When I wrote about my "healthy eating" commandments, I stressed the importance of not only reading your food label, but taking note of the serving size. I'm sure you were as surprised as I was to see how one serving of cheerios didn't even fill two champagne glasses! I can't even imagine how many servings I was filling my bowl with back in the day. So, I decided to do a little experiment.
I went to the grocery store and bought Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats with a Touch of Fruit. Mini wheats are healthy, right? And they have fruit in them, even better, right?
Let's start with the ingredients. The first ingredient is whole grain wheat - so far, so good. But, the second ingredient is sugar! You don't even find actual fruit until you're about halfway through the "2% or less" ingredients! How does this all contribute to the nutritional breakdown? We've got one gram of fat (with none of it being saturated or trans) and 5 grams of protein, which is great for cereal. When you look at the carbohydrates, we've got 6 grams of fiber - also good! But, as you move down to sugar, you can see that there are 10 grams of sugar per serving. You'd hope maybe some of those sugars come from fruit, but remember, the actual fruit was listed in the "less than 2%" section of the ingredients. If you compare this to a well-known "sugary cereal", Frosted Mini Wheats with a Touch of Fruit only has 3 grams sugar less than Lucky Charms! Is 10 grams of sugar terrible for you? Probably not, but are you really eating only one serving?
Now, let's look at serving size. One serving of Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats with a Touch of Fruit is 24 biscuits. Below you can see what 24 biscuits looks like in my cereal bowl. Is that how you fill your cereal bowl? It's certainly not how I fill mine! I added another serving, and my bowl STILL wasn't full! By the time I eye-balled my cereal bowl to "full", the way I would have years ago, I had 60 mini wheats in by bowl - that's 2.5 servings and 25 grams of sugar! To give you an idea of how much sugar that is - one serving of Skittles has 32 grams of sugar, one serving of Twizzlers has 19 grams of sugar and one serving of chocolate ice cream has 17 grams of sugar. Do Frosted Mini Wheats make Twizzlers look "healthy"?