By Athlete's Care on August 20, 2013
Trying to pick a cereal or granola bar can be as confusing deciphering street parking signs. You head to the grocery store aisle with the best intentions, and next thing you look in your cart and you have chocolate covered s’mores bar and lucky charms. Reading nutrition facts tables can be confusing when you don’t know what you are looking for. First, look at is the serving size located right at the top. For granola bars, each bar is (normally) portioned, but for cereals a serving size is often a mere 1/3 – 1/2 cup. This is important as the nutrition facts refer to the serving size, not the whole package. Instinct normally takes our eyes to the calorie count next, but the second point you want to look at is fibre and sugar. Fibre should be 4g or more, and sugar should be 8g or less. You want high fibre so your food and snacks work for you, not against you! High fibre keeps you feeling full for longer. This will decrease snacking or binge eating later in the day. Higher amounts of sugar can cause your blood sugar to spike and drop leading to increased hunger, and cravings for more sweet foods. Everyone, especially children, should follow this rule. Our taste buds have acquired a taste for sweet foods and cereals, and by introducing kids to healthier foods at an earlier age will get them started on the right track to make better food choices.
Article written by Athlete's Care nutritionist Maxine Silberg.