Best weight loss cereal


The Best Breakfast Cereals for Weight Loss

When faced with a hectic morning, the easiest path to breakfast often includes a cereal box. Open. Pour. Add milk. Eat. But, when it comes to nutrition, the choices in the cereal aisle don’t stack up evenly. Varieties with chocolate chips and marshmallows likely stand out as the unhealthier of choices, but seemingly healthy options, such as some granolas and sweetened whole-grain varieties, can be packed with added sugars and unhealthy fats, too — not to mention they can be seriously lacking in good-for-you nutrients.

“Never judge a cereal by the front of the box; the manufacturers aren’t there to help you be healthy,” says Gretchen Spetz, RD, a clinical dietitian with University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Ohio. To get the real scoop, you need to scan the ingredients and nutrition facts label for sneaky sugar sources and hidden processed ingredients. What you do want to see are ingredients like whole grains, oats, whole wheat, and brown rice, which tend to be higher in fiber than more processed carbohydrates.

The good news is that the right cereal pick made with the right ingredients can serve up a healthy, nutrient-rich breakfast in a flash — and yes, help you meet your weight loss or weight maintenance goals.

A review published in September 2014 in the journal Advances in Nutrition that analyzed dozens of previous studies that looked at the health benefits of eating cereal for breakfast found there is trustworthy evidence that cereals with a base of oats, barley, or psyllium may help lower cholesterol levels, and that wheat-based cereals that are high in fiber may help improve bowel function, too.

To make the right decision when it comes to your breakfast bowl, Spetz recommends looking for cereals with at least 3 grams (g) of fiber (5 g or more is considered “high-fiber”), less than 10 g of sugar, and less than 200 milligrams (mg) of salt per serving.

Here are some choices that meet these parameters and are good breakfast (or snack) options, whether you want to lose weight or just start your day with a nutritious meal:

  • General Mills Cheerios
  • Kellogg’s All-Bran
  • General Mills Fiber One Original
  • Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets
  • Kellogg’s Bite Size Unfrosted Mini-Wheats
  • Kashi GoLean
  • Post Shredded Wheat ‘n Bran
  • Nature’s Path Organic SmartBran

Here’s more about all the nutrition benefits these picks provide, and what Spetz and other experts have to say about these cereal picks:

Just so you know, Everyday Health may earn commissions from the shopping links included in this article.

The question: What’s the best breakfast cereal for weight loss?

The answer: I’m afraid there is no breakfast cereal specifically designed for weight loss. Compared with other breakfast choices, most cereals are relatively low in calories and low in fat. But it’s not all about calories. Some low calorie breakfast cereals (e.g. Special K, Rice Krispies, Puffed Wheat) are made from refined grains that are quickly digested. In other words, starting your day with a bowl of refined breakfast cereal could cause you to feel hungry midmorning and overly hungry by lunch time. Both are recipes for overeating.

The healthiest breakfast cereal is made from whole grains and is high in fibre and low in added sugar. Choose a cereal that lists whole wheat, whole oats, whole rye or whole brown rice as the first ingredient. One-hundred-per-cent bran cereals aren’t truly whole grain cereals, but you can consider them as such since they are a concentrated source of bran that’s missing from refined grains. And because fibre slows down the rate at which food leaves your stomach, it helps you feel full longer after breakfast.

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Look for cereals that have no more than six grams of sugar for each serving. There’s one exception to this rule: Cereals with dried fruit such as raisins, blueberries and cranberries will have more and that’s okay. Dried fruit adds more fibre to cereal, which is a good thing.

Now that you’ve chosen a nutritious cereal, keeping your portion size in check will help you lose weight. Of course, that’s provided you’re following a calorie-reduced diet designed for weight loss. Read the serving size information on nutrition labels. I encourage you to do this for all packaged foods, not just ready to eat breakfast cereal.

By dry weight, a food guide serving of ready to eat cereal is 30 grams. In household measures, 30 grams of dry cereal will vary depending on the density, or weight, of the cereal. In general, a serving size of cereal is typically 3/4 to one cup. The serving size for denser cereals such as granola and muesli is 1/3 to 1/2 cup. If you’re counting calories, manage your portion size by reading the nutrition label – and then measuring out the stated serving size.

Send dietitian Leslie Beck your questions at [email protected] She will answer select questions, which could appear in The Globe and Mail and/or on the Globe website. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

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Are Cheerios Really a Healthy Choice?

“Are Cheerios Really a Healthy Choice?”

Cheerios are an iconic breakfast cereal eaten by millions of American’s every day, owned by staunch GMO enthusiast General Mills. These millions of Americans have been told by General Mills that Cheerios are a healthy breakfast and snack item that brings the benefits of wholesome oats, low sugar, and essential vitamins and minerals into their diets.

While GMO Inside recognizes that whole grains like oats, moderation of sugar, and balanced consumption of vitamins and minerals are certainly part of a healthy eating plan, a deeper look at Cheerios uncovers that their claimed benefits are also accompanied by a high risk of GMOs, surprisingly controversial ingredients, and a less than stellar overall nutritional profile.

Taking a careful look at Cheerios, GMO Inside would like to help consumers answer the question; Are Cheerios really a healthy choice?

Let us start by breaking down the ingredients for the entire Cheerios line. GMO Inside has bolded the likely GMO ingredients in each variety below.

Cheerios: Whole Grain Oats (includes the oat bran), Modified Corn Starch, Sugar, Salt, Tripotassium Phosphate, Wheat Starch, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness.

Honey Nut Cheerios: Whole Grain Oats (includes the oat bran), Modified Corn Starch, Honey, Brown Sugar Syrup, Salt, Tripotassium Phosphate, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Natural Almond Flavor, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness.

Multi Grain Cheerios: Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Barley, Whole Grain Rice, Corn Starch, Brown Sugar Syrup, Corn Bran, Salt, Tripotassium Phosphate, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Color Added, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness.

Apple Cinnamon Cheerios: Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Corn Meal, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Apple Puree Concentrate, Salt, Cinnamon, Trisodium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Vanillin, Wheat Starch, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness.

