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Healthy recipes > cooking & nutrition tips >

Heart-Healthy Cereal Choices

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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.

 
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