is there a healthy cereal? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 47 Old 08-30-2009, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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nak

I eat raisin bran everyday and I recently read the ingrediants and it has added sugar AND high fructose corn syrup! I thought, 'no big deal, must be because it's marketed more for kids. I'll just get All Bran and add raisins to it.' But All Bran (and Fiber One) has sugar AND HFCS too! WTH? I LOVE cereal, I eat it everyday, does anyone know of a healthy option?
thanks!

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#2 of 47 Old 08-30-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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I really like Nature's Path cereals. They have a raisin bran and pumpkin raisin cereal that don't have HFCS.

http://www.naturespath.com/products/...=All&nutri=All

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#3 of 47 Old 08-30-2009, 11:52 PM
 
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I like Malt O Meal cold cereals. They have no HFCS, use natural sugars, have less packaging, and cost less than the name brand version. http://www.malt-o-meal.com/index_en.php

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#4 of 47 Old 08-31-2009, 10:52 AM
 
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If you check out a lot of the organic brands, you'll find that they don't have HFCS. Also, I think you're probably safe with Grape Nuts. (mmm... Grape Nuts, haven't had them in years... I'm so susceptible to food suggestions when pregnant...)

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#5 of 47 Old 08-31-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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GrapeNuts is a great all purpose cereal. You can eat it hot, cold, on yogert.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#6 of 47 Old 08-31-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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Regular Shredded Wheat is 100% wheat and nothing else. I love it with blueberries!

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#7 of 47 Old 08-31-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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I recently discovered Uncle Sam brand cereal with dried berries at my health food store and love it. I think the ingredients are just wheat, flax, salt and dried berries! Maybe a bit of malt? But it only has 2 grams of sugars per serving, mostly from the berries and no sugar or HFCS. It's super high in fiber and protein as well. I don't eat cold cereal often but it is a nice treat.

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#8 of 47 Old 08-31-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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I suppose it depends on your yardstick for "healthy" - if your only requirement is that it doesn't contain HFCS, there are plenty of them out there, you just have to look... usually the more non-mainstream brands are good with that. Barbara's, Kashi, etc. But then you're still dealing with the extrusion of the grains, which if you read up on it is not the healthiest of things.

Of course, even healthier would be if you make your own granola with whole grains.

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#9 of 47 Old 08-31-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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We eat kashi cereals, they are whole grain, lots of them are organic(100%) and they now sell them at target. there are also q's out for 1.50 off out there as well, they usually see it for 3 something a box.
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#10 of 47 Old 08-31-2009, 01:56 PM
 
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Oatmeal

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#11 of 47 Old 08-31-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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My first thought was that cereal is not really healthy, regardless of brand - b/c of what Cristeen said, (processed grains aren't the best way to start the day) but then I was thinking Kashi or similar would be better than many brands.

That all said, my kids do eat cereal on occasion, I don't buy it often, though, and would much rather they eat something like eggs and bacon with fruit in the morning for protein and fiber.

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#12 of 47 Old 08-31-2009, 05:42 PM
 
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I second the oatmeal suggestion. There are so many things you can do with it too....add some peanut butter and raisins, apples and cinnamon, mixed berries, almonds and cream....the options are endless! We eat oatmeal roughly 4 times a week!

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#13 of 47 Old 08-31-2009, 08:41 PM
 
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I agree with Shredded Wheat (the regular kind, in big cubes) - DH eats is every day with whatever fruit is in season or we get frozen berries from Costco (just run under the tap and let sit for a few minutes).

If you like warm cereal, in addition to oatmeal you might also look into quinoa. I hear it's tasty cooked ahead of time, then you can just reheat with a little milk/cream, dried fruit, chopped nuts, etc.
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#14 of 47 Old 09-01-2009, 03:29 PM
 
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Cascadian Farms is a great brand and it is organic. Also Kashi is a great one. My girls LOVE the granola with pecans and walnuts.

~ SAHM with two girls (3/9/06) and (7/1/07) and always remembering my angel (3/17/06)~
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#15 of 47 Old 09-01-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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Regular Shredded Wheat is 100% wheat and nothing else. I love it with blueberries!
I love Shredded Wheat (or Shredded What and Bran) with milk and fresh fruit. SO good.

