In 1921, a Minneapolis man accidentally invented Wheaties when he spilled bran on a hot stove. He took the crisped bran to the Washburn Crosby Co., where the head miller experimented with three dozen wheat varieties until he found one that would not turn to dust when placed in a box. Boxes of Wheaties have been in grocery stores ever since. The nutrition facts on the box apply to a three-fourths cup serving of the cereal.
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One serving of Wheaties has 100 calories. Five of these calories come from the fat in the cereal. If you add milk to your Wheaties, the calorie count will increase. One-fourth cup of skim milk has 20 calories, while 1/4 cup of whole milk has 37.5 calories.
One serving of Wheaties has 22 grams of carbohydrates, or 8 percent of the recommended daily value for people who eat 2,000 calories a day. The carbohydrate content includes 4 grams of sugars and 3 grams of dietary fiber. Wheaties cereal has 0.5 grams of total fat and no saturated fat or trans fat. One serving of this cereal also has 2 grams of protein. How much protein you need depends on your age and gender, but in general the Institute of Medicine estimates you need about 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Vitamins and Minerals
One serving of Wheaties has 90 milligrams of potassium, or 3 percent of the recommended dietary allowance. The cereal also contains vitamin A, vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, vitamin B-12, thiamin, vitamin C, zinc, calcium carbonate and iron.
Cholesterol and Sodium
One serving of Wheaties has no cholesterol, making it a good choice if you are following a low-cholesterol diet or just watching how much cholesterol you consume. Wheaties contains trisodium phosphate, a compound containing sodium, phosphorus and oxygen. This increases the cereal's sodium content, so talk to your doctor before eating this cereal if you have been told to follow a low-sodium diet. One serving contains 190 milligrams of sodium, or 8 percent of the recommended daily allowance. If you are restricting your sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams per day, this represents 12.7 percent of your daily allowance.
Wheaties Meal Ideas
Dr. William Sears says an ideal breakfast contains balanced portions of protein and complex carbohydrates. Because Wheaties has 2 grams of protein per serving, you may want to add some protein to your meal to make it more nutritious. Create a filling meal by eating a bowl of Wheaties with 1 ounce of slivered almonds and one-fourth cup milk. If you prefer cereal without milk, eat a serving of Wheaties with a hard-boiled egg or a serving of plain yogurt.