Happy eating: Ingredient to a long life, in your cereal bowl

Story highlights

An observational study found people who ate at least 10.22 grams of cereal fiber had a 19% lower risk of death

People who ate at least 34g of whole wheat and fiber reduced risk of death by 17%

Early studies have shown eating a diet rich in cereal fiber can help reduce risk for diabetes, cancer, inflammation and obesity

CNN  — 

There’s good news for those of you who wake up to a bowl of cereal every morning, especially if your go-to choice is high in fiber. Hidden in that favorite box may be a prize better than a plastic toy. It just might hold the key to a longer life, according to a new study.

No, this study wasn’t done by Snap, Crackle or Pop. Tony the Tiger was not involved in the making of this research.

How to choose a healthy breakfast cereal

Some scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health have been researching the impact of cereal fiber on diet for years. They found that people who reported in surveys a diet rich in cereal fiber lived longer than those who chose less well in the morning. They had a 19% reduced risk of death, compared to those who ate the least amount of cereal fiber.

Crunching the numbers even further, the authors found that high fiber cereal eaters had a 34% lower risk of death from diabetes and a 15% reduced risk of death from cancer. People who ate a lot of whole grains and dietary fiber had a 17% lower risk of all-cause mortality.

Cereal fiber, they conclude, is one “potentially protective component” of a really healthy, premature death-preventing diet.

The study was published in the latest issue of BMC Medicine.

It drew from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study