Top tips on choosing a healthy breakfast cereal

Don’t be persuaded by ‘low-calorie’, ‘fitness’ or ‘healthy’ looking cereals

Chances are the marketing companies know their new product wouldn’t sell any other way. That’s why they’ll have added loads of fake vitamins, reduced the amount of things that add calories like starch, and then added a few keywords to its cereal box. The box is also probably accompanied by an advert of a healthy looking woman eating it every morning and looking JUST FABULOUS.


Take a look at Nestle’s newest ‘Fitnesse’ cereal (notice how it’s not actuall  y spelt ‘fitness’… because it has nothing to do with it). The ingredients here are in no way healthy:

  • Whole Grain Wheat (53.4%)
  • Rice
  • Sugar
  • Partially Inverted Brown Sugar Syrup
  • Barley Malt Extract
  • Salt
  • Glucose Syrup
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Iron

The best thing you can take away from this?

Don’t believe the pretty boxes.

They’re liars.

Always check the nutritional content on the back.

Keep an eye out for these keywords: ‘Frosted’, ‘Bites’, ‘Filled’, ‘Flakes’ or Nestle’s new ploy ‘And More’…

The way the cereal manufacturers manage to keep their cereals in these special forms, is with lots of sugar and sunflower oil. Instead, opt for cereals which maybe don’t look that fabulous and are not somehow determined by the amount of milk you pour over them. Think plain, original Weetabix or standard Rice Puffs – keep it simple, stupid!

Know that the original version is probably best for your IBS

Don’t be fooled by the newest product on the market for new ‘health benefits’. The original is where it started, and where their foundations lie, so original is normally always best. The newer products normally have ‘more’ pumped into it – with ‘more’ being either more nasty ingredients, or simply a higher price tag.

Added fruits persuading you to buy? Put your own fresh fruit on!

Save yourself some time when browsing the cereal aisle and instead of going for fruit-filled versions (I’m even talking Kellogg’s Fruit & Fibre here), simply get the plainest wheat or oat base cereal and add whatever you feel like that morning. Whether that be a whole chopped banana, sultanas, chopped nuts, seeds or a berry compote.

Weetabix Banana, for instance, doesn’t even taste as fruity as you’d get if you added your own. What’s more it cuts down the wheat content to 92%, ups the sugar content and adds false flavourings. The same goes for honey cheerios – just add honey if you really desire it. But in general, these cereals taste sweet enough, especially if you’re adding milk or soya.

Don’t be fooled either by ‘health’ categories.

This also counts for when you do an online shop and you’re drawn into clicking the ‘healthy cereals’ category which – surprise, surprise – ends up rendering loads of results which aren’t healthy in any way, shape or form.

In this category, along with some healthy options, are Kellogg’s Frosted Wheats (previously Frosties) (2nd ingredient is sugar… followed by beef gelatin) and many other bad breakfasts.

Healthy means a lot of things to a lot of people, and supermarkets know this. ‘Healthy’ might mean low-calorie, but what it doesn’t mean is low sugar, or unfortified.

For more, see these sources:

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