Chocolate Cheerios: Whole Grain Corn, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Whole Grain Oats, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Salt, Color Added, Dried Corn Syrup, Corn Bran, Barley Malt Extract, Trisodium Phosphate, Vanillin. Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) and BHT Added to Preserve Freshness.

Dulche de Leche Cheerios: Whole Grain Corn, Sugar, Whole Grain Oats, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Corn Syrup, Caramel Syrup (caramelized sugar, water), Salt, Brown Sugar Syrup, Corn Bran, Trisodium Phosphate, Color Added, Natural Flavor, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) and BHT Added to Preserve Freshness.

Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter: Whole Grain Corn, Sugar, Peanut Butter (peanuts, monoglycerides), Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Barley, Whole Grain Rice, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Salt, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Peanut Oil, Color Added, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) and BHT Added to Preserve Freshness.

Cinnamon Burst Cheerios: Whole Grain Corn, Sugar, Corn Bran, Corn Meal, Soluble Corn Fiber, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Whole Grain Oats, Brown Sugar Syrup, Salt, Cinnamon, Guar Gum, Natural Flavor, Color Added, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) and BHT Added to Preserve Freshness.

Frosted Cheerios: Whole Grain Oats (includes the oat bran), Sugar, Corn Meal, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Salt, Trisodium Phosphate, Color Added, Brown Sugar Syrup, Vanillin, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshnees.

Fruity Cheerios: Whole Grain Corn, Sugar, Whole Grain Oats, Corn Syrup, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Pear Puree Concentrate, Salt, Corn Starch, Dried Corn Syrup, Corn Bran, Trisodium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Color (red 40, yellow 6, blue 1, and other color added), Sodium Citrate, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) BHT and Ascorbic Acid Added to Preserve Freshness.

Yogurt Burst Cheerios: Whole Grain Oats (includes the oat bran), Sugar, Naturally Yogurt Flavored Coating (sugar, fractionated palm kernel oil, dextrose, corn starch, dried strawberries, dried nonfat yogurt (cultured nonfat milk), color added, soy lecithin, nonfat milk, natural flavor, maltodextrin), Corn Meal, Modified Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Salt, Trisodium Phosphate, Brown Sugar Syrup, Color Added, Wheat Flour, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness.

Banana Nut Cheerios: Whole Grain Corn, Sugar, Whole Grain Oats, Brown Sugar Syrup, Corn Syrup, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Salt, Dried Corn Syrup, Banana Puree, Corn Bran, Corn Starch, Trisodium Phosphate, Color Added, Sodium Citrate, Natural Flavor, Natural Almond Flavor, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) and BHT Added to Preserve Freshness.

Once again, all of the Bolded ingredients above are likely GMOs.


Currently on the Cheerios website, General Mills claims their Cheerios varieties are a part of a healthy diet because they are low in saturated fat, naturally cholesterol free, can help lower cholesterol, are made with whole grains like oats, and provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Over the years public perception has been shaped by these and similar claims so that Cheerios cereals have become widely considered to be a healthy choice that is low in sugar, unprocessed, and made with natural ingredients.

But what is true, and what is fiction? Let’s break it down.

Are Cheerios Made with Wholesome Grains and Oats?

Originally called “Cheerioats”, the Cheerios name was selected so the cereal would be associated with the taste and wholesome appeal of oats. One of the main nutrition angles that General Mills exploits is the use of natural oats in Cheerios, however, in seven out of the twelve Cheerios varieties currently sold in the U.S. marketplace, oats are not even listed as the first ingredient (remember, ingredients are listed in order of abundance by weight within a product).

All Cheerios cereal varieties are made with whole grains and do have at least 8 grams per serving, but whole grains ground into flour, do not have the same health benefits as unprocessed whole grains. On the Cheerios website they say that their process is simply mixing, cooking, forming, and toasting. While that sounds nice, the final product – uniform and indistinguishable O’s – bears little resemblance to whole oats or any other whole grains. Cheerios are indeed made with whole grains, but “processed whole grains” would be a more appropriate listing.

Are Cheerios Low in Sugar?

In terms of Sugar – Only Regular Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, and Dulche De Leche Cheerios have less than 9 grams of sugar per serving. The nine other Cheerios varieties have a sugar content that is much too high to be considered low or healthy when compared to other accessible breakfast cereal options. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day, and no more than 38 grams for men. The average amount of sugar per serving (1 or ¾ Cups depending on variety) across all varieties of Cheerios is 7.92 grams per cup or quarter cup.

According to the nutritional information on the Cheerios website, the serving sizes are not consistent across the whole Cheerios line. The serving size is 1 cup for both regular Cheerios, which has 1 gram of sugar serving, and for Multi Grain Cheerios, which has 6 grams of sugar per serving.

Conversely, the more sugary varieties of Cheerios: Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Banana Nut Cheerios, Chocolate Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter, Fruity Cheerios, and Yogurt Burst Cheerios – have a smaller serving size of ¾ Cup. This is not something that Cheerios advertises as broadly as the other aspects of its cereals, probably because it would draw attention to the fact that even though you are supposed to be eating less of these Cheerios varieties, you are still getting more sugar. Since this is not as widely publicized, then there are almost certainly consumers who are unaware of these different serving sizes and are starting their days off with an even higher amount of unexpected sugar.

Do Cheerios Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease and High Cholesterol?

Cheerios are infamous for their heart healthy claims and for being low in saturated fat and cholesterol. The brand in the past pushed these claims so heavily that in 2009 the FDA had to send a letter asking General Mills to alter Cheerios marketing strategies because of “unauthorized health claims” and because said claims would mean that Cheerios would fall under the label of an “unapproved new drug”. Cheerios has since reworked their marketing and health claims into the message that Cheerios CAN be a part of a healthy diet that COULD reduce the risks of heart disease.

