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Video: 500-calorie bowl of cereal busting your diet?

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    >>> back at 7:42. this morning on eat this not that today, the big bad breakfast. researchers say skipping breakfast increases your risk of obesity by 450%. eating unhealthy to start the day isn't better. how do you make healthy choices? david zinczenko is author of the "eat this, not that" series.

    >> great to see you, meredith.

    >> we are talking supermarket breakfast foods . rule of thumb when it comes to how much to consume in the morning?

    >> try to get under 350. you want a nice mix of protein for metabolism, carbs for energy, fiber to keep you full and vitamins and minerals to nourish the body. these smart swaps allow you to get hundreds of calories out of the meal without missing a thing.

    >> breakfast cereals . this is jimmy dean breakfast bowl with pancakes and sausages.

    >> this is like an easter basket . it has the sugar equivalent of a snickers bar . over 0700 calories, 34 grams of fat. it's the equivalent of a dozen dunkin donuts sugar munchkins in terms of calories. snickers bar . you want to go bowling with this jimmy over here. this is only 230 calories from the delight line. it's a turkey sausage bowl. you're eliminating 480 calories in this swap. you do it every day for a week and you're losing a pound a week at breakfast.

    >> let's go to kashi. i think of this as a healthy line of food at the supermarket. this is the summer berry granola.

    >> the problem is it's a health myth. you think granola you think hippy. think hippo. even with 2% milk added to it you're over 500 calories. you have 24 grams of sugar. now kashi go lean --

    >> let's see the equivalent.

    >> 17 ginger snap cookies. that's how you are starting your morning.

    >> kill that one.

    >> if you go to one of the best in the supermarket which is go lean original you get 205 calories. you have just saved 300 calories. you are losing a pound every 11 days.

    >> easy to do and the same line. you know it's good.

    >> yes.

    >> people love to have a bun in the morning. it's always delicious.

    >> it's a single serve iced honey bun and it will ice you.

    >> we love entenmann's.

    >> it's a double whammy of fat, calories and sugar. 140 calories of pure sugar, a bunch of carbs.

    >> 22 grams of saturated fat ?

    >> it's over a day's worth in one -- starting your morning that way. it would be the saturated fat equivalent of having 22 strips of bacon.

    >> you're not lying here, right?

    >> unfortunately i'm not.

    >> you say to substitute with another baked good.

    >> have a donut. 190 calories. again, you eliminate 470 calories right there. that's a pound a week. you are still eating your favorite foods. it's just that you are getting a better version of them.

    >> toaster foods. we go to thomas's bagels. blueberry bagel with butter.

    >> there is a hole in the bagel for a reason --

    >> cream cheese , i'm sorry.

    >> this is the nutritional black hole .

    >> you're not a fan of bagels.

    >> it's a couple hundred calories. then you add two ounces of cream cheese and your at 465.

    >> which is the equivalent of what?

    >> starting your morning with five and a half bowls of honey comb .

    >> i like that. but it's a lot.

    >> i would rather have one or two of these.

    >> so you still go to thomas.

    >> the nooks and crannies are basically the secret is they are saving you calories. 130 calories with heart healthy peanut butter and you come in at 320. you're in better shape. you have saved almost 200 calories. and you have much more nutrition.

    >> always go for the whole grain?

    >> i would. right here you are getting two grams of fiber and still are at 130 calories.

    >> thank you so much, david

updated 4/20/2011 7:00:46 AM ET 2011-04-20T11:00:46

It's Saturday morning. You're sitting at your local diner, sipping a cup of coffee and waiting for the server to come by with the menu. Here he comes — but wait, what's that Britannica-size book in his hands? He drops it on the table so hard your coffee sloshes over the brim of the cup. "Take all the time you need," he says, and then he's gone. This, in effect, is the menu you face every time you walk into the supermarket — 50,000 boxes, cans, jars, bags, and cellophane shrink-wrapped packages, all lined up in neat rows and vying for your food dollars.

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Daunting, right? That's why we're so prone to making bad decisions in the aisles. Simply put, we’re overwhelmed. But it’s important that we learn to make smart choices in the supermarket, especially when it comes to breakfast. People who regularly skip breakfast increase their waistlines by nearly 2 inches and carry higher levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. But on the other side of that coin, eating too much at breakfast can be equally devastating. German researchers recently found that people who consume oversized breakfasts don’t compensate for those calories later in the day. That gives you two choices: Spend more time on the treadmill or carry those calories around as flab.  Of course, you could always choose to avoid the excessive calories in the first place, and you can start by skipping the caloric offenders on this list.

Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls: Pancakes and Syrup and Sausage Links (1 bowl)
710 calories
34 g fat (12 g saturated)
1,000 mg sodium
35 g sugars

Calorie equivalent
: 12 Dunkin’ Donuts Sugared Munchkins

Pancakes and sausage are the dastardly duo of the breakfast table. One loads you down with saturated fat, and the other is a sponge for the liquid sugar we know as syrup. Eat this thing for breakfast and you’re taking in more sugar than a Snickers bar and a paltry 12 grams of protein. Or you can switch to the bowl below. It has a third as many calories, a quarter as much saturated fat, and nearly twice as much protein. That means it will fight hunger even better than the pancakes and sausage, but it will eliminate 480 calories from your morning routine. Do that every day and you’ll lose nearly a pound a week.

Eat This Instead!
Jimmy Dean D-lights Turkey Sausage Bowl (1 bowl)
230 calories
7 g fat (3 g saturated)
700 mg sodium
1 g sugars

Kashi Summer Berry Granola (1 cup with ½ cup 2% milk)
505 calories
14.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated)
24 g sugars
14 g fiber

Calorie equivalent: 17 Nabisco Ginger Snap Cookies

Kashi’s Summer Berry Granola has 18 grams of sugar per cup, which — unless it’s coming from fruit — is more than you should ever see on your breakfast table. The company’s GoLean, on the other hand, is one of the best cereals in the supermarket, boasting nearly twice as much fiber as sugar. Plus it has 13 grams of protein, whereas the granola blend has only 6. More fiber plus more protein equals less hunger and a smaller belly. That’s simple nutritional arithmetic.

Eat This Instead!
Kashi GoLean Original (1 cup with ½ cup 2% milk)
205 calories
3.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
12 g sugars
10 g fiber

Entenmanns’s Single Serve Iced Honey Bun (1 bun)
660 calories
38 g fat (22 g saturated)
34 g sugars

Saturated fat equivalent: 22 strips of bacon

Take a second look at that saturated fat count. 22 grams. That’s absurd. What’s equally egregious is the fact that this pastry has more sugar than two full-size Klondike Bars. You couldn’t design a worst breakfast. If you absolutely must have a sweet pastry to jumpstart your morning, then go with a plain doughnut. Not only do you save 470 calories, but you also cut your fat by more than two-thirds, your saturated fat by more than three-fourths, and your sugar by nearly 80 percent. It’s not exactly nutritious, but thanks to a modest serving size, the damage is minimal. Wash it down with a glass of milk and you’ve just earned a few grams of protein to boot.

Eat This Instead!
Entenmann’s Plain Donut (1 donut)
190 Calories
11 g fat (5 g saturated)
7 g sugar

Thomas’ Blueberry Bagel (1 bagel with 2 oz cream cheese)
465 calories
21 g fat (11.5 g saturated)
620 mg sodium
56 g carbohydrates
13 g sugars

Calorie equivalent:
5.5 (1-cup) bowls of HoneyComb cereal

The bagel is a nutritional zero. Even if it were loaded with blueberries, it would still be a waste of calories, but as it is, blueberries are merely there to make you feel better about starting your day with a glorified pastry. Scan the ingredient list and you’ll find blueberries near the bottom, beneath 15 other ingredients like sugar, corn syrup, preservatives, and modified food starch. Instead, look to Thomas’ English muffins. They’re portioned perfectly to rope healthier foods into your morning routine without strapping a bagel belt around your belly. You can stuff them with ham and eggs for a quick, protein-packed breakfast, or you can swipe on some peanut butter for a quick boost of fiber, protein, and healthy fat.

Eat This Instead!
Thomas’ English Muffins, Original made with Whole Grains (1 muffin with 2 Tbsps peanut butter)
320 calories
17 g fat (3 g saturated)
355 mg sodium
32 g carbohydrates
4 g sugars

Check out the all-new Eat This, Not That! No-Diet Diet!
The 25 Best Nutrition Secrets Ever!
12 Best Restaurant Weight Loss Tips
20 Worst Drinks in America

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