I went to pick-up some
delicious energy gels for my impending marathon. At the running store I was given a sample of Multi-Grain Cheerios and a little booklet with a coupon. While Multi-Grain Cheerios are far from the worst cereal you could be eating, they’re definitely not the best either.
I found it interesting that the sample provided was 20 grams. That’s not a whole lotta cereal. I would eat at least a cup (a little bit more than 30 grams) and I’d probably be hungry in less than an hour. That’s because I’d probably be consuming fewer than 200 calories. Great for a snack but not for a meal, especially breakfast which is the foundation of the day.
Cheerios main claim to fame (which is debatable) is the cholesterol lowering properties of oat fibre. By creating a multi-grain cereal they’ve pretty much eliminated that benefit of their cereal. Whole grains are definitely the best form in which to get your grains but that doesn’t necessarily mean that any food made from whole grains is going to be healthy. These Multi-Grain Cheerios boast that they’re made from five whole grains. Great, but when you look at the ingredient list the first “whole grain” is corn, next is wheat. The third ingredient is not even a grain. Can you guess what it is? That’s right, sugar! Followed by oat, hulled barley, and rice. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that sugar should be one of the main ingredients in your breakfast. In my mind, whole grains should also be, well, whole. If you’re consuming them as processed flour, as in these Cheerios, you’re doing better than if you were eating white flour, but only a little bit. They’re still processed whole grains and they have all that added salt and sugar to make them palatable. Try going for a truly whole grain cereal like steel-cut oats or quinoa (yep, you can eat it like oatmeal), Red River, or if you prefer a cold cereal go for something like shredded wheat, the only ingredient is wheat.