It is important to note that part of what allows Cheerios to claim that it can be part of a diet that could reduce the risk of heart disease is the cereals’ fiber and whole grain content. We already covered the whole grain aspects of Cheerios, and when looking at fiber it appears that ONLY Regular Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Yogurt Burst Cheerios contain soluble fiber, with Cheerios having just 1 gram per serving, Honey Nut Cheerios having 0.75 gram per serving, and Yogurt Burst Cheerios with “less than 1 gram of soluble fiber”.

Concerning insoluble fiber, listed on the boxes as dietary fiber – Only Regular Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Multi-Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter, and Cinnamon Burst have over 2 grams of Dietary Fiber. The remaining 8 out of the 12 varieties are only at an inadequate 2 grams per serving.

The bottom line for this is that if you are eating cereal for breakfast and we were only paying attention to fiber numbers, then regular Cheerios is the only variety of Cheerios that would provide an adequate amount of fiber to start your day in a healthy way.

What about the other ingredients in Cheerios that are not bolded because of a high risk of being GMOs?

BHT is Butylated Hydroxytoluene a food additive used to preserve freshness in some products, but in scientific studies it has been shown to be possible carcinogen. As shown above, BHT is used in Chocolate Cheerios, Dulche De Leche Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Burst Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios, and Banana Nut Cheerios.

Other ingredients used in some or all of the Cheerios varieties that have raised red flags for health conscious consumers include: Trisodium Phosphate, Artificial Colors, Natural Flavors, Vanillin (synthetic Vanilla), Corn Syrup, Soy Lecithin, Maltodextrin, and Glycerides. Each of these ingredients have been possibly linked to negative health impacts by studies in recent years and many health conscious consumers have put these ingredients on their do-not-eat lists.

Do Cheerios Contain GMOs?

The most common GMO crops to look out for in the U.S. are Soy, Corn, Cotton, Canola, Sugar Beets, and Papaya. Foods that clearly have these words in their ingredient lists are all at risk of being GMO if they are not certified organic or Non-GMO.

General Mills sources its corn from the United States, where 88% of the crop is genetically modified, and our ingredient breakdown showed that corn-based ingredients are a common ingredient in all Cheerios varieties. While the corn ingredients are easy to spot and flag, some other high GMO risk ingredients that have been bolded are a little more inconspicuous. For example, Vitamin E is in each and every one of the Cheerios products, and is a hidden GMO ingredient that many consumers are unaware of. Vitamin E in Cheerios comes from Mixed Tocopherols which are most commonly derived from soy, corn, or cotton –the most extensively genetically engineered crops. For a list of other GMO ingredients that are commonly hidden in processes foods, Non-GMO Shopping Guide has built this highly useful list.

As a refresher, If you were to sample each and every Cheerios product –since General Mills does not make organic Cheerios or allow GMO testing – the following are the likely GMOs you would be consuming: Modified Corn Starch, Sugar, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), Honey, Brown Sugar Syrup, Canola Oil, Natural Almond Flavor, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Starch, Corn Bran, Corn Syrup, Dried Corn Syrup, Caramel Syrup made from Caramelized Sugar, Natual Flavors, Peanut Butter made with Monoglycerides, Dextrose, Corn Meal, Soluble Corn Fiber, Sodium Citrate, Ascorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Maltodextrin.

Multi Grain Cheerios are the only Cheerios variety that has just one likely GMO ingredient in its first three ingredients listed. The likely GMO ingredient however is its first-listed and most abundant ingredient: Whole Grain Corn. This Whole Grain Corn is almost certainly genetically modified.

Besides Multi Grain Cheerios, the ingredients list for every single other variety of Cheerios starts with at least two out of its most abundant ingredients as likely GMOs. Taking this a step further – each of the first three ingredients for both Chocolate and Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter are likely GMOs, and all of the first six ingredients in Cinnamon Burst Cheerios are very likely to be made from GMOs.


Cheerios of all types are loaded with likely GMOs, and the brand across the board does not live up to the positive public perception and nutritious message that General Mills has cultivated through years of advertisements, loose health claims, and public relations strategies.

For people interested in eating for optimal health, consuming whole foods and staying away from processed products are good basic guidelines to follow. The lengthiness of the Cheerios ingredient lists and the inclusion of unrecognizable synthetic ingredients, unnecessary and controversial food additives, cheap sweeteners, and unwholesome ingredients are directly inconsistent with those basic health rules. After reading the labels, it should be clear that there are definitely safer and less processed sources for your breakfast fiber, vitamins, and whole grains.

What Can We Do?

If you are an individual concerned about the risks of GMOs and the health of your families and the environment, GMO Inside invites you to reach out to General Mills through our petition and let Cheerios know what you think of their use of GMOs on their Facebook Page.

We also invite you to become a GMO Insider by signing up for our e-alerts about GMOs or by connecting to us on Facebook.

If you have any questions about GMOs or comments about how some of these ingredients are at high risk of being a GMO, please leave a comment below!

Are Cheerios good for you?

In moderation, sure. They’ve got a good dose of fiber and are fortified with a number of vitamins and minerals. They’re certainly better for you than sugar-packed cereals.
But it’s not like they’re any kind of miracle food. They kinda-sorta count as a serving of whole grains, though they’re so heavily processed that they have to add a lot of things back (which they do, and then some). I’m skeptical that these added nutrients are as effective as just eating actual unprocessed whole grains, but then, the raw foodies are skeptical about the fact that I like to cook my whole grains first.
There’s nothing actually wrong with the ingredients; they’re all pretty much normal. The only even slightly questionable ingredient is the “modified corn starch”, about which there are some paranoid web sites, none of which I find remotely convincing.
So, as I said, it’s a fine food, eaten in moderation with the rest of a healthy diet. But if you’re expecting to eat it as a miracle food providing extra health points, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s just food, a better choice than many things in its category.

The Best Cereal for Weight Loss (And 10 Cereals You Should Avoid)

Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution or you simply want to have a healthier lifestyle, you may be looking to shed a few pounds. But you want to do so on your terms. You’re not going to sacrifice your favorite foods — like your morning bowl — so you’re on the hunt for the best cereal for weight loss.

There’s only one problem: When looking for the healthiest cereal in the grocery store, practically every box boasts good-for-you health claims.