Oatmeal is another favorite of mine.

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#16 of 47 Old 09-01-2009, 06:48 PM
 
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#17 of 47 Old 09-02-2009, 12:18 AM
 
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Cream of buckwheat with maple syrup, crushed nuts...
homemade granola....
Health food stores sell cereal with real sugar, no HFCS but boxed cereals are still processed.

Veda 9/06
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#18 of 47 Old 09-02-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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Yep, I was going to say oatmeal too, but not the packaged envelopes. The slower cooking the better--I think regular rolled oats (not quick cooking) is a good compromise between healthy and not to hard to cook in the morning. You can throw in a handful of raisins in the last minute of cooking and they plump up just a bit. Yummy.

That said, I just ate a bowl of raisin bran myself. It's Cascadian Farms brand and the ingredients are:
wheat bran, raisins, whole grain wheat, sugar, sea salt, oat fiber, malted barley extract, vitamin E (for freshness).

So, overall, pretty good for a box cereal. It does have 15g of sugar per serving, but considering that includes the raisins I don't think that's too awful.
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#19 of 47 Old 09-02-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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I like Bobs Red Mill Meusli. It has oats, nuts, sunflower seeds etc. I add almond milk and let it sit about 5 min before eating. Then add yogurt and lots of other toppings like-flax,hemp seed,raisins,goji berries,fresh berries,coconut,dried cranberries etc etc.

I've heard good things about this company's cereal but kinda do the same thing myself

http://www.meandgoji.com/
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#20 of 47 Old 09-03-2009, 02:58 AM
 
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Yep, I was going to say oatmeal too, but not the packaged envelopes. The slower cooking the better--I think regular rolled oats (not quick cooking) is a good compromise between healthy and not to hard to cook in the morning. You can throw in a handful of raisins in the last minute of cooking and they plump up just a bit. Yummy.
Agreed, I like the thick rolled oats. I make them in the microwave, usually I put in some frozen berries and then add a bit of ground flaxseed and soymilk.

From time to time I try the steel-cut oats but end up going back to the rolled oats.

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#21 of 47 Old 09-03-2009, 11:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
I suppose it depends on your yardstick for "healthy" - if your only requirement is that it doesn't contain HFCS, there are plenty of them out there, you just have to look... usually the more non-mainstream brands are good with that. Barbara's, Kashi, etc. But then you're still dealing with the extrusion of the grains, which if you read up on it is not the healthiest of things.

Of course, even healthier would be if you make your own granola with whole grains.
"Extrusion of the grains"

Can you possibly explain this a bit further?

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#22 of 47 Old 09-03-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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from: http://www.westonaprice.org/modernfo...y-secrets.html

Packaged Cereals

Dry breakfast cereals are produced by a process called extrusion. Cereal makers first create a slurry of the grains and then put them in a machine called an extruder. The grains are forced out of a little hole at high temperature and pressure. Depending on the shape of the hole, the grains are made into little o's, flakes, animal shapes, or shreds (as in Shredded Wheat or Triscuits), or they are puffed (as in puffed rice). A blade slices off each little flake or shape, which is then carried past a nozzle and sprayed with a coating of oil and sugar to seal off the cereal from the ravages of milk and to give it crunch.

In his book Fighting the Food Giants, Paul Stitt has tells us that the extrusion process used for these cereals destroys most of the nutrients in the grains. It destroys the fatty acids; it even destroys the chemical vitamins that are added at the end. The amino acids are rendered very toxic by this process. The amino acid lysine, a crucial nutrient, is especially denatured by extrusion. This is how all the boxed cereals are made, even the ones sold in the health food stores. They are all made in the same way and mostly in the same factories. All dry cereals that come in boxes are extruded cereals.

The only advances made in the extrusion process are those that will cut cost regardless of how these will alter the nutrient content of the product. Cereals are a multi-billion dollar business, one that has created huge fortunes.

With so many people eating breakfast cereals, you might expect to find some studies on the effect of extruded cereals on animals or humans. Yet, there are no published studies at all in the scientific literature.

