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The Best Cold Cereal for Weight Loss

by
author image Erin Beck
Erin Beck began writing professionally in 2008 as an opinion columnist for the West Virginia University student newspaper, "The Daily Athenaeum." She has worked in health promotion at the university and as a communications intern at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism and a Master of Public Health, both from West Virginia University.
The Best Cold Cereal for Weight Loss
A bowl of cereal on the table. Photo Credit takoburito/iStock/Getty Images

Whole grain cereals are the best cold cereal option for those who are trying to lose weight because they are full of filling fiber and have a low glycemic index number. Consuming a fiber-rich, whole grain cereal regularly when dieting can also help you maintain or improve your diet quality while losing weight, according to a 2006 study published by Kathleen J. Melanson and colleagues in the "Journal of the American Dietetic Association." Try General Mills Fiber One Honey Clusters or Health Valley Real Oat Bran Almond Crunch.

Background

When used as a meal replacement, ready-to-eat cereal may help promote weight loss. Among 164 overweight participants, those who consumed cereal products in lieu of meals lost significantly more weight and improved their body mass index and body measurements, according to a 2007 study published by J.S. Wal and colleagues in the "International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition."

Glycemic Index

Select cereals that list whole grain or bran as their main ingredient. This cereal is made with long-grain brown rice, wheat, oats and barley. Whole grains are beneficial because they have a low glycemic index. Foods with a high glycemic index, such as those that contain refined flour and sugar, cause rapid swings in blood sugar, prompting a flood of insulin that converts simple carbohydrates into fat. Foods with low glycemic index are helpful for weight loss, according to Harvard School of Public Health. If you prefer fruit in your cereal, choose one with blueberries, which are low in the glycemic index, instead of raisins, which have a high glycemic index number.

Fiber

Choose cereals that contain at least 2 g of dietary fiber per serving. Fiber is the part of plant food that your body can't digest. Fiber provides volume and slows the digestive process, making you feel full longer. High-fiber foods generally require more chewing, so your body has more time to register fullness. Foods rich in fiber also tend to have a low energy density, meaning they have fewer calories compared to their volumes. General Mills Fiber One Honey Clusters is another good option, with 13 g of fiber per serving.

Nutrient Value

Look for cereals that contain at least 3 g of protein per serving, recommends William Sears, MD and Martha Sears, RN. Protein can help you feel full long after breakfast. "Women's Health" magazine recommends Health Valley Real Oat Bran Almond Crunch, which contains 6 g of protein per serving. Zinc content should be 25 to 40 percent of the recommended daily allowance. Iron content should be 25 to 40 percent of the RDA. Make sure your cereal contains no hydrogenated oils, dyes, artificial colors or chemical preservatives.

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