Monday, January 30, 2012
I've loved cereal since I was a kid. Back then, the more sugar the better and I paid no attention to any other ingredients. I didn't know what whole grain was or why it was important, either.
Times change. Today, whole grain is the first thing I look for in cereals and other wheat or grain products.
Imagine my surprise when asked to review my favourite General Mills cereals that now feature more whole grain than ever before.
I'd forsaken some cereals because they lacked whole grain and now I discover that General Mills is listening and positively responding to their customers wants and needs! I have great respect for companies that truly care about the health of the consumer.
Ringing in the New Year often means new eating habits. We know whole grain is important to you, and the Dietary Guidelines recommend choosing products with a whole grain listed as the first ingredient. Now every cereal with the white check has more whole grain than any other single ingredient with the same great taste. You will see "whole grain" as a part of the first ingredient on the ingredient list, indicating that whole grain is the first and most prevalent ingredient.
According to Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of "The Doctors," identifying whole grain products can be challenging. Shoppers can look for nutritional cues on the front of the box, but they need to read the ingredient list to know if they are getting enough whole grain. Ingredient lists detail ingredients in order of prevalence, and if the words "whole grain" are followed by a grain like wheat or oats, it means the food contains more whole grain than any other single ingredient. Here´s how to determine if your cereals have whole grain as a first ingredient:
With all the health messages facing grocery store shoppers, it can be confusing to translate what appears on food labels into nutritional needs, and hard to determine which foods have a meaningful amount of whole grain. Dr. Stork has some additional recommendations to help you include whole grain easily into your diet. They include:
The Dietary Guidelines recommend people get at least 48 grams of whole grain in their daily diets. Get a jump-start on the day´s nutrition by incorporating whole grain into your morning routine. For instance, when choosing cereal make sure whole grain is listed as the first ingredient. One easy choice is cereal with the white check, which have more whole grain than any other single ingredient.
*Make Simple Swaps.
Choose whole grain versions of the foods you love. Great options include whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread or even whole grain crackers. Also, try different types of whole grain. Use brown rice instead of white rice as a side dish at dinner or popcorn, which is a whole grain, for a snack.
*Don´t Judge a Food by Its Cover.
The front of food packages provide good nutritional cues, but don´t forget to read the ingredients and check the nutrition label and side labels for additional health information. Cereals with the white check even include the amount of whole grain per serving on packaging.
To help with choosing products with whole grain, General Mills developed "Fast Lane for Whole Grain," an online educational game. Consumers can navigate virtual grocery store aisles and identify products that have whole grain as the first ingredient, with the option to enter a sweepstakes to win one of each of the 50 cereals with the white check. Make a commitment to add more whole grain to your diet by simply pouring a bowl of cereal with the white check including Cheerios®, Lucky Charms®, Cinnamon Toast Crunch®, Honey Nut Cheerios® and Total®. For more information on the importance of whole grain and a chance to enter the "Fast Lane for Whole Grain" sweepstakes, visit WholeGrainNation.com.
My favourite is, of course, Honey Nut Cheerios. My go-to breakfast most mornings! And now, even btter than ever! Lizz is crazy about the Cinnamon Toast Crunch and I feel a lot better knowing it's whole grain -- at 19, she's still developing and learning good eating habits.
Mike, I'm sure you've guessed, loves any and all cereal! The whole grain is not something he'll think about -- but I know it's there and I'm happy. Sneaky, but happy!
General Mills and MyBlogSpark have generously offered one of my readers the chance to win *5* boxes of cereal with the white check: Total, Cheerios, Honey-Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch!
Just follow the instructions below for your chance to enter to win!
Open to USA only. One entry per person per household, please. Contest ends 2/9/12. All entries will be verified.
The prize pack, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark. The opinions expressed herein are my own and based on my own use of and experience with the item(s).
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