First, you have Special K, which had an entire diet named after it. Then you have Cheerios, which audaciously printed a heart-shaped bowl on their package. And of course there’s Fiber One, Raisin Bran, and every brand of oatmeal on store shelves, all claiming that they can help you reach your goals.

Well, we’re about to put those boxes in their place. Because after a closer look at their nutrition labels, we only see high-sugar, high-carb, and high-calorie cereals that are best avoided altogether.

The Best Cereals for Weight Loss (Or So They Say )

Below, we’re debunking the health claims from 10 of the top cereal brands. If you’re looking for the best cereal for weight loss, don’t fret — we have a much healthier alternative. (Just sit tight and keep reading.)

1. Kashi Go Peanut Butter Crunch

If there’s one brand that hails as the go-to healthy cereal on the market, Kashi would be it. For years, breakfast goers have turned to Kashi for nutrition in their morning bowl. And at first glance, Kashi seems to follow through — they offer 6 grams of fiber, 13 grams of whole grains, and 10 grams of protein per serving.

But once you keep reading, things go a bit downhill. The peanut butter variety of Kashi Go (formerly known as Kashi GoLean Crunch) contains 10 grams of sugar per serving, 230 calories, and unwanted ingredients including canola oil, molasses, and cane sugar. Sorry, Kashi, but that just won’t cut it.

2. Nature’s Path Love Crunch

When you think of granola, you probably think of parfaits, fresh fruit, and a continental breakfast. Unfortunately, granola is often high in added sugar. Nature’s Path Organic creates a granola with dark chocolate and red berries that contains 6 grams of sugar and 20 grams of carbohydrates — for just a mere fourth-cup serving.

In other words, for a full cup (which is the standard serving size for other cereals on this list), you’d be packing in a whopping 24 grams of sugar. If you’re looking to kickstart your weight loss efforts, this chocolatey granola isn’t it.

3. Fiber One Original Bran

When you begin any weight loss journey, upping your fiber content is one of the most common pieces of advice you’ll receive. Fiber One cereal is known for containing high doses of dietary fiber, and they deliver on their reputation. Their Original Bran variety contains 14 grams of fiber per serving, which is over half of your daily value. The benefits don’t stop there — Fiber One contains just 90 calories, and only 1 gram of fat.

But that’s where the positive attributes come to a screeching halt. Fiber One cereal barely contains any protein (just 3 grams per serving) and contains an astronomical 34 grams of total carbohydrates — not exactly conducive to your weight loss goals.

4. Special K Original

Kellogg’s Special K Original cereal has long been touted for its weight loss benefits. We mean, hey — they had an entire diet dedicated to a single product. But once you take a closer look at Special K’s nutrition label, you start wondering where all these weight loss claims came from.

In a single serving, you’ll get 39 grams of total carbohydrates with only 7 grams of protein. On top of that, you’ll get 5 grams of sugar, and just a 1 gram of dietary fiber. Not so special, is it?

5. Peanut Butter Puffins

When it comes to healthy cereal, Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins checks off quite a few boxes. It contains just 110 calories, is non-GMO verified, gluten-free, and vegan. On the other hand, it contains 6 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, and a whopping 23 grams of total carbs per serving. This isn’t exactly ideal when you’re trying to follow a low-carb, high-protein diet.

6. Original Cheerios

Cheerios has long tooted its own horn as one of the healthiest cereals on the market. And we’ll give them a little credit here as they do have a few things going for them. They contain 12 vitamins and minerals, only 1 gram of sugar (not bad General Mills, not bad), and just 100 calories.

The problem is, if you’re looking to lose weight, these whole grain oats simply contain too many carbs for you to hit your goals. With 20 grams of total carbs (and just 3 grams of fiber) per serving, you may want to dip your spoon into another bowl to get your fill.

7. All-Bran Complete Wheat Flakes

Listen, we know we’re biased when it comes to cereal. But in our not-so-humble opinion, if we’re eating a bowl of plain bran, it better be the healthiest breakfast option in the cupboard. And unfortunately, with Kellogg’s All-Bran Complete Wheat Flakes, that’s not the case.

This bowl contains just 4 grams of protein, which isn’t enough to fuel you through lunchtime. Plus, it contains 7 grams of sugar and 30 grams of carbohydrates. In fact, sugar and brown sugar syrup are listed as two of the top four ingredients, which won’t help your weight loss goals.

8. Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal

Better known for their sprouted breads, Ezekiel also has whole-grain cold cereal that’s vegan-friendly. Made with barley, soybeans, lentils, millet, and wheat, the cereal is high in fiber. However, this cereal is also extremely high in calories compared to other brands, containing 190 calories for just a half-cup serving.

Plus, that half cup contains 40 grams of carbs, the second-highest carb tally on this list. They do have one thing going for them though — one serving contains 0 grams of sugar, which no other cereal here (except us, of course) can say.

9. Cascadian Farm Lemon Blueberry Granola

With Cascadian Farm’s lemon blueberry cereal, you’ll get whole grain oats, pumpkin seeds, and dried blueberries. Their ingredients list is short, which we appreciate, but we were hoping to find other nutrient-dense foods in the mix, such as flaxseeds and chia seeds, that are found in homemade granola.

Here’s another reason we’re not impressed: This granola lists honey and cane sugar as two of their top ingredients. Plus, it packs 6 grams of sugar and 120 calories in a tiny, fourth-cup serving.

10. Grape-Nuts

Like many other cereals on this list, Grape-Nuts have long been placed into the “best healthy cereals” category. However, when we glance their nutrition label, we’re left wondering why.

First of all, it’s extremely high in calories, containing 200 calories per half cup. Secondly, it contains a show-stopping 47 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of sugar. Sure, they only contain five ingredients on their entire label (wheat flour, barley flour, salt, and yeast), but with such high tallies in carbs and calories, it’s best to skip this box in the cereal aisle.

For the Best Cereal for Weight Loss, Go With Cereal School

When it comes to low calories, zero sugar, and low carbohydrates, there’s only one cereal brand that delivers: The Cereal School.

