Are any cold breakfast cereals healthy?

Cornucopia Institute has a very short video clip that uncovers “Cereal Crimes”.   It is interesting to note that while the organic cereals may be healthier products, even when you check the ingredient list of Nature’s Path (the first company on their report card that I recognized as being available in my area), sugar, in the form of evaporated cane juice was 2nd or 3rd on the ingredient list and sodium was often higher than calories.  Some of the cereals in Cornucopia’s 5 grain category appeared to be exceptionally healthy, but I can’t say that I have heard of any of them in Canada – except Nature’s Path.  Maybe I need to revisit the cereal aisle.  I think of cold cereals in general as being something not to depend on regularly for breakfast, but to have in your pantry for the “occasional” meal or snack.  It would be much healthier for you to control (or even better omit), refined and processed sugars and added table salt.
So, what should you eat for breakfast then?  What about cooking up some old fashioned steel cut oats?  You can cook up a large batch and keep in the fridge to reheat later if you don’t have time to cook it every day.  Cook once, eat twice or three times is my motto! You could also presoak your oatmeal in the fridge overnight to soften the grain and then reheat on top of the stove (please, no microwaves).  I like to cook up oatmeal with 50% water and 50% non dairy milk for a creamier flavour and texture.  I also like to add raisins, cut up dates or apricots for sweetness, instead of any brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, sucanat, agave etc.  Throw in some diced apple, cinnamon, nuts or seeds and voila, you have an amazing breakfast.  You can use other grains too, like quinoa, millet or amaranth. Another option for breakfast is a smoothie – the greener the better of course.  Let’s save that discussion for another day though.


2 thoughts on “Are any cold breakfast cereals healthy?

  1. I’m wondering what you think of Ruth’s Chia Goodness (Original)* which is made of chia, buckwheat, hulled hemp seeds and Celtic sea salt. While it would be ideal to make the same combination with organic ingredients, it seems like the best choice that I’ve found on the shelves so far. I like to soak it in hemp mylk that I make in seconds by blending organic hemp seed and water in a 1:3 proportion. Left to sit for an hour or more (I often make mine at night for the next morning), it thickens into a lovely porridge consistency. And of course, because it isn’t heated, the nutrition is retained. I add a banana and dried mulberries (a great source of iron, Vitamin C, anti-oxidants and calcium) for a chewy texture.
    *The other flavours of Ruth’s Chia Goodness contain organic cane juice or sugar.

    • Hi Jan, I love the first three ingredients in this cereal, but find the sodium excessively high for only 2 tablespoons, and how many would only have 2 tablespoons? While the amount of sodium is slightly under the number of calories (one of my bench marks), every time I have tried one of the flavours of this line, the salt is overwhelming to me. I will admit to probably being more salt sensitive than the average person though. I remember calling this company a few years ago, when we first started to carry it at Goodness Me and I complained about the amount of salt in their product. I told them they had a great product, but asked why they had to put so much sodium in it. Of course I didn’t receive much of an answer back. In regards to the salt being Celtic sea salt, the perception is this salt is better than table salt. I will agree that it is, but the degree to which it is better, still doesn’t make it “good” in my mind. Yes, it does have trace minerals, but the amount of those trace minerals is so minuscule that you might as well as had a mouthful of spinach! You cannot receive adequate amounts of trace minerals from sea salts. Here are some numbers I pulled from one of Dr. Fuhrman’s newsletters which clearly shows this point.

      Mineral Content of 1/2 tsp of Celtic Salt vs 1 cup of spinach

      Calcium 5.3mg vs 245mg
      Potassium 3.8mg vs 839mg
      Magnesium 13.5mg vs 157mg
      Phosphorus .002mg vs 102mg
      Iron .08m vs 6.4mg
      Zinc .0001mg vs 1.4mg
      Copper .0001mg vs .03mg
      Fluoride .01mcg vs 68mcg
      Manganese .02mg vs 1.7mg
      Selenium .0001mcg vs 2.7mcg

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