Magazine article Work & Family Life

Will the Real Whole Grains Please Stand Up?

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Will the Real Whole Grains Please Stand Up?

Article excerpt

Breakfast cereals have come a long way since the days of "snap, crackle and pop." The Cereal Project, a database at www.mrbreakfast.com, lists more than 1,220 products. And, as we all know from TV commercials and a walk through our supermarket, cereals are a large and heavily marketed sector of the U.S. food industry.

The cereal business is complicated too, according to the book Cerealizing America by Scott Bruce and Bill Crawford. The authors show how, over the years, breakfast cereals evolved from "health foods" to not so healthy. The practical challenge these days is to get past the hype and figure out which products are truly whole grain, high in fiber, and low in sugar and fat.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says it's important to check the ingrethents in cereals and to look especially for the following:

Whole grains. Read product labels. Whole grain or bran should be listed first. Ignore claims like "made with whole wheat," "whole grain guarantees" or "multigrain." Be aware that rolled oats and oat flakes are whole grain but may not always say so. And it's OK to count bran (wheat, corn or oat) because, even refined, it keeps much of the good stuff. Soy, flax and sesame seeds may be good for you but are not grains. …

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