Maybe you like to grab a quick bowl of cereal in the mornings for breakfast. Or maybe you avoid cereal altogether, because you are trying to have a healthier breakfast option. However, is cereal really unhealthy?
Compared To Nothing
If you are comparing eating cereal to skipping breakfast altogether, then choosing to eat cereal is definitely a healthier option. Many people simply do not have time to eat in the morning, so they rush out the door with nothing. This is a really bad habit. If your option is cereal or nothing, then cereal is definitely the wiser option. However, let’s look at some specific cereal types and nutrition information to see how it compares to other breakfasts.
Compared To Itself
Having compared a general, non-sugar loaded cereal (Cereal A) with a cereal type that has marshmallows (Cereal B) includes some surprising information. Cereal A, which many consumers see as the healthier option, has 103 calories per serving. Cereal B, on the other hand has 114 calories per serving. There is not a large difference here. Let’s look at some other comparisons.
Cereal A Cereal B
Carbohydrates 21g 23g
Starch 16g 9g
Sugars 1g 11g
Total Fat 2g 1g
Vitamin A 800 IU 520 IU
Vitamin C 7g 7g
Vitamin D 37g 41g
Calcium 114mg 112mg
Looking through these comparisons, you can see the differences in the two cereals. Even though Cereal B is generally seen as the less healthy cereal, there are really only two negatives for it. It has more sugar and less Vitamin A. On the other hand, it is comparable in all other areas. It is not significantly worse, as one might expect. And Cereal A definitely appears to be a healthy option.
Compared To Other Options
Keeping those two sets of information in your head, look at this information for a typical breakfast sandwich. The calories are at 430 with the total fat 27g. Sugars are 2g, and there are not enough vitamins to be mentioned. While Cereal B definitely has more sugar than both Cereal A and a breakfast sandwich, both cereals clearly have fewer calories. Even considering that cereal will probably be consumed with milk, the calorie count will not rise that much. Compared with the option of a breakfast sandwich, cereal is the healthier option.
Compared with fresh fruit, fresh fruit obviously provides more nutritional value. However, this is not always a quick breakfast option as you may need to cut up the fruit the night before or that morning. However, if you have a banana or strawberries that are quick to cut up, you can always cut them up into your cereal to benefit from both the cereal and the fresh fruit.
When compared with processed, frozen food, cereal is actually a healthier option. It provides a quick breakfast with fewer calories. Additionally, cereal gives you the calcium that you may not receive unless you are a regular milk drinker. Last of all, cereal is better than the “no breakfast” option.