------------------------

I have to admit packaged cereals are a serious addiction for me. Serious! I LOVE them. Even the "healthy" ones are like cake to me. I buy a box every 6 months or so as a treat. We're talking "adult" whole grain cereal here, not cocoa krispies.
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#23 of 47 Old 09-03-2009, 09:53 PM
 
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#24 of 47 Old 09-03-2009, 10:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Holiztic View Post
Thank you for posting this (and the above info). Quoted from that article:

Quote:
An extruder is an industrial machine that produces little flakes, O's and other shapes and puffed grains using high temperatures and pressures. The cereal industry has convinced the FDA that extruded grains are no different from non-extruded grains and has contrived to ensure that no studies have been published on the effects of extruded foods on either humans or animals. However, two unpublished animal studies indicate that extruded grains are toxic, particularly to the nervous system.
I wonder how they have convinced the FDA? and for so many years?

The main reason I stopped buying cereal more than occasionally was b/c A) my kids want to eat it often, and a box is gone in less than a day (4 kids, but still!) and B) If I let them eat it dry, it makes such an awful mess (this is also why I stopped getting things like crackers - I hate the mess.

The more I learn about nutrition, whole foods, and TF, the more I am fascinated yet horrified at the same time.

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#25 of 47 Old 09-03-2009, 11:35 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure that most dog kibble is made using that same extrusion process.

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#26 of 47 Old 09-03-2009, 11:36 PM
 
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Slightly off-topic but commercial pet foods are also extruded using this process.

ETA: we think alike somegirl!
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#27 of 47 Old 09-06-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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I eat plain oatmeal everyday and mix a tiny bit of maple syrup or brown sugar in to flavor it. I also eat the Kashi cereals, Cascadia Farms, and the plain "puffed" ceretals like millet, wheat, etc.
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#28 of 47 Old 09-06-2009, 03:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by somegirl99 View Post
I'm pretty sure that most dog kibble is made using that same extrusion process.
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Originally Posted by Ola_ View Post
Slightly off-topic but commercial pet foods are also extruded using this process.

ETA: we think alike somegirl!
So, are you two suggesting dry dog food as a healthier alternative to packaged cereals, or suggesting that you NOT feed commercial pet food to your pets?

I'm a bit confused about the "extruders" and "O shaped cereals" though. I thought the O shaped cereals were made from oat flour baked into O shapes, and not extruded at all? I've been buying "Joe's O's" for my kids, although I don't eat oats myself.

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#29 of 47 Old 09-06-2009, 04:26 PM
 
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I read that maybe Grape Nuts aren't extruded... but otherwise, I haven't figured out what else possibly might not be.

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#30 of 47 Old 09-06-2009, 08:48 PM
 
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So, are you two suggesting dry dog food as a healthier alternative to packaged cereals, or suggesting that you NOT feed commercial pet food to your pets?

I'm a bit confused about the "extruders" and "O shaped cereals" though. I thought the O shaped cereals were made from oat flour baked into O shapes, and not extruded at all? I've been buying "Joe's O's" for my kids, although I don't eat oats myself.
I think the O's are definitely extruded into O shapes, then baked. For marketing purposes the "baked in to O shapes" is fair to say, I would guess. I mean, no one expects the baking to make them O shaped (as in they go into the oven as a slurry and then become O shaped by the heat), something else makes the O before the baking, in this case an "extruder".

The other issue I don't think has been mentioned yet (forgive me if it has) is that the grains in cereals have not been properly prepared as to deactivate the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. So the cereal is hard to digest and is depleting nutrients from the eater.

from: http://westonaprice.org/foodfeatures/be_kind.html

Grains require careful preparation because they contain a number of antinutrients that can cause serious health problems. Phytic acid, for example, is an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound. It is mostly found in the bran or outer hull of seeds. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in improperly prepared whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects.

Other antinutrients in whole grains include enzyme inhibitors which can inhibit digestion and put stress on the pancreas; irritating tannins; complex sugars which the body cannot break down; and gluten and related hard-to-digest proteins which may cause allergies, digestive disorders and even mental illness.

----------------

So the answer isn't just "oatmeal", it's SOAKED oatmeal (with some fat for digestion/nutrient utilization!)
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