Cereals are often considered to be high in SmartPoints® and with so many different varieties available it can be hard to choose a healthier option.
Whether brekkie is the most important meal of the day is the subject of a whole story in itself, but when it comes to what to eat first thing in the morning, cereal is often on the menu. The thing is, they’re not all created equal. Some are healthier and more nutritious than others.
5 tips for choosing a cereal
1. Fibre content
Breakfast is a good opportunity to boost your daily fibre intake, so look for a cereal that contains at least 4g of dietary fibre per serve.
2. Type of grains
If the word ‘wholegrain’ appears in the first couple of ingredients, it means the cereal is less processed. As a result, it’s likely to contain more vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients than more refined cereals.
3. Sugar content
Most cereals have a lot of added sugar or natural sugars provided by dried fruit. A good guide to reduce your sugar content in the cereal aisle is to choose unrefined cereals such as oats or barley and add your own natural sugars from honey or fresh fruits.
4. Amount of sodium
Look for cereals with less than 120mg sodium per 100g.
5. SmartPoints value
Knowing the SmartPoints value of the product can be a great indicator of whether it’s the best choice for you. With the WW app barcode scanner, you can quickly compare SmartPoints values while in the supermarket aisle. Or if you’re planning ahead and don’t have the barcode handy, you can use the ‘Search Food’ function to find a product’s SmartPoints value.
Traditional rolled oats, also called old-fashioned or whole oats, are a popular breakfast option. High in protein and a good source of dietary fibre, oats are one of the most budget-friendly breakfast options around. The lower SmartPoints options are around 3 to 4 SmartPoints for ⅓ cup (30g).
TIP: Opt for traditional or rolled oats over quick oats where possible. This will help you feel fuller for longer.
Muesli consists of rolled oats and a variety of ingredients like grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruits. Some mueslis can be high in SmartPoints due to added sugars like honey and maple syrup. The lower SmartPoints options are around 5 to 6 SmartPoints for ½ cup (45g), however some brands can be as high as 8 SmartPoints per serve.
TIP: Check the nutrition label and opt for a brand without added sugar.
Granola is basically baked and toasted muesli with added fat and sugar like honey or maple syrup. The lower SmartPoints options are around 6 to 7 SmartPoints for ½ cup (45g) however some brands can be as high as 8 SmartPoints.
TIP: Why not try making a healthier granola from scratch using our buckwheat, spelt and pepita granola recipe.
Whole grain cereals can be a great breakfast option. Lower SmartPoints brands are around 4 to 5 SmartPoints for ¾ cup (40g) however some can be as high as 6 SmartPoints.
TIP: Read labels and keep an eye out for added sugars. Look for cereals that are high in fibre and wholegrains, with at least 4g of fibre per serve.
With the gluten-free aisle always growing there are now many gluten-free cereal options available. Some lower SmartPoints options are around 3 to 4 SmartPoints for 30g, however, some can be as high as 5 SmartPoints.
TIP: People with food allergies or sensitivities should always check the ingredient information on products to ensure they meet their dietary needs.