Benefits of Breakfast

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Photo: Courtesy of bearvader

Breakfast is often coined as the most important meal of the day and should help jump-start your day. Research shows that people who consume cereal for breakfast are more likely to consume more produce and whole grains throughout the day. However, not all cereals are created equal and some can be loaded with unwanted sugar. Women’s Health Magazine recently published an article that discusses what to look for in a cereal to give you the maximum benefits.

It’s very easy for us to be easily convinced that cereals with impressive claims such as “made with whole grains” and “good source of calcium” are smart choices when contemplating your breakfast cereal. Although these are important aspects to take into consideration, the most important part to look at is the nutritional facts panel. Registered Dietician and American Dietetic Association spokeswoman, Sari Greaves, recommends a cereal that is less than 200 calories with 3 grams of fiber and no more than 8 grams of sugar per serving. It is also very important to pay close attention to what constitutes as a serving. As tempting as it to filling the bowl to the brim, it can cause you to consume double the amount of calories you thought you were. Greaves suggests pouring your cereal into a coffee mug as it will trick your mind into thinking your consuming more cereal than you actually are. If that doesn’t do it for you, try eating with a smaller spoon. This can slow down the eating process and cut your calorie intake. Finally, it is important to address the type of milk you may be using. Women’s Health suggests using skim instead of whole or 2% because it has substantially less calories and fat content.

At UNH, the amount of cereals I can choose from in the dining halls is outrageous and I can easily become overwhelmed at times. However, UNH labels all of the cereals with the nutritional content and I think the tips given by Women’s Health will help me and the current students, faculty, and staff at UNH make healthier decisions when picking our cereals.