With Cereal School, we deliver on our healthy promises. With 16 grams of protein to fuel you through the day, just 1 gram of carbs, and not a speck of sugar (or any artificial ingredients) in sight, this is the high-protein, sugar-free cereal you’ve been waiting for.

Plus, unlike many cereals listed above (yeah, we’re looking at you Grape-Nuts), we come in flavors you’ll actually look forward to. With flavors like Cinnamon Bun, Cocoa, and Fruity, this is the sweet-tasting, crunchy cereal that will pick you up and won’t weigh you down.

10 Best Healthy Cereal Brands for Weight Loss

Despite reports of the breakfast staple’s declining popularity, cold cereal is still the most popular breakfast in America over eggs and yogurt, according to global information and measurement company, Nielsen. And it’s easy to see why. Cereal is easy to prepare and it’s relatively inexpensive compared to other a.m. favorites like yogurt parfaits and coffee-shop egg sandwiches. Not to mention, those delicious, colorful flakes and are downright delicious. But when you’re trying to lose weight, picking a healthy cereal over a box Count Chocula could make all the difference.

For every healthy pick on the supermarket shelf, it seems there are dozens of diet-derailing options (often slapped with misleading weight-loss claims) that are overflowing with health-harming sugar and void of any nutritional value. However, if you know what to look for, you can munch your way to a fitter, trimmer you. While the cereal boxes below don’t have a cute cartoon character on the front or a prize at the bottom, they will fuel your day right and help you reach your better-body goals in no time!

To start your day on the right foot, you have to choose the right bowl. These 10 healthy cereal options are the way to go.

Kashi Go Cinnamon Crisp

3/4 cup: 180 calories, 4 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 125 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (9 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 11 g protein

Nine grams of heart-healthy, belly-filling fiber goes a long way toward making up for your lack of fiber in your daily diet. Most Americans are only reaching 15 grams of fiber whereas you should be eating upwards of 28 grams of fiber per day. This healthy cereal not only tastes delicious with milk but also makes a sweet, crunchy addition to plain Greek yogurt.


Barbara’s Morning Oat Crunch Cereal

1-1/4 cup: 210 calories, 2.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 230 mg sodium, 45 g carbs (6 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 8 g protein

Sure they may not go “snap, crackle, pop” but this 100 percent whole-grain, healthy cereal is a more nutritious choice than the brand you’re likely thinking of. This lower-sugar cereal carries a slightly nutty flavor and pairs well with both strawberries and raspberries. These fruits provide an additional hunger-busting dose of fiber, ensuring you’ll stay satiated until lunch.


Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries

1-1/4 cup: 140 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (3 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 3 g protein

This cereal employs wheat bran to up its fiber count and freeze-dried strawberries for some natural sweetness. While the flakes obviously pair well with milk and spoon, they also make for an iron- and vitamin C-rich base for a sweet and salty trail mix. Just add pretzel sticks, almonds, and walnuts.


Post Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Wheat ‘n Bran

1-1/3 cup: 210 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 49 g carbs (8 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 7 g protein

This healthy cereal is made with just whole-grain wheat and wheat bran—a pure base crying out for fresh blueberries or bananas. In addition to serving up a decent share of hunger-quelling protein and fiber in every bowl, Wheat ‘n Bran also provides 20 percent of the day’s phosphorus, a mineral that plays an important role in how the body uses carbs and fats. It also helps the body make protein. Don’t forget: The more protein you’ve got, the more calories you burn at rest, so this is a great added bonus to your morning cereal bowl!

Ezekiel 4:9 Cinnamon Raisin Whole Grain Cereal

1/2 cup: 190 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (5 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 7 g protein

Post and Total varieties of Raisin Bran carry between 17 and 19 grams of the sweet stuff. Ezekiel 4:9 Raisin Bran has less than half that amount, making it the clear winner in the category. The only downside is that these flakes aren’t fortified with the same alphabet of vitamins typically found in cereal boxes—but that’s no reason to pass them up. Just be sure to compensate by taking in an array of nutrients throughout the day.


Nature’s Path Organic Whole O’s

1 cup: 160 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (4 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 4 g protein

Cereals rich in fiber and whole grains reduce the risk of disease and early death, say Harvard School of Public Health researchers. Lucky for you, these O’s are made with fiber-rich whole grains like brown rice and corn.

Cascadian Buzz Crunch Cereal

1 cup: 210 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 44 g carbs (3 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 4 g protein

This organic healthy cereal contains 12 fewer grams of sugar than the same size serving of Honey Bunches of Oats. Plus, it’s made with whole grain wheat, corn, and oats.

General Mills Wheaties

3/4 cup: 110 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (3 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 2 g protein

Low in calories and sugar, high in gut-filling fiber and loaded with 45 percent of the day’s muscle-building iron, Wheaties really is the breakfast of champions. Although it isn’t particularly flavorful, it does make a good base for nutritious add-ins like berries and nuts.

General Mills Fiber One

1/2 cup: 60 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (14 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 2 g protein

If you used to avoid this super fiber-filled cereal because of its inclusion of aspartame, we’ve got some good news! General Mills recently gave the controversial ingredient the ax. So go ahead and sprinkle this healthy cereal over Greek yogurt instead of granola for a fiber- and protein-filled start to the day.

General Mills Kix

1-1/4 cup: 110 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (3 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 2 g protein

Kid-tested, nutritionist-approved, this childhood fave is one low-sugar kids’ cereal we can actually get behind. Give it a grown-up spin by adding blueberries to your crispy corn puff-filled bowl. Not only is the duo delicious, but the fruit also lends some disease-fighting antioxidants and additional fiber. This healthy cereal is a win-win!

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13 Best Healthy Breakfast Cereals For Weight Loss Charushila Biswas Hyderabd040-395603080 November 22, 2019

Mornings are always rushed. And that’s why cereals are one of the best options for a quick and filling breakfast. But if you are trying to lose weight, the high-calorie and sugar-loaded breakfast cereals may not be ideal for you. However, by carefully choosing cereals with less than 10 g of sugar and at least 3 g of fiber, and having 1-2 servings, you will not consume the extra calories (1). The high fiber content will keep you satiated for a long duration and cleanse your colon as well (2), (3). This article lists 13 best cereals for weight loss with their nutrition facts and ways to consume them. Take a look.

