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Avoid the Breakfast Sugar Trap

Breakfast cereals are a quick and easy way to start the day. However, they aren’t always healthy. Some are and some only pretend to be. Here are some things to look out for when you pick them out at the supermarket.

 

Look for the amount of fibre

Compare between brands with numbers under the “per 100g” column in the nutrition information panel – pick the one with at least 6g of fibre. Fibre keeps you fuller for longer (which means you’ll probably snack less) and also helps control blood sugar level, which is especially important for diabetics.

 

Check the ingredients list

Choose those with whole grains – such as whole wheat or brown rice – in the first three ingredients. Whole grains are high in vitamins B and E; the former helps your body break down carbohydrates and the latter is a form of antioxidant, which helps give you a better complexion.

 

Compare the amount of sugars with the total carbohydrate content

The amount of sugars should not contribute to more than 30% of the latter. To be safe, go for plain cereals or those with dried fruit and avoid those marketed towards children – they usually have a sugar content of around 40-50% of the total carbohydrate content.

 

We recommend:

Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries Cereal, made with whole grains and peppered with dried strawberries for a full breakfast.

Nutrifuel Brown Rice Crisps, with 45% whole grains and no added sugars (the sweetness comes from the dried fruit), this is one for the health junkies.

 

Ready to spruce up your breakfast? Here are our tips on dressing up plain old cornflakes.

“I add low-fat milk and frozen blueberries – they’re full of antioxidants and add a nice sweetness to the plain cereal.” Wendy Yee, editorial intern

“I eat my cereal with non-fat yogurt, it’s healthy and the cereal doesn’t become soggy so quickly.”  – Angela Chu, assistant stylist

“I throw in some flaxseed meal and psyllium husk. They don’t affect the taste of the cereal and are great for the digestive tract too.” – Ankita Varma, features writer

“I mix in some almonds – its great protein and I love the extra crunch!” – Seto Nu-Wen, deputy editor

 

Prefer a local breakfast? Check out these favorites.

 

By Liu Kai Ying, Her World Fit & Fab, Issue #3 2014

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