‘I’m a doctor – this the best and worst cereal you can eat for your health and why’

3 min read

Cereal is a favourite amongst us Brits as a breakfast food. Tasty and convenient, it can be a quick way to start the day without bothering with recipes and lots of ingredients.

While this may therefore seem like the best option it might not actually be as nutritious as you might think. There are things to consider when choosing what cereal to eat, a doctor warned.

Speaking exclusively with Express.co.uk, Doctor Deborah Lee – from the Doctor Fox Online Pharmacy – revealed the best and worst cereals for your health.

Her advice comes after the chief executive of Kellogg’s, Gary Pilnick, was criticised for suggesting poor people should eat cereal for dinner to save money.

Mr Pilnick told CNBC: “Consumers are under pressure… so we’re advertising about cereal for dinner if you think about the cost of cereal for a family versus what they might otherwise do, that’s going to be much more affordable.”

But what are the healthiest and unhealthiest cereals?

According to Dr Lee, porridge is the best option you can go with.

“You can’t beat a bowl of porridge oats,” she said. “Oats are a type of whole grain – this means the grains are unrefined.

“Each kernel still contains the three components – the germ, the bran and the endosperm. Oats are regarded as unprocessed foods.

“If they do undergo any form of processing, this is only minimal. Steel-cut oats have simply been sliced into smaller pieces, and rolled oats have been steamed and flattened to reduce their cooking time.

“Instant oats are rolled oats that have been precooked, flattened and dried. We should all be eating less processed and ultra-processed food.”

Dr Lee also said oats:

  • Are high in protein and fibre
  • Can lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels
  • Can help you feel fuller for longer – aiding weight loss efforts.

To get the most out of porridge as a meal she also recommended making it with milk for its calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D and protein content.

She continued: “Adding fresh fruit such as bananas or berries is a great way to start getting your five a day, and adds healthy antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre.

“Nuts and seeds, when added to porridge, provide healthy unsaturated omega-3 fats, as well as vitamins B and E, zinc, magnesium and more fibre.”

When it comes to the worst cereal to eat she warned against granola with added chocolate.

Dr Lee said: “The unhealthiest breakfast cereals are breakfast cereals loaded with sugar and fat, with a high-calorie content.

“The British Heart Foundation has identified granola with chocolate as the least healthy cereal option.

“A 50g serving of granola with chocolate contains 227 calories, and 6.8g of saturated fat.

“But add 125ml of full-fat milk, and this is another 81 calories and 4.6 g of fat. In total – 308 calories and 11.8g of saturated fat.”

This means that one bowl of chocolate granola is equal to half a child’s total daily saturated fat intake, as well as their whole recommended sugar intake, raising the risk of obesity.

She added: “Children (and adults) need to choose sugar-free, high-fibre cereals, containing unsaturated healthy fats.

“These can be a great source of nutrition and give a slow release of energy throughout the day, helping them not to feel hungry so they can concentrate at school, and work and play.

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