Products Check Price
Kellogg’s All-Bran Check Price
General Mills KiX Check Price
General Mills Fiber One Check Price
Post Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Wheat’n Bran Check Price
Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Check Price
Kellogg’s Bite Size Unfrosted Mini-Wheats Check Price
Nature’s Path Organic Smart Bran Check Price
Kashi GoLean Check Price
Quaker Oatmeal Lower Sugar Maple & Brown Sugar Check Price
Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets Check Price

Tip: Use full-fat milk to remain satiated for at least two hours and get all the nutritional benefits of milk.

13 Best Breakfast Cereals For Weight Loss

1. Kellogg’s All-Bran

Serving Size: ¾ cup

Calories Carbs (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Fat Saturated Fat (g)
90 15 3 5 5 0.5 0

Kellogg’s All-Bran is a wheat bran breakfast that is high in fiber and protein and low in calories and sugar. It helps cleanse your colon due to its high-fiber content. It is also fortified with essential nutrients like iron, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. If the serving size is not enough for you, add a few slices of banana and a few sunflower seeds to make it filling and get a dose of healthy fats.

2. General Mills KiX

Serving Size: 3/4 cup

Calories Carbs (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Fat Saturated Fat (g)
88 20 1.6 2.5 2.5 1 0

General Mills KiX is a whole grain corn toasted and puffed cold cereal, which was first introduced in 1937. This energy-rich, low-cal cereal adds the perfect crunch to snap you out of sleep. Add cold milk, a few slices of banana, a few berries, and some sunflower seeds – and a good, wholesome breakfast is ready! Add a few halved strawberries and pepitas to add vitamin C and healthy fats.

3. General Mills Fiber One

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Calories Carbs (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Fat Saturated Fat (g)
60 25 3 19 0 1 0

General Mills Fiber One is made of whole grain wheat, corn bran, guar gram, and modified wheat starch and is fortified with calcium, iron, zinc, vitamins A and C and B vitamins. It serves about 57% of the daily value of fiber and is hence a great food to keep your gut clean and improve your satiety levels.

4. Post Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Wheat’n Bran

Serving Size: 1 ¼ cups

Calories Carbs (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Fat Saturated Fat (g)
210 48 6 9 0 1 0

This cereal is made of whole grain wheat and wheat bran. It is perfect for those with higher requirements of cereal as per height, weight, age, and activity. This cereal is loaded with fiber and protein and fortified with iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper. It has no saturated fats. Add chilled whole milk and a few berries, and enjoy this crispy breakfast bowl without the risk of weight gain.

5. Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories Carbs (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Fat Saturated Fat (g)
110 25 2 1 1 0 0

Who doesn’t love rice krispies! Erewhon has come up with a healthy version that can be consumed for breakfast. This puffed crisp cereal is made with organic brown rice, gluten-free organic brown rice syrup, and sea salt. It is a good low-cal breakfast that can be enjoyed with yogurt or milk and a few berries and almonds.

6. Kellogg’s Bite Size Unfrosted Mini-Wheats

Serving Size: 30 pieces

Calories Carbs (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Fat Saturated Fat (g)
190 45 6 8 0 1 0

This is made of whole grain wheat and is fortified with reduced iron, vitamins B1, B6, B2, and B12, folic acid, and zinc oxide. This high-fiber, low-cal, and high-protein breakfast is perfect to start your day. Add some chopped apples, chia seeds, and one chopped date to make it more delicious.

7. Nature’s Path Organic Smart Bran

Serving Size: ¾ cup

Calories Carbs (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Fat Saturated Fat (g)
110 32 4 17 8 1 0

Nature’s Path Organic Smart Bran is a vegan-friendly healthy breakfast cereal. It is made of wheat bran, oat fiber, barley malt extract, psyllium seed husk, whole oat flour, cane sugar, and sea salt. It is high in dietary fiber. Have this cereal with hot or cold full-fat milk and a few sunflower seeds for a complete meal that will keep you full for the next two hours.

8. Kashi GoLean

Serving Size: 1 ¼ cups

Calories Carbs (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Fat Saturated Fat (g)
180 40 12 13 8 2 0

Kashi GoLean is a yummy and healthy breakfast cereal made of brown rice, hard red wheat, oats, buckwheat, sesame seeds, honey, barley, cane syrup, wheat bran, oat fiber, sesame flour, and corn bran. This cereal is also loaded with iron, calcium, and magnesium. Add some cold milk, a few hazelnuts, and a few slices of peach to have a yummy breakfast before you start your day.

9. Quaker Instant Oatmeal Lower Sugar Maple & Brown Sugar

Serving Size: 1 packet (the pack contains 10 packets)

Calories Carbs (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Fat Saturated Fat (g)
120 24 4 3 4 2 0

Low sugar oatmeal may “sound” bland, but according to the brand, Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Lower Sugar, Maple & Brown Sugar is a delicious and wholesome bowl of cereal. And the maple syrup and brown sugar help enhance the taste without increasing the calorie count. It is primarily made of whole grain rolled oats and is a good source of calcium, iron, and vitamins. Toss in a few blueberries with cold almond milk or whole cow milk to enjoy a yummy breakfast in the morning.

10. Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets

Serving Size: ½ cup

Calories Carbs (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Fat Saturated Fat (g)
210 47 7 7 3 1.5 0

These crunchy nuggets are made of sesame seeds, whole wheat flour, oats, buckwheat, barley, rye, and hard red wheat. They are good sources of iron, magnesium, dietary fiber, and protein. This cereal keeps your hunger pangs at bay, supports bowel movement, and helps reduce body fat. Add some cold or hot milk, toss in chopped dates, a spoon of peanut butter, and goji berries. Your healthy and yummy breakfast is ready!

