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Q. Can you please tell me if there are any very low-carbohydrate cereals?
A: Technically there is no such thing as a low-carbohydrate cereal because cereal is made from grains, and grains are mostly carbohydrates. Today, many cereals include soy for additional protein.
That leaves you with three options:
1. Cereals that primarily consist of carbohydrates;
2. Cereals that have high carbohydrate content and include soy to increase protein;
3. Cereals that are primarily soy/protein-based.
Here is a comparison of carbohydrates in some common cereals (per serving):
- Special K Protein Plus: 14 g carbohydrates
- All Bran Soy N' Fiber: 17 g
- All Bran High Fiber Cereal: 18.4 g
- Guardian: 20 g
- Nature's Path Heritage Flakes Cereal: 22 g
- Oatmeal: 27 g
- Go Lean: 30 g
The glycemic index (GI) value is more important than the carbohydrate content
The GI determines how quickly carbohydrates absorb into your blood.
Fiber and protein slows the rate of absorption, so either fiber-rich and/or protein-rich cereals are recommended over cereals with a high GI, even if they are low-carbohydrate or high-protein.
Cereals having at least 8 grams of fiber will bind to fat and slow absorption of carbohydrates into the blood.
You can raise the amount of fiber by adding a tablespoon of ground flax, Salba or Fiberrific (Fibersure) to your cereal.
Increase protein with a scoop of protein powder, or increase both fiber and protein by adding nuts and/or seeds to your cereal.
Of the cereals tested, cereals with the lowest GIs include:
- All Bran: GI 30 (the lowest)
- All Bran Soy N' Fiber: GI 33
- Guardian: GI 37
One more thing to remember: Cereal should be eaten early in the day -- not as a late night snack.
Lisa Tsakos is a registered nutritionist and regular contributor to Naturally Savvy dedicated to educating people on the benefits of living a natural, organic and green lifestyle.
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All About Carbs and Breakfast Cereals
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