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Is Kix Cereal Healthy?

By Valerie Liles

General Mills decided in 1937 to develop a wholesome cereal to add to their product list. Thus, a General Mills engineer set out to design a “puffing” gun, which would take grain pellets and “puff” them into shapes. Up to this point, most cereals consisted of whole grains or flakes. In 1938, General Mills introduced Kix as “corn bubbles,” featuring child star Shirley Temple in advertising. In 1941, Kix joined Cheerios and Wheaties in General Mills' cereal lineup.

Nothing Artificial

Trying to determine if a cereal is healthy or not all comes down to knowing how to read and understand the Nutrition Facts label printed on the cereal box. It also means knowing what ingredients should not be in the box. If what is in the box is natural, with nothing artificial, the cereal passes the first test. Kix contains no artificial colors, flavors or artificial preservatives.

Calories, Fat and Cholesterol

The second test is the number of calories, fat and cholesterol. Kix has 110 calories per 1 1/4 cup or 30 g. It has 5 calories from fat and a total fat content of 1 g, with no saturated, trans, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat, and no cholesterol. Look for foods that are low in saturated fat, and have no trans fat and no cholesterol. These all increase the risk of heart disease. Most of what you eat should be polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as those found in fish, nuts and vegetable oils.

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Carbohydrates

A single serving of Kix provides 25 g of carbohydrates with 3 g of dietary fiber and 3 g of sugars, with 19 g of other carbohydrates. Foods with added sugars offer empty calories with few essential nutrients, so foods low in sugar are preferable. According to the USDA, choose foods with brown rice, bulgur, oatmeal, whole-grain corn, whole oats, rye or wheat, or wild rice as the first ingredient.

Vitamins and Minerals

General Mills fortifies its cereals with vitamins and minerals, which simply means they add these nutrients. Kix provides 10 percent daily value of vitamins A, C and D, and 15 percent of calcium. Kix also provides 25 percent daily value of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B-6 and B-12, and zinc. This cereal also offers 45 percent of needed iron and 50 percent daily value of folic acid. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 5 percent or less daily value is low, and 20 percent daily value or more is high.

Ingredients

Kix contains whole grain corn, cornmeal, sugar, corn bran, salt, brown sugar syrup,with trisodium phosphate and vitamin E-mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness. Because sugar is high on the list of ingredients, this cereal may be less healthy than one with no sugar, but with 3 g per serving, it has considerably less than a majority of other breakfast cereals, particularly those targeted toward children.

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