11. Post Bran Flakes

Serving Size: ¾ cup

Calories Carbs (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Fat Saturated Fat (g)
100 24 3 5 5 0.5 0

Post Bran Flakes are made of whole grain wheat, wheat bran, wheat flour, malted barley flour. They are loaded with reduced iron, zinc oxide, vitamins B6, B1, B12, B2, and D. The good carbs in this cereal provide you with the much-needed energy in the morning and also keep you full for one to two hours. Add frozen fruits and yogurt to make a delicious breakfast bowl. You can also add cold milk, half a teaspoon of dark chocolate, and a few frozen berries and blitz it to take to work or school.

12. General Mills Wheaties

Serving Size: ¾ cup

Calories Carbs (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Fat Saturated Fat (g)
100 23 2 3 4 0.5 0

General Mills Wheaties are toasted wheat flakes that help lower your cholesterol levels and mobilize the fat. They are mainly made of whole grain wheat and contain vitamins E, C, A, B12, B6, B2, D3, calcium carbonate, iron, and zinc. Add cold milk, some banana slices, and a teaspoon of ground flax seeds to have a wholesome and quick breakfast.

13. Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories Carbs (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Fat Saturated Fat (g)
110 27 2 3 9 0 0

Kellogg’s Special K is touted as one of the best cereals to have for breakfast and lunch or dinner if you are trying to lose weight. The Red Berries flavor tastes yummy and doesn’t make you feel like you are on a diet. It is made of whole grain wheat, rice, wheat bran, soluble wheat fiber, and brown sugar syrup. Plus, it is a great source of vitamins C, B1, B2, B12, and D3, and iron. Add a dried fig, slices of half an apple, and a pinch of cinnamon to have a delicious and filling breakfast.

These are the 13 best breakfast cereals that will help you lose weight. But, you do not HAVE to stick to only consuming these cereals. Here are a few other cereals that are known to promote weight loss and prevent weight gain.

Cereals That Help Lose Weight

  • Muesli
  • Wheat Flakes
  • Oats
  • Oat Bran
  • Wheat Bran
  • Homemade Granola

To close, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And skipping it is out of question if you are serious about shedding a few pounds. Add fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole milk to your low-sugar and high-fiber breakfast cereal to jump-start your day, stay energetic, and lose the unwanted flab. Get your pack of healthy breakfast cereal, today! Take care!

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.

At the moment, I have a box of Multi Grain Cheerios on the counter. I mostly eat it for breakfast, although today I had it for lunch since I had chicken and arugula quesadillas for breakfast.

Anyways, Cheerios advertises this particular kind of cereal by saying that people who choose their kind of foodstuff are thinner.

The back of the box, which claims that the cereal can help you lose weight.

Transcript: “I love looking my best. That’s why I lead a healthy lifestyle and make Multi Grain Cheerios cereal a part of my sensible diet. People who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don’t.

With 20 grams of whole grain and 110 lightly sweetened calories, Multi Grain Cheerios is a delicious way to help me look fabulous!

More grains, less you!”

Well then. It’s pretty clear what the words on the back of the box are telling you: if you eat more whole grains, you’ll lose more weight and be thinner.

But is that true?

(Never mind the fact that the spokesperson is presumed to be a female, complete with slender silhouette. Never mind the fact that the implication is that only women need to worry about counting pounds and being thin. And never mind the fact that the implication is that the only way for a female to to look her best is to be thinner. That’s not really the point of this post.)

Well, here’s what I found in five minutes on PubMed:

The Role of Whole Grains in Body Weight Regulation is quite damning to say the least. This study took a look at the clinical trials done on whole grain and came to the conclusion that consuming whole grains on their own does not have a role in promoting weight loss. While the study acknowledges that there are chemicals involved that help to regulate appetite, it also states that it varies from grain to grain and from processing method to processing method, and that on balance, there are absolutely no effects.

This systematic review on ready to eat cereals (including the aforementioned Cheerios) came to the conclusion that the current studies are rather inconsistent in their results and recommends doctors to issue advice on weight management and encourage people to choose healthier cereals (which, inevitably, include whole grain). Note the fact that it includes additional advice on weight management, which would include watching one’s caloric intake and exercising more.

This trial checked to see whether eating whole grains will help postmenupausal women to lose weight. From the abstract, 79 women were randomized into two groups, one group eating refined wheat as part of their restricted calorie diets and the other group eating whole grains. These women were on these diets for twelve weeks. The researchers noted that while weight loss did occur in both groups, there was no difference in the amount of weight lost. The researchers also noted that there were changes in low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and body fat percentage, with the group consuming whole grain to have lower levels of each, which suggests a cardiovascular role. However, I should note that this was a study of 79 people, which to me doesn’t really seem to be a large enough sample size. Nevertheless, this study found no difference in the amount of weight loss between those consuming whole grains or refined grains.

Finally, we have this randomized control trial, which studied whether whole grain oat ready to eat cereal, as part of a dietary program for weight loss, reduces low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) compared to those eating a lower fiber diet. The study had 204 participants, 144 which made it into the final analysis, and had the groups eating 500 calories less and exercising more. They noted that those who were eating whole grain oat ready to eat cereal had lower LDL levels than those who were eating a low fiber diet. However, they also noted that the amount of weight loss did not differ between groups, although they noted that those who had whole grains had a smaller weight circumference.

So what does this mean?

What it seems to say is that whether you’re eating whole grains or not doesn’t really make a difference in how much weight you lose. Studies show that there MIGHT make a difference towards your LDL cholesterol levels (which is totally a good thing!), but it won’t change the amount of weight you lose.

This makes sense. The laws of thermodynamics show that in order to stay at the same weight you are today, you have to use the same amount of calories as you eat. If you consume more calories than you use, you gain weight. If you use more calories than you consume, you lose weight. To your body, it doesn’t matter what you’re eating, but how much. You can, theoretically, lose weight on Twinkies so long as you exercise more than you consume, although I highly do not recommend this for numerous reasons, including the fact that Twinkies are high in saturated fat and low in various micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Also, to be honest, I don’t really like the taste of Twinkies.

