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The Healthiest and Unhealthiest Breakfast Cereals

The Healthiest and Unhealthiest Breakfast Cereals

You may be surprised to learn that your favorite cereal has more sugar than you think

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Eating breakfast is a great way to start your day but if you're a cereal lover, you'll probably want to learn which ones are the healthiest — and unhealthiest.

If you’re heading down the cereal aisle, there are certain nutrition facts to pay attention to. Some of the most important components of cereal that we need at breakfast time include limited sugar, tons of fiber, healthy ingredients, protein, and a portion size that will contain the right amount of calories needed to maintain a healthy weight.

Click here for The Healthiest and Unhealthiest Breakfast Cereals slideshow.

For a cereal to be considered healthy, it should have fewer than 10 grams of sugar per serving. Otherwise, it turns into a dessert breakfast. Having too much sugar in the morning will lead you to a sugar crash, and we promise this is not a pleasant experience to have as you walk into work. To keep you satisfied until lunch time, select cereals that have at least three grams of fiber per serving. The same goes for protein; cereals that have more than five grams of protein per serving will keep you full and prevent overeating later in the day.

You may be thinking, “How can I spend time analyzing all of those different factors?” The Daily Meal is making it a little bit easier for you by comparing the sugar, fiber, protein, and fat content of ten popular cereals so that you can select the healthiest (and avoid the unhealthiest) out of the bunch.

Healthy – Kashi Cinnamon Harvest Whole Wheat Biscuits


There are only four ingredients are in this delicious cereal, but the taste doesn’t suffer. With six grams of protein and five grams of fiber per serving, the crunchy biscuits are made with whole-grain wheat. You can have 28 biscuits for only 180 calories and nine grams of sugar, which could also double as an on-the-go snack.

Healthy – Kashi GoLean Vanilla Graham Clusters


This cereal is sweet and has a whopping nine grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein for just one cup. This 170-calorie breakfast has nine grams of sugar and is the perfect way to get you through the morning and keep you full until lunch.


The Healthiest Breakfast Cereals, Ranked By Nutritionists

Although debate continues on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day, breakfast cereal sales keep growing year after year, with $15 billion in revenue expected in 2018.

Though cereal is certainly appealing for its quick and easy preparation, sorting through the multitudes of options at grocery aisles can be a tricky task if you’re looking for something healthy. It’s a good rule of thumb to steer clear of artificially colored cereals with cartoon characters on the box, but other seemingly nutritious brands tout misleading claims of wholesome ingredients and other health benefits, concealing some not-so-great qualities, such as excessive added sugar.

We chatted with two nutritionists to get some clarity on what makes for a healthy cereal, and asked them to rank the nation’s most popular varieties.

Here are America’s nine top-selling cereals, according to 2017 figures from Chicago-based data firm IRI:

  1. Honey Nut Cheerios
  2. Honey Bunches of Oats
  3. Frosted Flakes
  4. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  5. Cheerios
  6. Froot Loops
  7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
  8. Lucky Charms
  9. Raisin Bran

Here’s what our nutritionists look for in a healthy cereal

“I like to recommend shopping for whole grain options,” Amy Gorin, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York, told HuffPost. “You can take a look at the ingredients list of the cereal to check that the first ingredient is a whole grain. That ingredient might be whole wheat, oats, cornmeal or another whole grain.”

Gorin added that ample fiber (at least 3 grams per serving), some protein (at least 5 grams per serving) and a conservative amount of sugar (no more than 4-6 grams per serving) is also ideal. “Protein and fiber help keep you fuller for longer, and we should try and limit our intake of added sugar,” she said.

Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and media rep for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommended checking out the total carbohydrates as well, ideally 45-60 grams per meal, to make sure you have enough energy to power through the morning.

Here’s what they try to avoid

When it comes to added sugar, less is better, and when possible opt for fruit to add sweetness rather than table sugar, Valdez said.

Unlike whole grains, refined grains like white flour and degerminated cornmeal have been stripped of most of their fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are more quickly digested and have a high glycemic index, which may lead to overeating.

Those with high blood pressure or a family history of this condition should also take note of the amount of sodium in cereal, Valdez said. Aim for less than 5 percent of the daily value.

When looking at a nutrition label, it’s important to note the serving size, which can vary widely from cereal to cereal. Remember that the size of your favorite bowl does not a serving make. Ready-to-eat cereals range from 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups and granolas are usually around 1/3 cup.

The first ranking

Below is Valdez’s ranking of these cereals from healthiest to least healthy, with key nutrition facts for reference.

“In general when choosing cereals, I always look at the protein and fiber content more than anything,” says Valdez. “These are the components that will help you stay fuller for longer. If you have a low-calorie breakfast, you will likely have cravings later. and are more likely to eat more.”

Of his top pick, Raisin Bran, Valdez said, “The added sugar is coming from the raisins, versus table sugar. Raisins are grapes and they contains antioxidants.” Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes, the refined grain options of the bunch, are ranked lowest.

  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (59 g)
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 18g (9g added sugar)
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (32g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 21 biscuits (54 g)
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (31 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (27 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

8. Froot Loops (not whole grain, good fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? Partially (the first ingredient is a corn flour blend containing whole grain corn flour and degerminated yellow corn flour)
  • Serving size: 1 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

9. Frosted Flakes (not whole grain, very little fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? No (first ingredient is milled corn)
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber:

1. Cheerios
2. Honey Bunches of Oats
3. Raisin Bran
4. Honey Nut Cheerios
5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
6. Lucky Charms
7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
8. Froot Loops
9. Frosted Flakes

Other nutritionist-approved cereals

Valdez’s short list includes Special K Protein Cereal, featuring 10 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving, relatively low sugar (7 grams) and adequate fiber (3 grams). Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes Cereal is also on the list, with 6 grams of protein per 1-cup serving, low sugar (6 grams) and high fiber (6 grams). Lastly, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal has 5 grams of protein per 1 1/2 cup serving, no sugar or sodium and a good amount of fiber (4 grams).

