With limited time in the morning, it can be easy to reach for the coco pops or the fruit loops, add a bit of a milk and scoff them down. We all know they're not the best options for the waistline, as is often the case with most cereals. However, research may have discovered which type of bran is good for the belly.
According to a study published by Penn State University, cereals that have larger flakes will help prevent overeating.
The findings suggest that when people pour a smaller volume of cereal, they're actually pouring a significant amount in terms of weight and calories. Larger flakes take up more of the bowl but have smaller energy contents.
"People have a really hard time judging appropriate portions. On top of that you have these huge variations in volume that are due to the physical characteristics of foods, such as the size of individual pieces, aeration and how things pile up in a bowl . That adds another dimension to the difficulty of knowing how much to take and eat," says professor of nutritional sciences and Helen A. Guthrie Chair in Nutrition, Professor Barbara Rolls.
"When faced with decreasing volumes of cereal, the people took less cereal," continues Rolls. "Yet, even though they thought they were taking the same number of calories, they ended up significantly overeating."
"There are a lot of variations in food volume that we're not given much advice about," adds Rolls.
"Our research shows clearly that, without us even knowing it, these variations can have a big impact on how much we're eating. For cereals with small pieces, the recommended serving size should be reduced to account for the uncharacteristically low volume, in the same way that the recommended serving size is increased for voluminous foods, such as puffed cereals and leafy greens."