According to a recent issue of Changing Times magazine, you may be surprised to find that many breakfast cereals don't pass the scrutiny of nutritionists who are looking for foods that are low in fat and high in fiber.

A staff nutritionist for the Center for Science in the Public Interest recommends choosing a cereal with no more than five grams of sugar (about a teaspoon) per one-ounce serving, a maximum of 250 milligrams of sodium, no more than two grams of fat and at least two grams of fiber.Cereals that don't meet these particular criteria include Oat Squares, Mueslix and Multi-Bran Chex, which all have six or more grams of sugar. They do, however, pass the rest of the test.

Honey Bran Oatbake and Cracklin' Oat bran are high in sugar and have three grams of fat. Many granolas use artery-clogging coconut oil, which causes them to fail the fat test.

Quaker 100% Natural Cereal has six grams of fat (but none is from tropical oil).

Cheerios, Rice Krispies and Kellogg's Corn Flakes have more than 250 milligrams of sodium, but some nutritionists don't think that's a problem unless you're on a low-sodium diet. Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes flunk the fiber test, too. So does Special K.

Cereals that meet these criteria plus have three or more grams of insoluble fiber - the kind that prevents constipation - include Nutrigrain Wheat, Shredded Wheat, Fiber One, Bran Flakes, Grape-Nuts and Wheaties.

Cereals that are high in soluble fiber - the type that helps reduce cholesterol - include Koln Oat Bran Cruncy and Barbara's Crunchy Oat Bran. These are sold in health food stores. Quaker Oats oatmeal has 2.7 grams of fiber per ounce. Half is soluble fiber and half is insoluble fiber.


Adjustable rate mortgages

As the gap between short and long interest rates widens, adjustable-rate mortgages will look good to home buyers for months to come, says Changing Times, the Kiplinger magazine.

ARM rates trend down as shorter rates ease, while fixed loans follow 30-year Treasury yields, which aren't falling much. So the spread between one-year ARMs and conventional 30-year fixed loans is now 1.8 percentage points, compared with 1.5 points last year. If you dislike the uncertainty of ARMs, fixed-rate loans are about 9.6 percent.

With financing in hand, buyers are in command: Housing prices and mortgage rates are falling simultaneously, a rare event. - AP Newsfeatures.