Gorin’s favorite options also include Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal, plus Kind Healthy Grains Dark Chocolate Whole Grain Clusters. “A lot of granolas are higher in calories, saturated fat or sugar,” Gorin said. “This option is just 110 calories per 1/3 cup serving and is a good source of filling protein… It’s also lower in added sugar. It has a base of five different whole grains, with oats as the first ingredient.”

“At the end of the day, don’t feel guilty if you have Frosted Flakes in the morning,” Valdez said. “The meal doesn’t matter as much as the collective diet. Now if you were to eat Frosted Flakes all day, that’s a different story.”

No matter which cereal you choose, he recommended complementing it with a few additions to round out your breakfast and reach a target 25-30 grams of protein per meal. This can be achieved by adding a cup of lowfat milk and fruit to cereal, plus three eggs with spinach or other mixed vegetables and garlic (which add fiber and antioxidants).


The Healthiest Breakfast Cereals, Ranked By Nutritionists

Although debate continues on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day, breakfast cereal sales keep growing year after year, with $15 billion in revenue expected in 2018.

Though cereal is certainly appealing for its quick and easy preparation, sorting through the multitudes of options at grocery aisles can be a tricky task if you’re looking for something healthy. It’s a good rule of thumb to steer clear of artificially colored cereals with cartoon characters on the box, but other seemingly nutritious brands tout misleading claims of wholesome ingredients and other health benefits, concealing some not-so-great qualities, such as excessive added sugar.

We chatted with two nutritionists to get some clarity on what makes for a healthy cereal, and asked them to rank the nation’s most popular varieties.

Here are America’s nine top-selling cereals, according to 2017 figures from Chicago-based data firm IRI:

  1. Honey Nut Cheerios
  2. Honey Bunches of Oats
  3. Frosted Flakes
  4. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  5. Cheerios
  6. Froot Loops
  7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
  8. Lucky Charms
  9. Raisin Bran

Here’s what our nutritionists look for in a healthy cereal

“I like to recommend shopping for whole grain options,” Amy Gorin, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York, told HuffPost. “You can take a look at the ingredients list of the cereal to check that the first ingredient is a whole grain. That ingredient might be whole wheat, oats, cornmeal or another whole grain.”

Gorin added that ample fiber (at least 3 grams per serving), some protein (at least 5 grams per serving) and a conservative amount of sugar (no more than 4-6 grams per serving) is also ideal. “Protein and fiber help keep you fuller for longer, and we should try and limit our intake of added sugar,” she said.

Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and media rep for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommended checking out the total carbohydrates as well, ideally 45-60 grams per meal, to make sure you have enough energy to power through the morning.

Here’s what they try to avoid

When it comes to added sugar, less is better, and when possible opt for fruit to add sweetness rather than table sugar, Valdez said.

Unlike whole grains, refined grains like white flour and degerminated cornmeal have been stripped of most of their fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are more quickly digested and have a high glycemic index, which may lead to overeating.

Those with high blood pressure or a family history of this condition should also take note of the amount of sodium in cereal, Valdez said. Aim for less than 5 percent of the daily value.

When looking at a nutrition label, it’s important to note the serving size, which can vary widely from cereal to cereal. Remember that the size of your favorite bowl does not a serving make. Ready-to-eat cereals range from 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups and granolas are usually around 1/3 cup.

The first ranking

Below is Valdez’s ranking of these cereals from healthiest to least healthy, with key nutrition facts for reference.

“In general when choosing cereals, I always look at the protein and fiber content more than anything,” says Valdez. “These are the components that will help you stay fuller for longer. If you have a low-calorie breakfast, you will likely have cravings later. and are more likely to eat more.”

Of his top pick, Raisin Bran, Valdez said, “The added sugar is coming from the raisins, versus table sugar. Raisins are grapes and they contains antioxidants.” Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes, the refined grain options of the bunch, are ranked lowest.

  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (59 g)
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 18g (9g added sugar)
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (32g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 21 biscuits (54 g)
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (31 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (27 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

8. Froot Loops (not whole grain, good fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? Partially (the first ingredient is a corn flour blend containing whole grain corn flour and degerminated yellow corn flour)
  • Serving size: 1 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

9. Frosted Flakes (not whole grain, very little fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? No (first ingredient is milled corn)
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber:

1. Cheerios
2. Honey Bunches of Oats
3. Raisin Bran
4. Honey Nut Cheerios
5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
6. Lucky Charms
7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
8. Froot Loops
9. Frosted Flakes

Other nutritionist-approved cereals

Valdez’s short list includes Special K Protein Cereal, featuring 10 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving, relatively low sugar (7 grams) and adequate fiber (3 grams). Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes Cereal is also on the list, with 6 grams of protein per 1-cup serving, low sugar (6 grams) and high fiber (6 grams). Lastly, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal has 5 grams of protein per 1 1/2 cup serving, no sugar or sodium and a good amount of fiber (4 grams).

Gorin’s favorite options also include Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal, plus Kind Healthy Grains Dark Chocolate Whole Grain Clusters. “A lot of granolas are higher in calories, saturated fat or sugar,” Gorin said. “This option is just 110 calories per 1/3 cup serving and is a good source of filling protein… It’s also lower in added sugar. It has a base of five different whole grains, with oats as the first ingredient.”

