6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Hearty and Healthy Hot Cereal Cups

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(ABC 6 News) – With the cooler mornings of fall and winter approaching, what better way to start the day than with a hot and nutritious breakfast?

Oatmeal has been a favorite for years, and as Consumer Reports explains, it’s also one of the quickest, healthiest breakfasts you can make at home or on the go.

Breakfast doesn’t get much easier than this, but to get the most nutrition, choose your oats carefully.

“Avoid Instant oats. They’re made into thinner flakes and digested more quickly, which can cause spikes in your blood sugar levels,” explains Trisha Calvo, Consumer Reports. “Stick to steel cut or rolled oats instead.”

Part of what makes some oatmeals taste so good can be tons of added sugars and artificial flavors. In fact, nearly half of the oatmeal cups CR looked at had between 2.5 to 4.5 teaspoons in a serving. If you buy sweetened oatmeal, pick one with 8 grams or less of added sugars per serving.

Some oatmeal cups CR checked out pump up the protein and fiber with highly-processed ingredients.

“Check the label for ‘pea protein,’ ‘soy protein isolate’ or ‘chicory root fiber.’ Avoid these processed ingredients and pick products with whole food sources of proteins and fibers like nuts and seeds, grains like quinoa or dried fruits,” says Calvo.

You can save money by making your own oatmeal cups at home, in batches. There are lots of recipes online, but make sure to use rolled oats.

Add some nuts, raisins, and dried apple and you have a version you can sweeten yourself, to keep it more healthy.