So why does Cheerios claim that eating whole grains will help you lose more weight?

I’m going to speculate here and say that what likely happened was that they did an observational study (or a survey) of people who ate whole grain, where they found that people who were more likely to choose whole grain were also more likely to be healthier and thinner. However, the problem with surveys is that it doesn’t account for confounding variables. For example, people who choose whole grain are also more likely to exercise more, more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables, and more likely to be aware of ways to stay healthy.

The moral of this story? Be skeptical when it comes to health claims, especially in advertising. If something sounds too good to be true, ask. Look up health claims to see whether the science supports it. And don’t forget to exercise!

Last week I wrapped up a 10-week exercise and weight loss challenge with a group of people at my local workout facility. Most of us were not exercising at all at the beginning of the challenge and by the end, we were working out an average of 5 times a week, doing a combination of cardio and strength training activities.

The participant who lost the most weight during the challenge (it was a man…of course…) shared about how he got over a plateau in his weight loss journey that happened about halfway through the challenge. It really struck me as something to take to heart, because he made a change that few people would expect to be the key to losing more weight: he started eating breakfast.

A photo posted by Tiffany (@stuffparentsneed) on Mar 18, 2015 at 7:12am PDT

He was in a long standing habit of just having coffee for breakfast, and even though he knew what we have all heard time and time again, which is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, from his perspective, it was tough on his crunched morning schedule and since he was trying to lose weight, it was just more calories, so why bother? But our nutritionist encouraged him to give it a try so that his body wouldn’t think it was starving and needing to hold on to any fat already stored. And guess what? It worked!

Historically, I have always been a BIG fan of breakfast. In fact, for many years of my life I had to eat within 15 minutes of waking up or I would feel physically ill. I think my coffee habit has put a damper on my appetite first thing in the morning, and as a result, I haven’t been skipping breakfast, but it is not uncommon for me to be awake 2-3 hours before I eat breakfast. This is not good, friends! My body needs some water and some good nutrients right off the bat in order for it to not be out of whack and to assume that it isn’t getting fed and therefore needs to hold on to what I’ve already got.

A #BetterBreakfast Routine

Inspired by my workout buddy’s great success with a good breakfast, I headed over to Publix to pick up a winning combination: Cheerios and 100% Florida Orange Juice. They actually have a SWEET coupon in their Lucky Saving flyer right now(which you can find at the front entrance of your local store OR at the customer service desk). If you purchase both of these products, you can take $2 off the total bill. You can also find a Cheerios digital coupon for $1/2 boxes at Awesome! So why this particular combination? Well, Cheerios makes for a great choice because it is made from whole-grain oats and it does not have artificial flavors or colors. Those are two things I’m trying to eliminate as much as I can from our diets because they sort of freak me out. It is also a low fat and cholesterol-free choice. Finally, in case you haven’t noticed, boxed cereals can be absolutely loaded with sugar, but Cheerios has just one gram of sugar per serving. Nice!

Pairing cheerios with an 8 oz glass of 100% Florida orange juice will give you lots of vitamin C (100% of your daily need, in fact!) and vitamin C helps maintain a healthy immune system. Orange juice also contains potassium which is great for heart health. Also? It’s delicious! 🙂

I personally like my Cheerios best with sliced bananas. And for an extra special treat, try it with a small drizzle of honey!

Win it!: I want you to get to experience the super fast, super simple and super awesome breakfast pairing of Cheerios + OJ (and don’t forget that $2 off coupon!), so I’m hosting a giveaway for $15 PayPal so you be on your way to a #BetterBreakfast routine, my treat!

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Nothing makes us more nostalgic of our childhoods like enjoying a bowl of candy-colored cereal with cold milk. But as we now know as adults, many cereals we enjoyed as kids, whether it’s Fruit Loops or Captain Crunch, are laced with sugar and refined carbs.

Fortunately, there are plenty of crunchy, whole grain cereal options you can enjoy for your everyday breakfast, without cashing in too much of the sweet stuff. Like all things with food and nutrition, ensuring you’re enjoying a healthy cereal comes down to reading the nutrition label and ingredient list. Here’s what you should look for.

How to shop for healthy cereal

Naturally, the first place you should look on the nutrition label is the carbs category, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of and author of Read It Before You Eat It – Taking You from Label to Table. “These days, popular diets bash carbs, so people think if this is a high number, they shouldn’t have it,” she says. “But really, you need to think about portion size and the type of carb.”

– Look for 100 percent whole grains. The best kind of carbohydrate for your cereal is whole grains—which should take the first spot on the ingredient list. Look for words like 100 percent whole wheat, wheat bran, or another variety like rye. “ help keep us full, while providing lots of minerals and vitamins, like B vitamins,” Taub-Dix says.

You don’t necessarily need a ton of fat in your cereal, as that macronutrient will come from other sources throughout your day. But if you want to make your bowl more satiating, Taub-Dix suggests adding some nuts. They add some healthy fats and a bit more crunch, too.

– Aim for five grams of fiber per serving. The other major item you should check for is fiber. “Fiber is really important to look for in cereal, because we don’t get enough as it is and whole-grain cereal is a great way to get it in the morning,” Taub-Dix says. Choose brands with at least five grams of fiber in each serving, with a mix of soluble (which can help decrease the risk of disease, stabilize blood sugar, and lower cholesterol) and insoluble (the type that keeps your digestive system moving).

Kristen Smith, RD, Atlanta-based dietitian, founder of 360 Degree Family Nutrition and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says adults should get 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day.

– Opt for brands with five grams or less of sugar per serving. On the flip side of much-needed fiber, you have unnecessary sugar. “A good thing to know is that when there’s a lot of added sugar, there will also be a high carbohydrate number,” says Taub-Dix. The closer the sugar number is to the carb number on the nutrition label, the more sweet stuff and less grains there are in the box. So keep sugar under control by choosing brands with about five grams or less of sugar per serving.

-Be sure there’s protein. Smith says to go for a bowl with three to five grams of the muscle-building macronutrient.

For a hearty bowl of grains, check out this list of the best healthy cereals.

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