“At the end of the day, don’t feel guilty if you have Frosted Flakes in the morning,” Valdez said. “The meal doesn’t matter as much as the collective diet. Now if you were to eat Frosted Flakes all day, that’s a different story.”

No matter which cereal you choose, he recommended complementing it with a few additions to round out your breakfast and reach a target 25-30 grams of protein per meal. This can be achieved by adding a cup of lowfat milk and fruit to cereal, plus three eggs with spinach or other mixed vegetables and garlic (which add fiber and antioxidants).


The Healthiest Breakfast Cereals, Ranked By Nutritionists

Although debate continues on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day, breakfast cereal sales keep growing year after year, with $15 billion in revenue expected in 2018.

Though cereal is certainly appealing for its quick and easy preparation, sorting through the multitudes of options at grocery aisles can be a tricky task if you’re looking for something healthy. It’s a good rule of thumb to steer clear of artificially colored cereals with cartoon characters on the box, but other seemingly nutritious brands tout misleading claims of wholesome ingredients and other health benefits, concealing some not-so-great qualities, such as excessive added sugar.

We chatted with two nutritionists to get some clarity on what makes for a healthy cereal, and asked them to rank the nation’s most popular varieties.

Here are America’s nine top-selling cereals, according to 2017 figures from Chicago-based data firm IRI:

  1. Honey Nut Cheerios
  2. Honey Bunches of Oats
  3. Frosted Flakes
  4. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  5. Cheerios
  6. Froot Loops
  7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
  8. Lucky Charms
  9. Raisin Bran

Here’s what our nutritionists look for in a healthy cereal

“I like to recommend shopping for whole grain options,” Amy Gorin, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York, told HuffPost. “You can take a look at the ingredients list of the cereal to check that the first ingredient is a whole grain. That ingredient might be whole wheat, oats, cornmeal or another whole grain.”

Gorin added that ample fiber (at least 3 grams per serving), some protein (at least 5 grams per serving) and a conservative amount of sugar (no more than 4-6 grams per serving) is also ideal. “Protein and fiber help keep you fuller for longer, and we should try and limit our intake of added sugar,” she said.

Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and media rep for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommended checking out the total carbohydrates as well, ideally 45-60 grams per meal, to make sure you have enough energy to power through the morning.

Here’s what they try to avoid

When it comes to added sugar, less is better, and when possible opt for fruit to add sweetness rather than table sugar, Valdez said.

Unlike whole grains, refined grains like white flour and degerminated cornmeal have been stripped of most of their fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are more quickly digested and have a high glycemic index, which may lead to overeating.

Those with high blood pressure or a family history of this condition should also take note of the amount of sodium in cereal, Valdez said. Aim for less than 5 percent of the daily value.

When looking at a nutrition label, it’s important to note the serving size, which can vary widely from cereal to cereal. Remember that the size of your favorite bowl does not a serving make. Ready-to-eat cereals range from 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups and granolas are usually around 1/3 cup.

The first ranking

Below is Valdez’s ranking of these cereals from healthiest to least healthy, with key nutrition facts for reference.

“In general when choosing cereals, I always look at the protein and fiber content more than anything,” says Valdez. “These are the components that will help you stay fuller for longer. If you have a low-calorie breakfast, you will likely have cravings later. and are more likely to eat more.”

Of his top pick, Raisin Bran, Valdez said, “The added sugar is coming from the raisins, versus table sugar. Raisins are grapes and they contains antioxidants.” Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes, the refined grain options of the bunch, are ranked lowest.

  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (59 g)
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 18g (9g added sugar)
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (32g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 21 biscuits (54 g)
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (31 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (27 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

8. Froot Loops (not whole grain, good fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? Partially (the first ingredient is a corn flour blend containing whole grain corn flour and degerminated yellow corn flour)
  • Serving size: 1 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

9. Frosted Flakes (not whole grain, very little fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? No (first ingredient is milled corn)
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber:

1. Cheerios
2. Honey Bunches of Oats
3. Raisin Bran
4. Honey Nut Cheerios
5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
6. Lucky Charms
7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
8. Froot Loops
9. Frosted Flakes

Other nutritionist-approved cereals

Valdez’s short list includes Special K Protein Cereal, featuring 10 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving, relatively low sugar (7 grams) and adequate fiber (3 grams). Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes Cereal is also on the list, with 6 grams of protein per 1-cup serving, low sugar (6 grams) and high fiber (6 grams). Lastly, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal has 5 grams of protein per 1 1/2 cup serving, no sugar or sodium and a good amount of fiber (4 grams).

Gorin’s favorite options also include Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal, plus Kind Healthy Grains Dark Chocolate Whole Grain Clusters. “A lot of granolas are higher in calories, saturated fat or sugar,” Gorin said. “This option is just 110 calories per 1/3 cup serving and is a good source of filling protein… It’s also lower in added sugar. It has a base of five different whole grains, with oats as the first ingredient.”

“At the end of the day, don’t feel guilty if you have Frosted Flakes in the morning,” Valdez said. “The meal doesn’t matter as much as the collective diet. Now if you were to eat Frosted Flakes all day, that’s a different story.”

No matter which cereal you choose, he recommended complementing it with a few additions to round out your breakfast and reach a target 25-30 grams of protein per meal. This can be achieved by adding a cup of lowfat milk and fruit to cereal, plus three eggs with spinach or other mixed vegetables and garlic (which add fiber and antioxidants).


The Healthiest Breakfast Cereals, Ranked By Nutritionists

Although debate continues on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day, breakfast cereal sales keep growing year after year, with $15 billion in revenue expected in 2018.

