In cereal, it’s best to add your own fresh or unsweetened dried fruit for natural sweetness.

With more than 100 kinds of cereal in many grocery store aisles, choosing a healthy box can be like searching for a needle in a haystack.

In order to spare your sanity and to help you make a healthy choice, we've done the work for you.

We've outlined the key nutrition criteria you should pay attention to, based on the big three - sugar, salt and fiber.

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Go for fiber

Aim to get fiber from whole grains - they should be listed as the first ingredient. Many cereals bump up fiber content with functional fibers (isolated, nondigestible carbohydrates), such as inulin and oat fiber.

Look for: Dietary fiber, greater than 3 grams per serving

Limit sodium

Some cereals are so low in calories you may be tempted to eat more. But if you double your portion, your breakfast can easily eat up a quarter of your daily allotment of sodium since many cereals hover around 200 mg of sodium per serving and milk adds another 100 mg sodium per cup.

Look for: Sodium, less than 240 mg per serving

Save on sugar

Look for sugar toward the end of the ingredient list (which means it has less of it). Also, watch out for multiple forms of sugar (and its many aliases, such as fruit juice concentrate or evaporated cane juice). Many cereals use dried fruit that's been coated with sugar. Better to add fresh or unsweetened dried fruit for natural sweetness.

Look for: Sugar, less than

7 grams per serving

Cereals in sweet spot

Some brands you might try:

• Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Oat

• Kix

• Post Bran Flakes

• Cheerios

• All-Bran

• Familia Swiss Muesli (No Added Sugar)

• Bear Naked Granola


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