Saturday, February 02, 2008

Choosing Healthy Breads and Cereals

Posted Mon, Jan 28, 2008, 6:09 pm PST on Yahoo Health: By Joy Bauer

When it comes to choosing a healthy breakfast cereal and loaf of bread, people are often confused.

Here's my advice on what to look for in your grocery store and some of my favorite brand name recommendations. Please know I have absolutely NO financial connection or affiliation to ANY of the companies or brands that I mention.

Joy's Guide to Buying Cereal and Bread
Ideally, your bread and breakfast cereal should be whole grain and low-calorie. The best tool for determining whether specific brands provide ample whole grains is to read their labels.

Check the food product's ingredient list and ensure one of the first ingredients starts with the word "whole" or "oats." Phrases without the word "whole," like stoned wheat, cracked wheat, and enriched wheat flour do not guarantee the presence of whole grain.

When Choosing Bread: Choose brands that are whole grain and calorie-smart (no more than "80 calories" per slice for bread).

Some brands that fit the bill include: Arnold's Carb Counting 100% whole wheat, Home Pride 100% whole wheat, Pepperidge Farm 100% whole wheat, Sara Lee Heart Healthy 100% whole wheat Classic, Sara Lee Soft and Smooth 100% whole wheat, and Weight Watchers 100% whole wheat.

When Choosing Cereal: Ensure the first ingredient is whole grain, then use my following guideline per ¾ - 1 cup serving:

120 calories or less
No more than 6 grams sugar
At least 3+ grams fiber

Some brands I recommend include: Wheaties, Total, Kashi Heart to Heart, Kashi Go Lean, Life - original version only, MultiGrain Cheerios, Complete Bran Flakes, Barbara's Cinnamon Puffins, Barbara's Shredded Spoonfuls, Barbara's Grain Shop and Special K-Protein Plus version.

Note from Lucy: I have started back to making my own Whole Wheat Bread. I know what is in it and it tastes better. It doesn't hurt that I have a wheat grinder and have access to whole wheat berries. By grinding my own wheat, I know that I will get all of the nutrition possible. Refined white flour has all of it's vitimans stripped out in the refining process. Many people don't like the taste of whole wheat, but there is an alternative to "Hard Red Wheat". Hard White Wheat is awesome. It does not have that nutty wheaty taste that most people associate with whole wheat and it still has all of the nutrition of the red wheat. If you want true whole wheat bread, make sure that it reads "100% whole wheat flour as the first ingredient on the label. If it says anything else then it is not true whole wheat bread.

Another reason that I don't like buying my whole wheat bread at the grocery store is that there are all kinds of additives added to it. The reason for this is simple, "Shelf life." Homemade bread will not last as long as store bought, simple but true. Luckly, at our house, it doesn't last long at all.

Another thing: If you don't want to go thru the process of kneading your bread and the long process of making bread, then you can use a bread machine. I use an Oster and it does a wonderful job. If you have any questions, email me and I will give you more details.

FYI: If you haven't seen the movie "August Rush", go see it....Bonnie and I went to see it at the dollar theatre last night and it was wonderful. Anyone that loves music will like this chick flick. Naomi, you have to rent this one.

Have a great week everyone!


At 3:09 PM, Blogger T. F. Stern said...

I vote for home made bread, let's see a show of hands.

At 7:44 PM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

I'm a big fan of home-made bread. But I haven't had any since my grandma used to bake it way back when.

My wife always buys the whole grain type bread you described. I can only eat so much of it though. I'm white bread at heart.

Hea, my dad chastized me for not mentioning to you that he had a bad cold a few weeks ago. (I had told you he was fine). Then he found your blog on "a few tips on getting rid of that cold." He mentioned that his home remedy for helping a sore throat was chewing ginger. I asked him to put that in a comment, but I don't think he did. So I'm passing it along here.

At 10:25 PM, Blogger Mountain Mama said...

I try to make my own bread as often as possible for the same reason you do. I like adding a variety of flours like barley, corn and amaranth as well as the whole wheat. I also love molassess in my bread.
I don't use a bread machine of any kind, just my hands and some flabby old muscles. Now if I could, I would always bake in a wood stove oven because the flavor is so superior. Most people don't know that electricity has a flavor, but if you had used a woodstove for years like I did then go to electric, YUCK! It's an awful disappointment, but still better than store bought.

At 12:54 AM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

It's wonderful that you make your own bread.
I'm sure it is FAR better than anything store bought.
I buy a low calorie bread, and my family eats it, even though they are not dieting. I will check the label like you said.
I really love to eat cold cereals. I have not been eating them since I tend to want to eat too much. It's hard for me to eat just one serving, so it's best for me to avoid it all together for now. I also love oatmeal and cream of wheat.
I haven't seen August Rush. You say it's a chick flick which means I'll like it!

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Oh great One said...

I love home baked bread. All my experience with bread machine bread has been quite dense. It may have just been their recipe or the type of bread they made. I enjoy baking bread very much and am trying to master letting my kitchenaid mixer do the kneading. I have a harder time with that because my hands aren't IN the dough.

I DO still buy bread from the store but it's whole wheat and only 50 calories a slice! Thanks for the info though. Makes me feel good to know that I'm choosing properly. Cheerios and Wheaties are staples at my house! Yay me!

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Cliff said...

Our local bakery in our little grocery makes a home made whole seven grain bread that meets your specs. We love it.
My mil on the other hand buys some brand with nuts and twigs I think. So much stuff in it you think she may have accidently dropped it in the yard.

At 10:26 PM, Blogger Jim said...

I like home made bread also. But when it is still warm, I pig out by eating a half loaf. Besides eating too much I put margarine on it too while it is hot.

The rest, I eat as sandwiches or with jelly, no margarine, ever.

My bread is rye bread. I don't make mine, but daughter, Karen, makes it. She uses her bread maker. It is the only bread on her food plan.
Rye bread has no chloresteral.
A two ounce serving has 140 calories, ten from fat. Also no saturated fat.

I checked on "August Rush""
finding out that it is a fairly clean living hard luck picture, I might go. But not unless someone else in the family wants to go also. I wouldn't know (so wouldn't miss) what I missed.

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Oh yes, that grinder of yours must be something! Is it a hollowed out stone bowl with a round stone on a stick to do the grinding?

Is it electric? I wonder where there might be one (store)? It sound interesting, but then I have to buy wheat, rye, or oats.


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