Your breakfast cereal is better for you than you think

Breakfast cous cousThe latest research suggests that our daily bowl of brekkie cereal may in fact be key to helping us live longer, healthier lives. Two of the key benefits of breakfast cereal are fibre and whole grains, both of which may contribute to longer lives . In addition, new research suggests that a regular energy intake at breakfast is associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome and a better body mass index. Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian and Director of the Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum, Ms Leigh Reeve has reviewed the latest research and shared her top three tips to get the most out of your brekkie bowl each day.

1. Don’t skip it

New research published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests that an irregular energy intake at breakfast is associated with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, being overweight or having a higher body mass index, which are key risk factors for a reduced life span. According to Leigh Reeve, Accredited Practising Dietitian, a regular breakfast cereal habit is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make sure you are having a healthy breakfast each day. Research also shows people who regularly eat breakfast cereal have better overall diets and are more likely to be slimmer than those that eat other breakfasts or no breakfast at all.

2. Choose high fibre or whole grain

A diet high in cereal fibre and whole grains may just be the secret to longevity. According to Harvard researchers, people with a cereal fibre intake of approximately 10g per day – around that found in a regular bowl of high-fibre breakfast cereal – had a reduced risk of premature death from diabetes (34 per cent), heart disease (20 per cent) and cancer (15 per cent). Likewise, research published this year in the British Journal of Nutrition linked diets higher in whole grains with a reduced risk of death from all causes, cancer and heart disease. The researchers concluded that in particular, breakfast cereals and non-white bread were both associated with lower mortality.

3. Make every mouthful count

To help maintain a healthy weight and stay healthy as we age, we generally need fewer kilojoules and higher amounts of key nutrients, which means we need to make every mouthful count. Breakfast cereals are great nutritional value, providing significant amounts of iron, thiamin, folate and fibre in diets with relatively few kilojoules. For an added boost, try topping your cereal with fruit for extra antioxidants and yoghurt for added protein.

REFERENCE: This article was taken from the January 2016 edition of OH magazine.

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