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This Probiotic Cereal Is Here to Support Your Digestive Health

Can a bowl of cereal be good for your gut? A dietitian weighs in.

You've probably heard a great deal about the importance of probiotics lately, and how they are key to maintaining good overall health. The buzz is deserved, says registered dietitian Katey Davidson, MSc, RD, who explains that a healthy gut leads to improved digestion, better weight management, and a reduced risk of chronic disease.

These days, probiotics are so popular they're already available in cookies, teas, and yogurts—and now food giant Kellogg's is getting into the game with another easy way to rev up your good bacteria intake: cold cereal. To that end, they've launched a new wellness brand, HI! Happy Inside, which aims to bring the power of probiotics to your daily breakfast in three different flavors (coconut crunch, blueberry, and strawberry).

The selling point here is that the cereal improves the benefits of probiotics by combining them with two other big digestion players, prebiotics and fiber. Each of the three flavors offers one billion CFU probiotics, 2.5 grams of prebiotics, and nine grams of fiber.

Pre… Pro… What's the Difference?

If you are wondering what the difference is between probiotics and prebiotics, you're not the only one. Davidson explains that probiotics are live bacteria we eat to promote a healthy gut microbiome, whereas prebiotics are a type of fiber that feed the bacteria living in our gut.

Be Mindful of The Prebiotic and Probiotic Sources

However, it's worth noting that not all probiotics are created equal. Davidson explains that it is important to consider the type of strain added to a product because different strains promote different health outcomes. "It is ideal to have at least 1 billion CFU per serving, which is usually why companies use of mix of strains," she says.

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And just like with probiotics, Davidson says it's important to be aware of the prebiotics used in the products you consume as well. The prebiotic used in Hi! Happy Inside cereal is inulin, which comes from chicory root, she says. "This is a very common source of prebiotics and can promote gut health," she explains. However, she adds that some people do experience stomach upset, loose stools, and cramping when they take too much inulin.

A Good Source of Fiber

Fiber is also a good component of gut health, and Davidson says four grams of fiber per serving is usually recommended. Given that this cereal is made mostly with whole grains and contains nine grams of fiber per serving, she says it can be helpful in reaching your daily fiber goals, as women need approximately 25 grams per day and men need 37.

What About Sugar?

But even though this cereal can boost your prebiotic, probiotic, and fiber intake, Davidson says it's important to keep in mind that each serving contains 9 grams of sugar. That comes from a mix of natural sources (milk, yogurt, and berries) and added sugar in the form of cane syrup, cane sugar, and regular table sugar, she says. However, she adds that the fiber in this cereal will help to slow down the absorption of sugar, meaning it won't have as big of an effect on your blood sugar levels overall.


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