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I’m a dietitian — here are 3 things I look for when selecting a healthy cereal

I’m a dietitian — here are 3 things I look for when selecting a healthy cereal

It’s time to think inside the box.

A Toronto-based registered dietitian has gone viral by explaining how she chooses cereal based on three key factors — fiber, sugar, and ingredients.

“I’m obsessed with cereal. I eat it every single day,” Abbey Sharp began her tasty TikTok, which has collected 50,400 views since it was posted this month. “Let me show you what I look for.”

Fiber

“Fiber is really important for regularity and for satiety, so I typically look for a cereal for every day that has about 3 or more grams per serving,” Sharp said as she held up a box of Cinnamon Puffins, which has 6 grams of fiber per cup.

The Food and Drug Administration recommends consuming at least 28 grams of dietary fiber a day.

Toronto-based registered dietitian Abbey Sharp has gone viral by explaining how she chooses cereal based on three key factors — fiber, sugar, and ingredients. TikTok/@abbeyskitchen
Toronto-based registered dietitian Abbey Sharp has gone viral by explaining how she chooses cereal based on three key factors — fiber, sugar, and ingredients. TikTok/@abbeyskitchen

Sugar

“Sometimes I’m feeling like it’s a Cinnamon Toast Crunch day, and that is A-OK,” Sharp said with a box of Cheerios in hand. “But for every day, I typically look for a cereal that’s not completely sugar-free because #flavor, but something that has less than 7 grams of sugar per serving.”

The American Heart Association advises men to consume no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar a day (36 grams or 150 calories) and women no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories).

The organization notes that adults on average consume 17 teaspoons of added sugar a day.

“I know that I’m usually eating my cereal with some Greek yogurt and some berries,” Sharp added. “So the extra fat, protein, and fiber will help to buffer any small amounts of simple sugars. But I know I just feel best and I have better-sustained energy when I stick to a cereal that’s a little lower in sugar.”

Ingredients

“I’m not one to demonize any kind of ingredient or additive, but it is worth turning your box around just to see what’s inside your cereal,” Sharp said in her minute-long TikTok.

“I like to specifically look at the order of ingredients in the ingredient list because ingredients are listed by weight, so we know that the ingredients at the top of the list are present in the largest amounts,” she continued. “We typically look for the words ‘whole grain’ right at the top of the list, and for things like sugars, additives, or colors near the bottom.”

Cereals that meet Sharp’s specifications include Kix, Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes, and Alpen No Sugar Added Muesli.

“I’m obsessed with cereal. I eat it every single day,” Abbey Sharp begins her tasty TikTok, which has collected 50,400 views since it was posted this month. “Let me show you what I look for.” TikTok/@abbeyskitchen
“I’m obsessed with cereal. I eat it every single day,” Abbey Sharp begins her tasty TikTok, which has collected 50,400 views since it was posted this month. “Let me show you what I look for.” TikTok/@abbeyskitchen
Cereals that meet Sharp’s specifications include Kix, Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes, and Alpen No Sugar Added Muesli. Getty Images
Cereals that meet Sharp’s specifications include Kix, Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes, and Alpen No Sugar Added Muesli. Getty Images

Her breakfast breakdown scored high marks in the comments.

“It’s so refreshing to see a dietician make things SIMPLE and showing things that are accessible to more families!!” one TikToker emphasized.

“Cinnamon Puffins are my Roman Empire,” another shared.

“Love your realistic, down to earth approach. Really had enough of the anti inflammatory bone broth crew,” a third spat.