`Other' grain cereals offer bonanza of benefits, though...

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Looking for an antidote to cereal boredom? Then check out ready-to-eat cereals at your local health food supermarket, which likely offers an array of unusual grains, including:

Amaranth --an ancient Aztec grain unusually rich in the amino acids lysine and methionine, typically missing in other grains.

Buckwheat --technically not a grain, but a member of the rhubarb family, so it is gluten-free.

Flaxseed --seeds that provide much fiber and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Kamut --a high-protein ancient Egyptian wheat favored by King Tut.

Millet --a golden grain, low in gluten.

Quinoa ("KEEN-wah")--the ancient high-quality protein staple of the Incas.

Spelt --a hardy, nutrient-dense ancestor of modern wheat.

Variety is the spice of life...and good for your health too, given our new knowledge of the phytochemicals in foods. But that's not all these cereals have going for them. They are usually made from organically grown whole grains and are typically free of hydrogenated fats and chemical additives. Most contain no added sugar; many have little or no added sodium (watch for exceptions). These cereals are usually not fortified (or are fortified at low levels)--fine if you already take a multivitamin/mineral supplement.

But if you're looking to get a morning jump-start on your daily fiber needs, don't assume these "other" grain cereals are always full of fiber. They're not. Some contain a respectable five or more grams per serving, but many provide three grams or less. Typically, rice cereals are low in fiber. And puffed cereals, no matter what the grain, weigh in lowest on the fiber scale, because they're less dense than flakes.

The key to choosing a healthful cereal? Always read the label, even at the health food store, as some choices are clearly better than others. Look for whole grains, no added sugar or sodium, and the most fiber you can find for that grain. If it falls short in fiber, look elsewhere to fill your daily needs.
Alternative - Grain Cereals Nutrition Lineup

Legend for Table:

A - Serving Size
B - Fiber (grams)
C - Calories
D - Sodium (milligrams)

Brand A B C D

Uncle Sam Whole Flaxseed 1 cup 10 190 135
Kashi Seven Whole Grains & Sesame 3/4 cup 8 90 70
Pacific Grain Nutty Corn 3/4 cup 6 220 135
Lifestream Flax Plus 3/4 cup 5 120 140
Familia Swiss Meusli 1/2 cup 5 200 0
Health Valley Blue Corn Flakes 3/4 cup 4 100 10
Health Valley Amaranth Flakes 2/3 cup 4 100 35
Erewhon Kamut Flakes 2/3 cup 4 110 75
Arrowhead Mills Spelt Flakes 1 cup 4 100 100
Arrowhead Mills Kamut 1 cup 3 110 75
President's Choice Ancient Grains 3/4 cup 3 110 100
Puffed Kashi 1 cup 2 70 0
Health Valley Puffed Corn 1 cup 2 110 0
Nature's Path Millet Rice 3/4 cup 2 120 120
Pacific Grain Nutty Rice 3/4 cup 2 210 110
Arrowhead Mills Puffed Kamut 1 cup 1 50 0
Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice 1 cup 1 100 10
Erewhon Aztec Corn and Amaranth 1 cup 1 110 70
New Morning Kamutios 1 cup 1 120 90
Arrowhead Mills Puffed Millet 1 cup 0 60 0

Copyright, 1998 by Environmental Nutrition, Inc., 52 Riverside
Drive. New York, NY 10024

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