Though cereal is certainly appealing for its quick and easy preparation, sorting through the multitudes of options at grocery aisles can be a tricky task if you’re looking for something healthy. It’s a good rule of thumb to steer clear of artificially colored cereals with cartoon characters on the box, but other seemingly nutritious brands tout misleading claims of wholesome ingredients and other health benefits, concealing some not-so-great qualities, such as excessive added sugar.

We chatted with two nutritionists to get some clarity on what makes for a healthy cereal, and asked them to rank the nation’s most popular varieties.

Here are America’s nine top-selling cereals, according to 2017 figures from Chicago-based data firm IRI:

  1. Honey Nut Cheerios
  2. Honey Bunches of Oats
  3. Frosted Flakes
  4. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  5. Cheerios
  6. Froot Loops
  7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
  8. Lucky Charms
  9. Raisin Bran

Here’s what our nutritionists look for in a healthy cereal

“I like to recommend shopping for whole grain options,” Amy Gorin, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York, told HuffPost. “You can take a look at the ingredients list of the cereal to check that the first ingredient is a whole grain. That ingredient might be whole wheat, oats, cornmeal or another whole grain.”

Gorin added that ample fiber (at least 3 grams per serving), some protein (at least 5 grams per serving) and a conservative amount of sugar (no more than 4-6 grams per serving) is also ideal. “Protein and fiber help keep you fuller for longer, and we should try and limit our intake of added sugar,” she said.

Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and media rep for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommended checking out the total carbohydrates as well, ideally 45-60 grams per meal, to make sure you have enough energy to power through the morning.

Here’s what they try to avoid

When it comes to added sugar, less is better, and when possible opt for fruit to add sweetness rather than table sugar, Valdez said.

Unlike whole grains, refined grains like white flour and degerminated cornmeal have been stripped of most of their fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are more quickly digested and have a high glycemic index, which may lead to overeating.

Those with high blood pressure or a family history of this condition should also take note of the amount of sodium in cereal, Valdez said. Aim for less than 5 percent of the daily value.

When looking at a nutrition label, it’s important to note the serving size, which can vary widely from cereal to cereal. Remember that the size of your favorite bowl does not a serving make. Ready-to-eat cereals range from 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups and granolas are usually around 1/3 cup.

The first ranking

Below is Valdez’s ranking of these cereals from healthiest to least healthy, with key nutrition facts for reference.

“In general when choosing cereals, I always look at the protein and fiber content more than anything,” says Valdez. “These are the components that will help you stay fuller for longer. If you have a low-calorie breakfast, you will likely have cravings later. and are more likely to eat more.”

Of his top pick, Raisin Bran, Valdez said, “The added sugar is coming from the raisins, versus table sugar. Raisins are grapes and they contains antioxidants.” Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes, the refined grain options of the bunch, are ranked lowest.

  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (59 g)
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 18g (9g added sugar)
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (32g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 21 biscuits (54 g)
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (31 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (27 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

8. Froot Loops (not whole grain, good fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? Partially (the first ingredient is a corn flour blend containing whole grain corn flour and degerminated yellow corn flour)
  • Serving size: 1 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

9. Frosted Flakes (not whole grain, very little fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? No (first ingredient is milled corn)
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber:

1. Cheerios
2. Honey Bunches of Oats
3. Raisin Bran
4. Honey Nut Cheerios
5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
6. Lucky Charms
7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
8. Froot Loops
9. Frosted Flakes

Other nutritionist-approved cereals

Valdez’s short list includes Special K Protein Cereal, featuring 10 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving, relatively low sugar (7 grams) and adequate fiber (3 grams). Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes Cereal is also on the list, with 6 grams of protein per 1-cup serving, low sugar (6 grams) and high fiber (6 grams). Lastly, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal has 5 grams of protein per 1 1/2 cup serving, no sugar or sodium and a good amount of fiber (4 grams).

Gorin’s favorite options also include Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal, plus Kind Healthy Grains Dark Chocolate Whole Grain Clusters. “A lot of granolas are higher in calories, saturated fat or sugar,” Gorin said. “This option is just 110 calories per 1/3 cup serving and is a good source of filling protein… It’s also lower in added sugar. It has a base of five different whole grains, with oats as the first ingredient.”

“At the end of the day, don’t feel guilty if you have Frosted Flakes in the morning,” Valdez said. “The meal doesn’t matter as much as the collective diet. Now if you were to eat Frosted Flakes all day, that’s a different story.”

No matter which cereal you choose, he recommended complementing it with a few additions to round out your breakfast and reach a target 25-30 grams of protein per meal. This can be achieved by adding a cup of lowfat milk and fruit to cereal, plus three eggs with spinach or other mixed vegetables and garlic (which add fiber and antioxidants).


The Healthiest Breakfast Cereals, Ranked By Nutritionists

Although debate continues on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day, breakfast cereal sales keep growing year after year, with $15 billion in revenue expected in 2018.

Though cereal is certainly appealing for its quick and easy preparation, sorting through the multitudes of options at grocery aisles can be a tricky task if you’re looking for something healthy. It’s a good rule of thumb to steer clear of artificially colored cereals with cartoon characters on the box, but other seemingly nutritious brands tout misleading claims of wholesome ingredients and other health benefits, concealing some not-so-great qualities, such as excessive added sugar.

We chatted with two nutritionists to get some clarity on what makes for a healthy cereal, and asked them to rank the nation’s most popular varieties.

