Cheerios are a surprisingly healthy breakfast choice, a study finds

If you want to eat a healthy breakfast, replace your poached eggs with avocado or raw salmon, a study suggests.

Favorites like jam on white toast or the cereal frosties and cornflakes should also be avoided.

However, Cheerios turned out to be a surprisingly healthy breakfast, scoring 95 out of 100 on a new food rating scale.

Scientists at Tufts University in the US have developed a “Food Compass” that rates more than 8,000 foods from one to 100 based on their health. The higher the number, the healthier it is.

The system reviews 54 “nutritional attributes” for each food, grouped into nine categories linked to diet-related diseases.

The categories are: nutrient ratios, vitamins, minerals, food ingredients, additives, processing, specific lipids, fiber and protein, and phytochemicals.

Anything over 70 is fine dining, while those under 30 should be avoided and those in the middle should be consumed in moderation.

Poached or boiled eggs, which are often demonized for having high cholesterol, scored 51 points, while Cheerios scored 95 points.

Avocado and raw salmon were among the few foods to score a perfect 100, along with raw broccoli, celery juice, watercress, cherries and red kidney beans.

Fudge, frankfurters and fizzy drinks were among the maligned “one in 100” group, as was jam on white toast.

But while Cheerios scored in the top fifth percentile, Cornflakes (19), Special K (18), and Frosties (15) were at the other end of the spectrum.

“Once you get past ‘eat your veggies, avoid soda,’ the public is quite confused about how to spot healthier choices at grocery stores, cafeterias, and restaurants,” said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, the lead author of the study.

“Consumers, policymakers and even industry are looking for simple tools to guide everyone towards healthier choices.”

The average score of the more than 8,000 foods was 43, with snacks and desserts unsurprisingly being the lowest-scoring food category.

Legumes (78), fruits (74) and vegetables (69) were the top groups. Meat — often derided for its health and environmental issues — fared poorly, with beef (25) underperforming poultry (43) and seafood (67).

“With its publicly available scoring algorithm, Food Compass can provide a nuanced approach to promoting healthy food choices and helping guide consumer behavior, nutritional policy, scientific research, food industry practices and socially-based investment decisions,” said co-author Dr. Renata Micah.

Food Compass is available online and the research behind it is published in the journal health food.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022] Cheerios are a surprisingly healthy breakfast choice, a study finds

Fry Electronics Team

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