2. All-Bran Bran Buds: Another Kellogg's original, Bran Buds contain psyllium, a natural fiber, and are low in sugar, fat and calories. It is the only "bran" cereal besides Fiber One that really stands up in milk. I like these little nuggets, and I mix them with a flaky cereal like Product 19 or Total for added crunch.
3. Product 19: This is Kellogg's flaky fat-free corn cereal, which is low in sugar (four grams) and provides 100 percent of the Daily Value (for a 2000 calorie diet) for all B vitamins, vitamins E and C, as well as 15 percent of vitamin A and 10 percent of vitamin D. It even has four grams of fiber per serving and only 100 calories. I hate that the Nutrition Facts panel shows a cup of cereal with only a one-half cup fat-free milk: add a whole cup on your way to three servings of nonfat dairy daily.