There are a lot of considerations beyond ease and flavor when deciding what makes the greatest breakfast for your lifestyle, whether that’s very active or more relaxed. Choose a different kind of cereal, for instance, if lowering your cholesterol is your goal.
When food company General Mills sponsored a research in 1998 that indicated that eating their cereal lowers LDL cholesterol levels by 4.2% and total cholesterol levels by 3.8%, whole-grain oat ready-to-eat cereals like Cheerios became an appealing option for individuals who wished to manage their cholesterol.
The 2019 publication of this result in the Frontiers of Nutrition provided further support for the idea that oat products help lower cholesterol levels.
When it comes to cholesterol, how exactly can this cereal help? “Oat cereal has fiber which binds to cholesterol in your digestive system—as a result, dietary cholesterol comes out with a bowel movement instead of being reabsorbed by your body,” says Elizabeth Barnes, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of nutrition and wellness practice Weight Neutral Wellness, explaining this to Eat This, Not That!.
But “just because cereal like Cheerios can help with cholesterol, that doesn’t mean you need to make it the only fiber-rich food you eat,” according to Barnes. “Focus on including oat cereal and other whole grains and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables into your diet for better health.”
Author of The Everything Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook and creator of NutritionStarringYOU.com, Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, concurs. “To make sure you consume a variety of nutrients, I usually recommend switching around different fruits, nuts, and seeds to add to your cereal to keep it fun and provide your body with different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals to help prevent lifestyle diseases.”
Plus, according to Harris-Pincus, “Pair cereal with a source of protein and healthy fats like an egg, Greek yogurt, dairy or soy milk, nuts or seeds to help slow the digestion and absorption of the carbohydrate.” This is especially helpful if you’re trying to limit your carb intake, especially if you have diabetes or prediabetes.
If you want to know more about how to control your cholesterol levels with food, check out 17 Foods That Lower Cholesterol.