Fortified cereals can be a beneficial way to consume the recommended daily amounts of vitamins and minerals. The variety of options and flavors available make it easier to find a fortified cereal for every taste and diet preference. Two well-known names in ready-to-eat cereals are General Mills and Kellogg's. Both companies produce a wide array of options, including gluten-free alternatives.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' definition of "fortified" is the addition of vitamins and minerals to a food product that were not originally in the food. The fortification of food began in the 1920s as a way to address nutritional deficiencies. Some examples are iodine in salt, vitamin D in milk and iron in cereal. Vitamins and minerals are expressed as the percent of daily value on nutrition facts labels. This expresses how much of the daily recommended amount of a particular vitamin or mineral is present in a single serving. Many ready-to-eat cereals on the market today are fortified with a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as iron, vitamin D, folic acid, riboflavin and niacin.
Within the General Mills brand, Total contains 100 percent of DV for 12 essential vitamins and minerals. Wheaties, Cheerios and Fiber One contain 10 percent to 50 percent of DV for the same essential vitamins and minerals. For those seeking a gluten-free option, Rice Chex is available in seven different flavors, all containing the same amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Kellogg's makes Special K, Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes and Raisin Bran. These cereals contain 10 percent to 25 percent of the DV for 12 vitamins and minerals. Kellogg's offers a gluten-free variety of Rice Krispies, which contains the same values of vitamins and minerals as the wheat-based cereals.
Fortified cereals can be a part of any diet as a way to increase consumption of vitamins and minerals the body needs. Combining a serving of cereal with vitamin D-fortified milk or a glass of fortified orange juice further improves the nutrient content provided in one meal. Those with gluten intolerance can also enjoy the same benefits with the gluten-free cereal options.
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