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  • Cereal Scores Again

  • Healthy cereals have long been touted as a great way to start the day. Whole grain brands are low-fat and provide fiber and energy-boosting carbohydrates. Fortified cereal may also be the best source of folic acid, a B complex vitamin.

    Research shows that folic acid reduces homocysteine levels in the blood. Because one in every three people with heart disease has an elevated homocysteine level, lowering it may also lower the risk of heart disease Folic acid is also recommended for expectant mothers to prevent some birth defects.

    While you can get small amounts of folic acid, or folate, in leafy green vegetables, fortified cereals are a sure bet. The recommended daily dose is now 400 micrograms, twice the level set in 1989. So read the label carefully to make sure your brand is giving your heart some extra help.