Is cereal really the best choice for breakfast?

GOLD Coasters who enjoy a bowl of breakfast cereal are more likely to be healthier and slimmer, according to a review spanning more than 30 years.

The review of more than 230 research papers found those who eat breakfast cereal are more likely to have a healthy diet, weigh less and are less likely to suffer certain diseases.

Report author, Professor Peter Williams, says it also tackled some misconceptions about salt and sugar intake.


“Despite common belief, breakfast cereal eaters do not have higher sodium intakes than non-breakfast cereal eaters – a finding consistent with recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data, which shows ready-to-eat breakfast cereals actually provide only around two per cent of the sodium in Australian diets.

“In fact, one of the strongest findings was the benefit of eating breakfast cereal for weight management. Regularly eating breakfast cereal is associated with a lower body mass index and a 12 per cent lower risk of being overweight or obese and in both adults and children,” said Professor Williams.

The review also found that high-fibre and wholegrain breakfast cereals help to improve bowel function, prevent constipation, and may lower the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Additional findings include:
• Breakfast cereals high in soluble fibre (such as oat, barley or psyllium) help lower total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
• Regularly eating wholegrain and high-fibre breakfast cereal is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (by 24 per cent) and cardiovascular disease (by 20-28 per cent).
• Breakfast cereal plays an important role in bowel health, with evidence that high-fibre, wheat-based breakfast cereals help prevent constipation and improve bowel function.
• Regularly eating breakfast cereal is associated with higher milk intakes.
• Eating breakfast cereal as a meal or snack replacement can assist with weight loss in adults.

Take a look at the report here.