Here are America’s nine top-selling cereals, according to 2017 figures from Chicago-based data firm IRI:

  1. Honey Nut Cheerios
  2. Honey Bunches of Oats
  3. Frosted Flakes
  4. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  5. Cheerios
  6. Froot Loops
  7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
  8. Lucky Charms
  9. Raisin Bran

Here’s what our nutritionists look for in a healthy cereal

“I like to recommend shopping for whole grain options,” Amy Gorin, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York, told HuffPost. “You can take a look at the ingredients list of the cereal to check that the first ingredient is a whole grain. That ingredient might be whole wheat, oats, cornmeal or another whole grain.”

Gorin added that ample fiber (at least 3 grams per serving), some protein (at least 5 grams per serving) and a conservative amount of sugar (no more than 4-6 grams per serving) is also ideal. “Protein and fiber help keep you fuller for longer, and we should try and limit our intake of added sugar,” she said.

Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and media rep for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommended checking out the total carbohydrates as well, ideally 45-60 grams per meal, to make sure you have enough energy to power through the morning.

Here’s what they try to avoid

When it comes to added sugar, less is better, and when possible opt for fruit to add sweetness rather than table sugar, Valdez said.

Unlike whole grains, refined grains like white flour and degerminated cornmeal have been stripped of most of their fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are more quickly digested and have a high glycemic index, which may lead to overeating.

Those with high blood pressure or a family history of this condition should also take note of the amount of sodium in cereal, Valdez said. Aim for less than 5 percent of the daily value.

When looking at a nutrition label, it’s important to note the serving size, which can vary widely from cereal to cereal. Remember that the size of your favorite bowl does not a serving make. Ready-to-eat cereals range from 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups and granolas are usually around 1/3 cup.

The first ranking

Below is Valdez’s ranking of these cereals from healthiest to least healthy, with key nutrition facts for reference.

“In general when choosing cereals, I always look at the protein and fiber content more than anything,” says Valdez. “These are the components that will help you stay fuller for longer. If you have a low-calorie breakfast, you will likely have cravings later. and are more likely to eat more.”

Of his top pick, Raisin Bran, Valdez said, “The added sugar is coming from the raisins, versus table sugar. Raisins are grapes and they contains antioxidants.” Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes, the refined grain options of the bunch, are ranked lowest.

  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (59 g)
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 18g (9g added sugar)
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (32g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 21 biscuits (54 g)
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (31 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (27 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

8. Froot Loops (not whole grain, good fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? Partially (the first ingredient is a corn flour blend containing whole grain corn flour and degerminated yellow corn flour)
  • Serving size: 1 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

9. Frosted Flakes (not whole grain, very little fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? No (first ingredient is milled corn)
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber:

1. Cheerios
2. Honey Bunches of Oats
3. Raisin Bran
4. Honey Nut Cheerios
5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
6. Lucky Charms
7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
8. Froot Loops
9. Frosted Flakes

Other nutritionist-approved cereals

Valdez’s short list includes Special K Protein Cereal, featuring 10 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving, relatively low sugar (7 grams) and adequate fiber (3 grams). Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes Cereal is also on the list, with 6 grams of protein per 1-cup serving, low sugar (6 grams) and high fiber (6 grams). Lastly, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal has 5 grams of protein per 1 1/2 cup serving, no sugar or sodium and a good amount of fiber (4 grams).

Gorin’s favorite options also include Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal, plus Kind Healthy Grains Dark Chocolate Whole Grain Clusters. “A lot of granolas are higher in calories, saturated fat or sugar,” Gorin said. “This option is just 110 calories per 1/3 cup serving and is a good source of filling protein… It’s also lower in added sugar. It has a base of five different whole grains, with oats as the first ingredient.”

“At the end of the day, don’t feel guilty if you have Frosted Flakes in the morning,” Valdez said. “The meal doesn’t matter as much as the collective diet. Now if you were to eat Frosted Flakes all day, that’s a different story.”

No matter which cereal you choose, he recommended complementing it with a few additions to round out your breakfast and reach a target 25-30 grams of protein per meal. This can be achieved by adding a cup of lowfat milk and fruit to cereal, plus three eggs with spinach or other mixed vegetables and garlic (which add fiber and antioxidants).


The Healthiest Breakfast Cereals, Ranked By Nutritionists

Although debate continues on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day, breakfast cereal sales keep growing year after year, with $15 billion in revenue expected in 2018.

Though cereal is certainly appealing for its quick and easy preparation, sorting through the multitudes of options at grocery aisles can be a tricky task if you’re looking for something healthy. It’s a good rule of thumb to steer clear of artificially colored cereals with cartoon characters on the box, but other seemingly nutritious brands tout misleading claims of wholesome ingredients and other health benefits, concealing some not-so-great qualities, such as excessive added sugar.

We chatted with two nutritionists to get some clarity on what makes for a healthy cereal, and asked them to rank the nation’s most popular varieties.

Here are America’s nine top-selling cereals, according to 2017 figures from Chicago-based data firm IRI:

  1. Honey Nut Cheerios
  2. Honey Bunches of Oats
  3. Frosted Flakes
  4. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  5. Cheerios
  6. Froot Loops
  7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
  8. Lucky Charms
  9. Raisin Bran

Here’s what our nutritionists look for in a healthy cereal

“I like to recommend shopping for whole grain options,” Amy Gorin, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York, told HuffPost. “You can take a look at the ingredients list of the cereal to check that the first ingredient is a whole grain. That ingredient might be whole wheat, oats, cornmeal or another whole grain.”

Gorin added that ample fiber (at least 3 grams per serving), some protein (at least 5 grams per serving) and a conservative amount of sugar (no more than 4-6 grams per serving) is also ideal. “Protein and fiber help keep you fuller for longer, and we should try and limit our intake of added sugar,” she said.

Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and media rep for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommended checking out the total carbohydrates as well, ideally 45-60 grams per meal, to make sure you have enough energy to power through the morning.

