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Volume II
February 28, 2006

Healthy Morning Cereal Choices

Let’s all just admit together that most breakfast cereals are not that great for you. Yes, there are some healthy choices, but the overwhelming majority on the supermarket shelves should be avoided. Dr. Diana Mirkin of Mirkin Medical Consultants provides the following advice on choosing a breakfast cereal.

You need to check the list of ingredients carefully. The FIRST ingredient should be a whole grain. Then scan through the entire list and if you see the words "partially hydrogenated," put the box back on the shelf. You should avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oils (or "trans fats"), and they show up in an alarming number of cereal brands.

Once you've eliminated all the brands made with refined grains or partially hydrogenated oils, check for added sugars (you want little or none) and fiber (you want a lot.)

The fiber content listed on the nutrition label can be confusing because it's based on serving size, and very light cereals (such as puffed wheat) show little fiber per serving, but an acceptable amount when you adjust for weight. Cereals made from bran (the outer covering removed from whole grains) will have higher fiber content than cereals made from whole grains (which have the germ and starchy parts of the grains as well as the fiber), but they can be hard to digest.

So what are some cereals that fit the healthy breakfast bill? Try a few of these:

Recommended: Cereals made from Whole Grains
(no trans fats, little or no added sugars)

Cheerios - General Mills
Chex, Wheat - General Mills
Grape Nuts - Post
Healthy Choice Toasted Brown Sugar Squares - Kelloggs
Kashi - Kashi Company
Mini-Wheats, Raisin Squares - Kelloggs
Mini-Wheats, Frosted, Bite-Size - Kelloggs
Mini-Wheats, Frosted - Kelloggs
Muesli - Familia
Nutri-Grain, Golden Wheat - Kelloggs
Nutri-Grain, Almond-Raisin - Kelloggs
Oatmeal Crisp, Almond - General Mills
Oatmeal Crisp, Apple Cinnamon - General Mills
Oatmeal Crisp, Raisin - General Mills
Oatmeal Squares - Quaker
Organic Healthy Fiber Multigrain Flakes - Health Valley
Puffed Wheat - Quaker
Shredded Wheat - Post
Shredded Wheat & Bran - Post
Shredded Wheat, Frosted - Post
Shredded Wheat, Spoon Size - Post
Uncle Sam - U.S. Mills
Wheaties, Crispy 'n' Raisins - General Mills

Recommended: All Bran or High Bran Cereals
(no trans fats, little or no added sugars. )

100% Bran - Post
All Bran, bran buds - Kelloggs
All-Bran, extra fiber - Kelloggs
All-Bran, original - Kelloggs
Bran Flakes - Post
Chex, Multi-Bran - General Mills
Complete Wheat Bran Flakes - Kelloggs
Complete Oat Bran Flakes - Kelloggs
Fiber 7 Flakes - Health Valley
total cerealFiber One - General Mills
Oat Bran - Quaker
Oat Bran Flakes - Health Valley
Oat Bran Flakes with Raisins - Health Valley
Organic Bran with Raisins - Health Valley
Raisin Bran - Kelloggs
Raisin Bran Flakes - Health Valley
Raisin Bran, Whole Grain Wheat - Post
Total, Raisin Bran - General Mills

***Lists of ingredients have not been re-checked since 2004

To view a list of cereals that should be avoided (it is much too long to post here) visit Dr. Mirkin’s site at

* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *

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