Cereal may seem like an easy go-to breakfast choice, but before pouring your next bowl, Brianna Diorio, a nutritionist for the Vitamin Shoppe, encourages you to ask yourself: Would you start your morning with a can of root beer? If you find yourself grimacing at the idea (and if not, weird), then you might want to switch up your morning routine.
“Many store-bought boxed cereals contain a laundry list of ingredients, including preservatives, salt, artificial coloring and, of course, lots of added sugar -- which makes you crave more sugar,” Diorio says. She suggests taking a quick scan of your cereal label before purchasing. If you find several kinds of sugar listed within the first five ingredients (sugar, brown rice sugar, corn syrup, modified corn molasses, etc.), choose another option.
Healthy swap: “Replace your cereal with overnight oats,” Diorio says. Not instant oatmeal, in case you don’t know what “overnight” means.
Overnight oats are simply oats soaked overnight that absorb the liquid they’re marinated in. This liquid can be milk, yogurt, or really whatever you want (just not root beer). What makes them the better choice? Oats are a powerful source of protein and fiber, as well as potassium, magnesium, and vital B vitamins.
Mix in nut butters, protein powder, flax seeds, or dried fruit for a tasty -- yet still healthy -- finish.