Here’s what they try to avoid

When it comes to added sugar, less is better, and when possible opt for fruit to add sweetness rather than table sugar, Valdez said.

Unlike whole grains, refined grains like white flour and degerminated cornmeal have been stripped of most of their fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are more quickly digested and have a high glycemic index, which may lead to overeating.

Those with high blood pressure or a family history of this condition should also take note of the amount of sodium in cereal, Valdez said. Aim for less than 5 percent of the daily value.

When looking at a nutrition label, it’s important to note the serving size, which can vary widely from cereal to cereal. Remember that the size of your favorite bowl does not a serving make. Ready-to-eat cereals range from 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups and granolas are usually around 1/3 cup.

The first ranking

Below is Valdez’s ranking of these cereals from healthiest to least healthy, with key nutrition facts for reference.

“In general when choosing cereals, I always look at the protein and fiber content more than anything,” says Valdez. “These are the components that will help you stay fuller for longer. If you have a low-calorie breakfast, you will likely have cravings later. and are more likely to eat more.”

Of his top pick, Raisin Bran, Valdez said, “The added sugar is coming from the raisins, versus table sugar. Raisins are grapes and they contains antioxidants.” Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes, the refined grain options of the bunch, are ranked lowest.

  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (59 g)
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 18g (9g added sugar)
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (32g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 21 biscuits (54 g)
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (31 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (27 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

8. Froot Loops (not whole grain, good fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? Partially (the first ingredient is a corn flour blend containing whole grain corn flour and degerminated yellow corn flour)
  • Serving size: 1 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

9. Frosted Flakes (not whole grain, very little fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? No (first ingredient is milled corn)
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber:

1. Cheerios
2. Honey Bunches of Oats
3. Raisin Bran
4. Honey Nut Cheerios
5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
6. Lucky Charms
7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
8. Froot Loops
9. Frosted Flakes

Other nutritionist-approved cereals

Valdez’s short list includes Special K Protein Cereal, featuring 10 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving, relatively low sugar (7 grams) and adequate fiber (3 grams). Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes Cereal is also on the list, with 6 grams of protein per 1-cup serving, low sugar (6 grams) and high fiber (6 grams). Lastly, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal has 5 grams of protein per 1 1/2 cup serving, no sugar or sodium and a good amount of fiber (4 grams).

Gorin’s favorite options also include Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal, plus Kind Healthy Grains Dark Chocolate Whole Grain Clusters. “A lot of granolas are higher in calories, saturated fat or sugar,” Gorin said. “This option is just 110 calories per 1/3 cup serving and is a good source of filling protein… It’s also lower in added sugar. It has a base of five different whole grains, with oats as the first ingredient.”

“At the end of the day, don’t feel guilty if you have Frosted Flakes in the morning,” Valdez said. “The meal doesn’t matter as much as the collective diet. Now if you were to eat Frosted Flakes all day, that’s a different story.”

No matter which cereal you choose, he recommended complementing it with a few additions to round out your breakfast and reach a target 25-30 grams of protein per meal. This can be achieved by adding a cup of lowfat milk and fruit to cereal, plus three eggs with spinach or other mixed vegetables and garlic (which add fiber and antioxidants).


The Healthiest Breakfast Cereals, Ranked By Nutritionists

Although debate continues on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day, breakfast cereal sales keep growing year after year, with $15 billion in revenue expected in 2018.

Though cereal is certainly appealing for its quick and easy preparation, sorting through the multitudes of options at grocery aisles can be a tricky task if you’re looking for something healthy. It’s a good rule of thumb to steer clear of artificially colored cereals with cartoon characters on the box, but other seemingly nutritious brands tout misleading claims of wholesome ingredients and other health benefits, concealing some not-so-great qualities, such as excessive added sugar.

We chatted with two nutritionists to get some clarity on what makes for a healthy cereal, and asked them to rank the nation’s most popular varieties.

Here are America’s nine top-selling cereals, according to 2017 figures from Chicago-based data firm IRI:

  1. Honey Nut Cheerios
  2. Honey Bunches of Oats
  3. Frosted Flakes
  4. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  5. Cheerios
  6. Froot Loops
  7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
  8. Lucky Charms
  9. Raisin Bran

Here’s what our nutritionists look for in a healthy cereal

“I like to recommend shopping for whole grain options,” Amy Gorin, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York, told HuffPost. “You can take a look at the ingredients list of the cereal to check that the first ingredient is a whole grain. That ingredient might be whole wheat, oats, cornmeal or another whole grain.”

Gorin added that ample fiber (at least 3 grams per serving), some protein (at least 5 grams per serving) and a conservative amount of sugar (no more than 4-6 grams per serving) is also ideal. “Protein and fiber help keep you fuller for longer, and we should try and limit our intake of added sugar,” she said.

Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and media rep for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommended checking out the total carbohydrates as well, ideally 45-60 grams per meal, to make sure you have enough energy to power through the morning.

Here’s what they try to avoid

When it comes to added sugar, less is better, and when possible opt for fruit to add sweetness rather than table sugar, Valdez said.

Unlike whole grains, refined grains like white flour and degerminated cornmeal have been stripped of most of their fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are more quickly digested and have a high glycemic index, which may lead to overeating.

Those with high blood pressure or a family history of this condition should also take note of the amount of sodium in cereal, Valdez said. Aim for less than 5 percent of the daily value.

When looking at a nutrition label, it’s important to note the serving size, which can vary widely from cereal to cereal. Remember that the size of your favorite bowl does not a serving make. Ready-to-eat cereals range from 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups and granolas are usually around 1/3 cup.

