Cereal is the tasty food found in almost any household, and every major grocery chain. It lines the shelves from top to bottom, and in some stores, it covers shelving for an entire side of an aisle.
It's main selling point is that it's quick, easy and healthy- or so the box and manufacturers say. Yes, it's true that cereal is quick and easy, but is it really healthy? Particularly when eaten in large quantities?
If you look at cereal for health benefits such getting your daily dose of healthy grains, you may be getting what you want; however, when it comes to portion size; cereal can sabotage any nutrition plan.
How is that?
Self-sabotaging a nutrition plan is easy with cereal. It's deemed healthy since it contains ingredients like berries or healthy grains such as bran and oats; however, many cereals are loaded with sugar.
For a moment, step away from the sugar aspect, and focus on serving sizes. The average cereal serving size is three-quarters of a cup to one cup, but how many people stick to that? I certainly don't. I've never measured an exact amount of cereal? Have you?
If you haven't, you're probably pouring way too much cereal in your bowl, and that's before adding milk. Here's another key note: Are you measuring the recommended serving size of milk; which is only a 1/2 cup of skim milk? Probably not. This skyrockets a simple bowl of cereal's calories without any thought especially when using whole or 2% milk.
Calories before adding milk
Don't be fooled by "healthy" cereal
"But I eat healthy cereal," is a common statement, but that doesn't mean much if you're not using portion control. Anything healthy in large quantities can still rack up unwanted calories.
Some "healthy" cereal has more calories than unhealthy cereals. For example; Raisin Bran has 190 calories per its one cup single serving, while Honey Smacks has 100 calories for three-quarters of a cup. Even a full cup of Honey smacks is only 125 calories. Although Raisin Bran is known for its healthy contents; a generous portion of three accidental cups will cost you 570 calories in one sitting; and that's before milk.
What about left over milk? If you're anything like me, you add extra cereal to the leftover milk, and end up eating way more cereal than you anticipated.
Think before you eat
If you suddenly think, "I'm never eating cereal again," that's extreme. Instead, don't use the mixing bowl to eat cereal, and try not to eat it before bed.
Although there is not a definitive "cut off time" for eating in the evening; there is a point in the day that you are the most sedentary. If you are sedentary in the evening it's not a good idea to eat super-huge bowls of cereal as a treat or midnight snack.
Copyright ©2011 CPT Lisa M. White. All rights reserved.