Considering that breakfast cereal is inexpensive, super simple to make, portable, and tasty, it's no wonder that it's been a staple for the first meal of the day.
That being said, in that long long aisle of cereal they are not all created equal; most are basically the equivalent of eating dessert!
If you're under the impression that you have to give up cereal for breakfast all together to eat healthfully, rest assured that you don't. There are choices that are full of fiber, healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals without the sugar.
Breakfast cereal has plenty to offer to fuel your day as you need it to — you simply have to choose wisely. Below we'll look at how to do just that, plus the importance of eating a healthy breakfast each day.
Why Breakfast Is Important + How "Functional Cereal" Can Help
Why is breakfast often called "the most important meal of the day"? Surveys have found that people who regularly eat breakfast tend to feel more focused and productive, have healthy digestive systems and often make healthier food choices later in the day.
What's an ideal breakfast? To give you a boost in energy without causing a crash several hours later, aim for a combo of protein, fiber and healthy fats from minimally processed ingredients.
This trio is known to be satiating, meaning it will prevent you from feeling hungry shortly after breakfast and curb the unhealthy snacking that may sneak up on you
Plus, when you focus on eating superfoods and natural ingredients you'll reap other benefits too, such as higher intake of antioxidants that support immune function and defend against free radicals.
What is "functional cereal"?
A "functional food" is any food that has potentially positive effects on health beyond basic sustenance.
For example, a functional cereal will contain prebiotics, which help to increase the amount of good bacteria in your gut. They should provide lots of dietary fiber, which can prevent or relieve constipation while also aiding in heart health, satisfying hunger and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Additionally, superfoods such as berries, seeds, nuts and cacao provide phytonutrients, polysaccharides and omega-3 fats, which support cognitive and cardiovascular health, as well as immune system defenses. It’s true that you are what you eat and food can be our best medicine against ailments.
The key to choosing a healthy breakfast cereal? Look for those made with easily digestible, recognizable ingredients in a short concise list.
As explained more below, muesli — the most popular European breakfast — makes a great low-sugar alternative to granola and boxed cereals. Muesli is made with a winning combo of functional foods — such as rolled oats, fruit, nuts and seeds.
What’s In Most Breakfast Cereals?
If you're looking to up your breakfast game, unfortunately you'll have to weed out many types of cereals and granolas that don't provide much in terms of nutrition.
Most cereals in the grocery store are made with processed grains (such as refined wheat, corn and rice) as well as lots of added sugar. Many popular cereals also contain artificial sweeteners, flavors and additives to help improve their taste.
Because the majority of breakfast cereals lack whole food ingredients, they're missing the protein and fiber that's essential for keeping you energized and satisfied.
Another major concern with most breakfast cereals is consumption of too much added sugar (including granola!), which is associated with issues including weight gain, cravings for more sweets, and potentially gut issues and inflammation throughout your body.
The result? You wind up eating a breakfast that is convenient and tasty, but you're likely to deal with hunger, cravings and low energy shortly after.
This is obviously not the ideal way to start your day.
Making a Better Cereal Choice
The healthiest type of cereal available is muesli, which is made with nutrient-rich ingredients including whole grain oats, nuts like almond and walnuts, dried berries, and flax and chia seeds.
Muesli is naturally high in fiber, provides filling fats from seeds and nuts, and tastes great even without added sugar, thanks to natural flavor and sugar from fruit.
Whether you prefer eating cereal cold or hot, you'll love how muesli's versatility makes it stand out among other cereal options. You can: soak it overnight to make a grab-and-go breakfast, enjoy it with cold milk, warm it up with water and honey, or include some in a healthy smoothie, over yogurt, or even in homemade baked goods.
GUUD's line of functional "Fuel Mueslis" bring you all the benefits of a solid breakfast without any unnecessary sugar. Here's some of the highlights:
- Each flavor is formulated for specific functional benefits, including energy/performance, cognitive support and digestive health
- Made with whole rolled oats and additional superfoods, such as: goji, cacao, coconut, hemp, chia, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds and more
- Very low in sugar, with 0 to 1 gram of added sugar per serving
- Contains prebiotic fiber ingredients which help to promote growth of “good bacteria" in the gut
- Good source of plant-based protein
- Organically-produced ingredients, which decreases your exposure to pesticides and GMOs.
- 100% plant-based/vegan and certified Non-GMO
Depending on your goals, try one of GUUD's three Functional Fuel Muesli formulas:
Athlete Fuel Organic Muesli:
- Features a balanced blend of protein, fiber, and whole grains for those seeking a sustainable and energizing start to a GUUD day
- Enjoy it pre-workout or post-workout
- Provides 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber per serving
- Contains NO added sugar
- Made with only 6 organic ingredients: Organic Oats, Organic Raisins, Organic Almonds, Organic Flax Seed, Organic Cashews, Organic Pumpkin Seeds
- Made with a tasty, prebiotic-packed combo of dates, bananas, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds
- Prebiotics and soluble fiber supports digestion and gut health
- Seeds also provide heart-healthy omega fatty acids
- Contains NO added sugar
- Made with only 8 organic ingredients: Oats, Dates, Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds, Banana, Apples, Chia Seeds, Almonds. Vegan, Non-GMO Certified, Kosher
- Provides vitamin A and omega-3 fats for cognitive support
- High in antioxidants thanks to nuts, berries and dark chocolate
- Only 1 gram of added sugar per serving
- Made with only 8 ingredients: Certified Gluten-Free Oats, Walnuts, Cranberries (cranberries, apple juice, sunflower oil), Goji Berries, Blueberries (blueberries, apple juice, sunflower oil), Cacao Nibs
- Gluten-free and vegan