The first ranking

Below is Valdez’s ranking of these cereals from healthiest to least healthy, with key nutrition facts for reference.

“In general when choosing cereals, I always look at the protein and fiber content more than anything,” says Valdez. “These are the components that will help you stay fuller for longer. If you have a low-calorie breakfast, you will likely have cravings later. and are more likely to eat more.”

Of his top pick, Raisin Bran, Valdez said, “The added sugar is coming from the raisins, versus table sugar. Raisins are grapes and they contains antioxidants.” Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes, the refined grain options of the bunch, are ranked lowest.

  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (59 g)
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 18g (9g added sugar)
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (32g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 21 biscuits (54 g)
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (31 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (27 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

8. Froot Loops (not whole grain, good fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? Partially (the first ingredient is a corn flour blend containing whole grain corn flour and degerminated yellow corn flour)
  • Serving size: 1 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

9. Frosted Flakes (not whole grain, very little fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? No (first ingredient is milled corn)
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber:

1. Cheerios
2. Honey Bunches of Oats
3. Raisin Bran
4. Honey Nut Cheerios
5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
6. Lucky Charms
7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
8. Froot Loops
9. Frosted Flakes

Other nutritionist-approved cereals

Valdez’s short list includes Special K Protein Cereal, featuring 10 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving, relatively low sugar (7 grams) and adequate fiber (3 grams). Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes Cereal is also on the list, with 6 grams of protein per 1-cup serving, low sugar (6 grams) and high fiber (6 grams). Lastly, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal has 5 grams of protein per 1 1/2 cup serving, no sugar or sodium and a good amount of fiber (4 grams).

Gorin’s favorite options also include Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal, plus Kind Healthy Grains Dark Chocolate Whole Grain Clusters. “A lot of granolas are higher in calories, saturated fat or sugar,” Gorin said. “This option is just 110 calories per 1/3 cup serving and is a good source of filling protein… It’s also lower in added sugar. It has a base of five different whole grains, with oats as the first ingredient.”

“At the end of the day, don’t feel guilty if you have Frosted Flakes in the morning,” Valdez said. “The meal doesn’t matter as much as the collective diet. Now if you were to eat Frosted Flakes all day, that’s a different story.”

No matter which cereal you choose, he recommended complementing it with a few additions to round out your breakfast and reach a target 25-30 grams of protein per meal. This can be achieved by adding a cup of lowfat milk and fruit to cereal, plus three eggs with spinach or other mixed vegetables and garlic (which add fiber and antioxidants).


The Healthiest Breakfast Cereals, Ranked By Nutritionists

Although debate continues on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day, breakfast cereal sales keep growing year after year, with $15 billion in revenue expected in 2018.

Though cereal is certainly appealing for its quick and easy preparation, sorting through the multitudes of options at grocery aisles can be a tricky task if you’re looking for something healthy. It’s a good rule of thumb to steer clear of artificially colored cereals with cartoon characters on the box, but other seemingly nutritious brands tout misleading claims of wholesome ingredients and other health benefits, concealing some not-so-great qualities, such as excessive added sugar.

We chatted with two nutritionists to get some clarity on what makes for a healthy cereal, and asked them to rank the nation’s most popular varieties.

Here are America’s nine top-selling cereals, according to 2017 figures from Chicago-based data firm IRI:

  1. Honey Nut Cheerios
  2. Honey Bunches of Oats
  3. Frosted Flakes
  4. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  5. Cheerios
  6. Froot Loops
  7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
  8. Lucky Charms
  9. Raisin Bran

Here’s what our nutritionists look for in a healthy cereal

“I like to recommend shopping for whole grain options,” Amy Gorin, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York, told HuffPost. “You can take a look at the ingredients list of the cereal to check that the first ingredient is a whole grain. That ingredient might be whole wheat, oats, cornmeal or another whole grain.”

Gorin added that ample fiber (at least 3 grams per serving), some protein (at least 5 grams per serving) and a conservative amount of sugar (no more than 4-6 grams per serving) is also ideal. “Protein and fiber help keep you fuller for longer, and we should try and limit our intake of added sugar,” she said.

Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and media rep for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommended checking out the total carbohydrates as well, ideally 45-60 grams per meal, to make sure you have enough energy to power through the morning.

Here’s what they try to avoid

When it comes to added sugar, less is better, and when possible opt for fruit to add sweetness rather than table sugar, Valdez said.

Unlike whole grains, refined grains like white flour and degerminated cornmeal have been stripped of most of their fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are more quickly digested and have a high glycemic index, which may lead to overeating.

Those with high blood pressure or a family history of this condition should also take note of the amount of sodium in cereal, Valdez said. Aim for less than 5 percent of the daily value.

When looking at a nutrition label, it’s important to note the serving size, which can vary widely from cereal to cereal. Remember that the size of your favorite bowl does not a serving make. Ready-to-eat cereals range from 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups and granolas are usually around 1/3 cup.

The first ranking

Below is Valdez’s ranking of these cereals from healthiest to least healthy, with key nutrition facts for reference.

“In general when choosing cereals, I always look at the protein and fiber content more than anything,” says Valdez. “These are the components that will help you stay fuller for longer. If you have a low-calorie breakfast, you will likely have cravings later. and are more likely to eat more.”

Of his top pick, Raisin Bran, Valdez said, “The added sugar is coming from the raisins, versus table sugar. Raisins are grapes and they contains antioxidants.” Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes, the refined grain options of the bunch, are ranked lowest.

