The main issue with cereal is that it typically has a low carbohydrate to protein ratio. What that means is that there isn’t a good balance of the carbohydrate content in the product when compared to protein. Most cereals have almost 3 times, or more, the amount of carbohydrates than they do protein. If you look at a seemingly healthy Raisin Bran label we can see some of the
But why is this ratio important? Carbohydrates get digested by the body in 2 hours meaning that they only keep you full for that long. Protein and fats get digested in 3-4 hours respectively, keeping you full for longer. A combination of proteins, carbohydrates and fats will help keep you satiated and provide a better source of fuel for the body.
This doesn’t mean that you can never have cereal again. However, it does mean that we need to look for higher protein options or include additional protein with our cereal to better meet our needs. Adding nuts to oatmeal or an egg in addition to the cold cereal can be a great option to increase protein content.
This also goes to say that other "typical" breakfast foods such as, muffins, bagels and pancakes don't contain very good protein/carbohydrate ratios either. Some better breakfast options
Greek yogurt with fruit or granola
Breakfast sandwich with egg and cheese
Oatmeal with nuts/seeds
Pancakes with added protein powder or cottage cheese
Pictures from: http://happyhealthyhomemade.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/just-the-facts-the-nutrition-facts/ and http://www.macheesmo.com/2010/03/breakfast-sandwiches/