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TalkingNutrition

Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals

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Raise Your Spoon to National Cereal Day

By Michael McBurney

Ready-to-eat cereals were invented over 100 years ago when working families were seeking a convenient, nutritious breakfast solution that didn’t require stoking a wood stove to prepare a hot breakfast.  From humble beginnings, two iconic breakfast cereal  companies – Kellogg’s, Post – emerged in Battle Creek, MI. More have followed. Today, we celebrate National Cereal Day!

Fortified ready-to-eat cereals are a major contributor of micronutrients within the diet. Children and adolescents who consume breakfast cereals regularly have higher intakes of dietary fiber, vitamins A, D, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc and lower energy from fat. Many of the micronutrient differences are related to the fortification profile of the ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. Never forget this fact as you reach for a box of cereal in the grocery aisle.

Look at the Nutrition Facts panel  to see if your cereal choice is an good source (10% of the Daily Value, DV) or excellent source (20% DV) of essential vitamins and minerals. If it isn’t a good source for multiple vitamins and minerals, keep looking!

It is important to choose fortified breakfast cereals. Why? Because the statement that ‘breakfast consumers eat a more nutrient-dense diet and are at reduced risk of micronutrient inadequacy’ is ONLY true if the product is fortified.

Breakfast and cereal consumption is associated with lower body weight, lower BMI, and lower waist circumference.  Dietary fiber intake and nutrient density is higher among among breakfast consumers and those eating ready-to-eat cereals for breakfast have even higher nutrient intakes (vs  other types of breakfast).

Choosing fortified breakfast cereals is a cost-effective way to improve vitamin and mineral intake and maintain a healthy body. Raise your spoon to National Cereal Day today, tomorrow, and for the remainder of the year!

Citations

Williams PG. The benefits of breakfast cereal consumption: A systematic review of the evidence base. 2014 Adv Nutr doi: 10.1945/an.114.006247

Fulgoni VL, Buckley RB. The contribution of fortified ready-to-eat cereal to vitamin and mineral intake in the US population, NHANES 2007-2010. 2015 Nutrients doi: 10.3390/nu706349

Barr SI, DiFrancesco L, Fulgoni VL. Breakfast consumption is positively associated with nutrient adequacy in Canadian children and adolescents. 2014 Br J Nutr doi: 10.1017/S0007114514002190

Serra-Majem L. Vitamin and mineral intakes in European children. Is food fortification needed? 2001 Publ Health Nutr doi: 10.1079/PHN2000104


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