Friday, February 03, 2012

Breakfast blah

kw: observations, food, dry cereals

My wife is a sucker for a bargain. Thus, we often get some new food to try because it has been introduced at a low, low price. This time it was a new breakfast cereal.

I grew up eating Cheerios® (from General Mills). It is hard to overeat with because a "serving" of 3/4 cup has only 100 calories and weighs one ounce (28g). It has only a gram of sugar and three of protein, but 16g of digestible starch, so about 70% of the calories are carbs. I used to eat five ounces almost every morning. I once calculated that I'd eaten one ton of Cheerios® in about fifty years. Nowadays I eat 2-3 ounces when I have it at all.

These days, having but half a colon, I find it better to eat denser foods. My favorites are the series of Post Selects; the one in front of me at the moment is their Great Grains Crunchy Pecans. A 3/4 cup "serving" weighs 51g (1.8 oz) and has 210 calories. So I eat a smaller volume by comparison. It has a lot more sugar, 8g, and 24g of starch, so the carbs make up 60% of the calories (there is 10% more from oils).

Now we come to the bargain of the week. A new brand called Bear Naked®, and their Nut Cluster Crunch, dubbed a "100% natural energy cereal". It is nearly as dense as the Post cereal (49g or 1.7 oz per 3/4 cup), but with fewer calories: 180. It has half the fat of Cheerios®, but 11g of sugar and total carb calories pushing 80%. There are only 4g of protein, so % protein calories are the least for this cereal of the three. Here is the kicker. It tastes like sweetened cardboard, and doesn't soften in milk for a long, long time. It is extremely crunchy and actually makes my gums sore. My wife gets to eat the rest of it.

I took a look at the ingredients lists. The item of interest this morning is sugar. As I said, Cheerios® has the least, 1g per serving (though I eat twice as many servings to get the same calories, so call it 2g). In the ingredient list, the third ingredient is, simply, sugar. To me that means either beet sugar or cane sugar. Both are sucrose. In the Post cereal, the fifth ingredient is brown sugar, and the seventh is sugar. Sucrose again, with a little molasses included. Sugars total 8g per serving. Now for the Bear Naked® stuff. Sugar totals 11g, and the third ingredient is "evaporated cane juice crystals", a fancy-schmancy way of saying sucrose. In their list of things the cereal doesn't have, it says, "NO High Fructose Corn Syrup". Well, the other two cereals don't have any, either. But its level of sucrose is by far the highest of the three. Really sweet cardboard. I'll stick to the Post cereal, which is at least enjoyable to eat.

Tomorrow I'm having eggs and toast.

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