How to Know Which Cereals Are Healthy, According to Nutritionists

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iStock

Always quick, efficient, and there when you need it, cereal has long been a breakfast staple. Is it healthy, though? Recently, news broke that several popular cereals—including Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and Quaker Oats—contain traces of the weed-killing chemical Roundup (albeit at very low levels).

Perhaps even more insidious, though, are the high levels of sugar found in many popular cereals. If you're looking to start your day off with a helping of healthy cereal rather than spoonfuls of sugar, a few nutritionists who spoke with the Huffington Post offered tips on what to look for on the box.

One thing you can do is check the ingredients on the back of the box and look for cereals that list a whole grain first, such as whole-grain oats or wheat, corn, buckwheat, or rice. Refined grains, on the other hand, have less fiber and vitamins. As a result, they’re digested more quickly and may leave you feeling hangry by the time 11 a.m. rolls around. Studies have shown that consuming more whole grains may also help reduce your risk of early death.

Next on the list of factors to consider is the sugar content. Look for a cereal that has less than six grams of sugar per serving—but under four grams is preferred. Ideally, you’ll also want a cereal that has at least three grams of fiber and five grams of protein per serving. “Protein and fiber help keep you fuller for longer, and we should try and limit our intake of added sugar,” dietitian and nutritionist Amy Gorin tells HuffPost.

This may seem obvious when it comes to kids’ cereals like Froot Loops and Cocoa Puffs, but even adult cereals may seem healthier than they really are. Quaker Oats Oh!s, for instance, boast “0 grams trans fat” on the box, but they’re 44.4 percent sugar, according to CBS News.

Several varieties of Kashi, Nature’s Path, and Barbara’s Puffins cereal come recommended, and Cheerios generally aren’t a bad option, minus the recent Roundup scandal.

If you’re at a hotel breakfast buffet and have limited options, look for Raisin Bran. The Kellogg’s cereal is high in sugar (18 grams), but much of it comes from the raisins rather than added table sugar. It’s also high in fiber (7 grams) and meets the criteria for whole grains and protein.

If you can’t live without your Honey Smacks, though, just remember: Everything in moderation.

[h/t Huffington Post]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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The U.S. Postal Service Is Struggling—Buying Stamps Can Help

Inclement weather doesn't stop them, but a lack of funding could.
Inclement weather doesn't stop them, but a lack of funding could.
Pope Moysuh, Unsplash

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, businesses have drastically reduced the number of advertisements and other marketing materials they’re sending to consumers—and since a considerable chunk of the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) revenue comes from those large mailings, the ongoing crisis has put the organization in a tough spot.

The importance of keeping the USPS afloat goes beyond simply wanting to preserve something that’s been around since the dawn of U.S. history. As Lifehacker explains, the institution delivers mail to every single household in the nation—be it by truck, boat, or even mule—which makes it a critical method of circulating necessary documents like paychecks and voting ballots. Without the USPS, it would be difficult to reach rural residents who might not have consistent phone or internet service.

So, how can we help? The USPS doesn’t get any taxpayer funds, relying instead on the sale of stamps and various shipping supplies. In other words, the best way to put money into the pockets of our postal guardians is to stock up on stamps.

There are dozens of different designs listed on USPS’s online store, which makes this charitable endeavor an especially fun one. You can, for example, decorate your envelope with Sally Ride, Scooby-Doo, or celebrated broadcast journalist Gwen Ifill. There are plenty of fruits and flowers to choose from, too, and even a lovely illustration of Walt Whitman, complete with a very thick mustache and a very piercing gaze. And we’d be remiss not to mention the existence of this mail carrier dog costume, which only costs $18.

An American hero.USPS.com

If you’d like to go the extra mile, you can also sign a petition to save the USPS by texting “USPS” to the number 50409. A chat program called Resistbot will walk you through the steps to add your name, and it’ll even send an automated message to your senators, letting them know you’ve signed the petition and support the continued operation of the USPS. You will have to enter your name, email address, and residential address, but the whole process takes about two minutes.

[h/t Lifehacker]