Is Cream of Wheat a Healthy Choice? — Everything You Need to Know

cream of wheat

Starting your day with a nutrient-rich breakfast is similar to setting a tone for your energy level for the entire day. There is an array of breakfast choices to evoke comfort and nourishment including porridge, cereals, soup, etc. But ‘Cream of Wheat’ is one among them, which is a popular brand of breakfast porridge. 

This warm bowl of porridge that has graced the breakfast table for many years is also the pioneer of any starchy grain that is cooked with milk or hot water. But, what exactly is ‘Cream of Wheat? Is it just delicious or genuinely good for health?

What is Cream of Wheat?

Cream of Wheat is a brand of Farina, that is a type of cereal made from milled wheat. It is typically made from Farina by grinding the wheat kernels to a fine consistency. Endosperm, the largest part of the wheat kernel, is finely ground by removing the outer bran of the wheat. This starchy endosperm is the main source of white flour, which is enriched with protein, vitamins, and iron.

The fine flour, when cooked with either water or milk, will make a creamy, thick, and sweet-tasting porridge. It can be often topped with many sweet and savory ingredients just to enhance the taste. Like any other porridge you eat, cream of wheat makes a healthy, affordable, and easy-to-prepare breakfast.

Is Cream of Wheat Healthy?

Cream of wheat offers various nutrients, which makes it a popular breakfast choice worldwide. The nutritional value is such that it provides whole wheat carbohydrates, and fibers and is high in minerals and vitamins.  Some flavored varieties of cream of wheat are available in the market, which may contain added sugar in it. Let’s delve into some of the health benefits:

Health Benefits

Heart and Bone Health: Including cream of wheat with your healthy diet can positively impact your bone and heart health. It is naturally low in fat and cholesterol, which makes it a perfect option when prepared with suitable ingredients and not adding extra fat. Moreover, it is packed with several nutrients which are necessary for the healthy functioning of the cardiovascular system. 

The amount of calcium in a single cup of cream of wheat is 303mg, and that helps to boost the calcium intake daily, which is recommended for your strong bones and teeth.

Pack of Essential Nutrients: Cream of White is packed with several nutrients that are essential for metabolic activities. The iron-rich content makes it a premium solution for anemia and other iron deficiencies. Consuming adequate minerals contributes to healthy body functioning and a steady release of energy throughout the day. 

Weight Management: Just make sure that you are consuming cream of wheat as part of a balanced diet, without going for a flavored variety, and does not contain added sugar. This is the secret to weight management while having a comfort meal. 

Is Cream of Wheat Gluten Free?

Well! It has the word wheat in it and is made from Farina, which is extracted from wheat. Hence, it is not gluten-free. If you are gluten-sensitive, it is recommended to not have wheat, and you can opt for many other varieties such as cream of rice, other cereals, etc. 

For those people who have celiac disease and dietary restrictions of having gluten content, this meal may cause constipation, stomach pain, and other digestive issues. There are situations where you can feel nausea and bloating after consuming gluten.

cram of wheat in a blue bowl

Is Cream of Wheat Good for Diabetics

Cream of wheat can be included in the diet plan of individuals with diabetes, but there are certain considerations to be followed. A watchful and controlled intake of the dish can help maintain the sugar level. As it provides several nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, you can add foods low in glycemic index as toppings to the bowl of porridge. Fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds are some of the best options. 

Does Cream of Wheat Have Fiber?

Farina, which is used to make cream of wheat, has comparatively lower fiber than the inner layer and germ, which are the whole grain components having the majority of fiber content. As it is not remarkably high in fiber content, you can consider adding fiber-rich foods such as fruits, nuts, and seeds as toppings to it. 

Is Cream of Wheat High in Sodium?

There are many varieties of cream of wheat, often prepared using salt and sodium. This contributes to the overall sodium content in the final product. Generally, the plain or unflavored cream of wheat contains less amount of sodium. Opting for an unflavored one and adding your favorite toppings like fruits or salt-free foods helps you manage the overall sodium content. 

It is More Than Just a Breakfast

Cream of wheat can be just a breakfast and a nutritious choice at the same time. Do you know how? If you are ready to make your favorite dish a nutrient-rich one, then it is about the product you choose and how you prepare it. 

Farina is rich in thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B, zinc, magnesium, and potassium like any other grain you consume. This content may change according to the variety and brand you are choosing, simultaneously the nutritional value may also change after the preparation depending on the liquid and toppings which you are adding to your meal.

A regular cream of wheat may contain approximately:

Calories –   100 to 130 (Per cup)

Carbohydrates –   approximately 28 to 30 grams

Fiber –   1-3 (Depending on the type and brand)

Protein –   3 to 4 grams

Vitamins and Minerals – Vitamin B, B6 (Niacin, Thiamine, Riboflavin), Iron, Calcium, Copper

Varieties and Flavors 

Cream of Wheat is a brand that offers a wide variety of flavors, considering different preferences. Once, it was available only in one flavor or just with the original comforting taste. The original plain cream of wheat is made from ground wheat, and can tailor it by adding toppings of your choice. 

Another popular variety is the Cocoa Nut with Real Almonds, offering the rich taste of cocoa and almonds, adding a chocolaty twist to your breakfast meal. 

Besides these, Maple Brown sugar, a blend of maple syrup and brown sugar, Cinnamon flavor with the aromatic experience of cinnamon, Banana Walnut, and Mixed-Berry with Real Almonds are the other popular flavors. With all these flavorful choices, cream of wheat offers a nutritious breakfast for everyone. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cream of Wheat a healthy breakfast meal?

Cream of wheat is packed with essential nutrients and carbohydrates, and it provides carbohydrates as well. Hence, consuming it in a moderate amount as part of a balanced diet makes it a healthy breakfast.

Cream of wheat or Oatmeal, which is better?

Both are healthy breakfast options that contain essential vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. But if you are gluten-sensitive, oatmeal is the better choice for you.

What are some of the healthy alternatives to the cream of wheat?

Cream of rice, Grits, Oatmeal, Millet porridge, and Quinoa are some varieties of breakfast meals you can opt for as an alternative to cream of wheat.

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