Breakfast cereal can help your heart and your weight-thanks to whole grains, fiber, and other nutritious ingredients. We picked four tasty, heart-healthy cold cereals to help meet your health and weight goals.
By Marsha McCulloch, M.S., R.D.
With whole aisles devoted to breakfast cereals, it can be challenging to pick a cold cereal that's both tasty and good for your heart. Heart-Healthy Living did the legwork for you and found four smart choices using the following criteria:
- High in whole grains or bran: Look for words like "whole wheat flour" or "oat bran" at the top of the ingredients list.
- High fiber: Aim for 5 grams of fiber or more per serving, including soluble fiber, which may help lower cholesterol levels.
- Low fat: Try for 3 grams of fat or less per serving. If cereal has nuts, the fat can be a few grams higher.
- Limited calories: Look for about 200 calories or less per serving.
- Low sodium: Target 140 milligrams of sodium or less per serving. Excess sodium lurks in many cereals.
- Limited sugar: In general, less sugar is better. Dried fruit increases (natural) sugar but boosts nutrition.
Bonus: Score extra points for soy protein, vitamins, minerals, and cholesterol-lowering plant sterols.
Avoid: Skip artificial flavors, artificial colors, and preservatives.
Read on for four of our top cereal picks plus milk choices.