Consumer Reports rates best cereals and yogurts

by Max Sosland
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YONKERS, N.Y. — A study performed by trained taste testers from Consumer Reports rated the best cereals and Greek yogurts in response to the growing popularity of not eating breakfast. Two surveys were taken, one for cereals and another for yogurts, giving an overall score based on nutrition and taste.

The survey for cereals evaluated a list of 55 cereals whose names suggested they were nutritious. They were evaluated based on  calories, fat, fiber, sugars, iron and other nutrients listed on the labels. Thirty-three were identified as actually healthy. The article, which appears in the October 2014 edition of Consumer Reports, found  three cereals that stood out and were rated “CR Best Buy.”

Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli cereal was praised for its “tasty blend” of raw oats, nuts, seeds, dates and raisins, creating a “clean, balanced, full and complex” taste. It received an overall score of 83, the highest of all cereals surveyed and the only to be within the range of “excellent” (80-100). At only 25c per serving, the cereal was one of the most inexpensive options.

The second “CR Best Buy” was Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat. The  cereal was one of 12  rated “very good” with one of the lowest amounts of calories (100) and sugar (1 gram) per serving. In addition, at 23c per serving the cereal was the most inexpensive of all those evaluated.

Kellogg’s All-Bran Original cereal was the third and final cereal rated as a “CR Best Buy.” The cereal was recognized for its nutritional value, with some of the lowest amounts of calories (80), total fat (1 gram) and sodium (80 mg), and a high level of fiber (10 grams) and respectable amount of protein (4 grams).

A second survey, for yogurts, was blocked into plain and vanilla Greek yogurts. Thirteen plain and 14 Greek yogurts were evaluated for nutrition and taste. There was only one yogurt, Kirkland Signature Nonfat, that stood out as a “CR Best Buy.” However, the top two yogurts in each block had scores higher than the rest by a relatively wide margin.

The top plain Greek yogurt was Fage Total 2% Fat, praised as being “thick, creamy, and less tangy” than other products. The high sensory score (one of two to score “excellent”) compensated for the yogurt’s relatively average amounts of sugar (9 grams), calcium (25%) and protein (23 grams), according to Consumer Reports.

The second plain Greek yogurt was Fage Total, described by Consumer Reports as “thick and creamy, with sour-cream notes,” and “less tangy” than most of the other yogurts surveyed. Very similar to its 2% counterpart, Fage Total scored an “excellent” on sensory score but only a “good” on nutrition.

Of the vanilla Greek yogurts, Wallaby Organic Whole Milk yogurt topped the list. Praised for its creamy, rich, dessert-like taste, the yogurt had an overall score of 85, exceeding the second best score by four points and third by 11. The yogurt received only a “good” nutrition score, yet its prolific sensory score was enough to give the yogurt the highest score.

The Fage Fruyo Nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt was second on the list of vanilla Greek yogurts with an overall score of 81. The “very good” nutrition score and “excellent” sensory score makes this one of the top yogurts evaluated. At only $1.25 per serving, the yogurt was one of the healthiest, inexpensive Greek yogurts tested by Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports said it uses the surveys to emphasize the importance of breakfast. Those who skip breakfast tend to suffer from a higher risk of health issues.

“Our research indicates that people who skip breakfast gain weight, which can lead to diabetes as well as high cholesterol and blood pressure — all of which can raise your risk of heart disease,” said Eric Rimm, Sc.D., a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

Each survey put weight on the sensory score for the yogurts and cereals (the top two in each block were the only two to score “excellent” in each respective category), highlighting how breakfast can be nutritional and delicious.
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READER COMMENTS (1)

By Dutchess0909 1/9/2015 11:23:40 AM
Yogurt should be tested on yogurt, plain and simple. Is it pure yogurt or are non-natural additives used? Did the yogurt get tested on ingredients other than what naturally is supposed to make yogurt yogurt? Many companies (most companies) use thickening agents, like pectic, cornstarch, etc. I am now testing Greek non-fat yogurt from Western Family. Why this one? Because according to the ingredients it should be pure. HOWEVER, to me it seems a strange concoction. I am not a laboratory person, I cannot do this. But I would like to see this testing done.