  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (59 g)
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 18g (9g added sugar)
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (32g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 21 biscuits (54 g)
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (31 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (27 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

8. Froot Loops (not whole grain, good fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? Partially (the first ingredient is a corn flour blend containing whole grain corn flour and degerminated yellow corn flour)
  • Serving size: 1 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

9. Frosted Flakes (not whole grain, very little fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? No (first ingredient is milled corn)
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber:

1. Cheerios
2. Honey Bunches of Oats
3. Raisin Bran
4. Honey Nut Cheerios
5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
6. Lucky Charms
7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
8. Froot Loops
9. Frosted Flakes

Other nutritionist-approved cereals

Valdez’s short list includes Special K Protein Cereal, featuring 10 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving, relatively low sugar (7 grams) and adequate fiber (3 grams). Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes Cereal is also on the list, with 6 grams of protein per 1-cup serving, low sugar (6 grams) and high fiber (6 grams). Lastly, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal has 5 grams of protein per 1 1/2 cup serving, no sugar or sodium and a good amount of fiber (4 grams).

Gorin’s favorite options also include Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal, plus Kind Healthy Grains Dark Chocolate Whole Grain Clusters. “A lot of granolas are higher in calories, saturated fat or sugar,” Gorin said. “This option is just 110 calories per 1/3 cup serving and is a good source of filling protein… It’s also lower in added sugar. It has a base of five different whole grains, with oats as the first ingredient.”

“At the end of the day, don’t feel guilty if you have Frosted Flakes in the morning,” Valdez said. “The meal doesn’t matter as much as the collective diet. Now if you were to eat Frosted Flakes all day, that’s a different story.”

No matter which cereal you choose, he recommended complementing it with a few additions to round out your breakfast and reach a target 25-30 grams of protein per meal. This can be achieved by adding a cup of lowfat milk and fruit to cereal, plus three eggs with spinach or other mixed vegetables and garlic (which add fiber and antioxidants).


The Healthiest Breakfast Cereals, Ranked By Nutritionists

Although debate continues on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day, breakfast cereal sales keep growing year after year, with $15 billion in revenue expected in 2018.

Though cereal is certainly appealing for its quick and easy preparation, sorting through the multitudes of options at grocery aisles can be a tricky task if you’re looking for something healthy. It’s a good rule of thumb to steer clear of artificially colored cereals with cartoon characters on the box, but other seemingly nutritious brands tout misleading claims of wholesome ingredients and other health benefits, concealing some not-so-great qualities, such as excessive added sugar.

We chatted with two nutritionists to get some clarity on what makes for a healthy cereal, and asked them to rank the nation’s most popular varieties.

Here are America’s nine top-selling cereals, according to 2017 figures from Chicago-based data firm IRI:

  1. Honey Nut Cheerios
  2. Honey Bunches of Oats
  3. Frosted Flakes
  4. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  5. Cheerios
  6. Froot Loops
  7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
  8. Lucky Charms
  9. Raisin Bran

Here’s what our nutritionists look for in a healthy cereal

“I like to recommend shopping for whole grain options,” Amy Gorin, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York, told HuffPost. “You can take a look at the ingredients list of the cereal to check that the first ingredient is a whole grain. That ingredient might be whole wheat, oats, cornmeal or another whole grain.”

Gorin added that ample fiber (at least 3 grams per serving), some protein (at least 5 grams per serving) and a conservative amount of sugar (no more than 4-6 grams per serving) is also ideal. “Protein and fiber help keep you fuller for longer, and we should try and limit our intake of added sugar,” she said.

Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and media rep for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommended checking out the total carbohydrates as well, ideally 45-60 grams per meal, to make sure you have enough energy to power through the morning.

Here’s what they try to avoid

When it comes to added sugar, less is better, and when possible opt for fruit to add sweetness rather than table sugar, Valdez said.

Unlike whole grains, refined grains like white flour and degerminated cornmeal have been stripped of most of their fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are more quickly digested and have a high glycemic index, which may lead to overeating.

Those with high blood pressure or a family history of this condition should also take note of the amount of sodium in cereal, Valdez said. Aim for less than 5 percent of the daily value.

When looking at a nutrition label, it’s important to note the serving size, which can vary widely from cereal to cereal. Remember that the size of your favorite bowl does not a serving make. Ready-to-eat cereals range from 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups and granolas are usually around 1/3 cup.

The first ranking

Below is Valdez’s ranking of these cereals from healthiest to least healthy, with key nutrition facts for reference.

“In general when choosing cereals, I always look at the protein and fiber content more than anything,” says Valdez. “These are the components that will help you stay fuller for longer. If you have a low-calorie breakfast, you will likely have cravings later. and are more likely to eat more.”

Of his top pick, Raisin Bran, Valdez said, “The added sugar is coming from the raisins, versus table sugar. Raisins are grapes and they contains antioxidants.” Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes, the refined grain options of the bunch, are ranked lowest.

  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (59 g)
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 18g (9g added sugar)
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (32g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 21 biscuits (54 g)
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (31 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (27 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

8. Froot Loops (not whole grain, good fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? Partially (the first ingredient is a corn flour blend containing whole grain corn flour and degerminated yellow corn flour)
  • Serving size: 1 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

9. Frosted Flakes (not whole grain, very little fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? No (first ingredient is milled corn)
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber:

1. Cheerios
2. Honey Bunches of Oats
3. Raisin Bran
4. Honey Nut Cheerios
5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
6. Lucky Charms
7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
8. Froot Loops
9. Frosted Flakes

Other nutritionist-approved cereals

Valdez’s short list includes Special K Protein Cereal, featuring 10 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving, relatively low sugar (7 grams) and adequate fiber (3 grams). Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes Cereal is also on the list, with 6 grams of protein per 1-cup serving, low sugar (6 grams) and high fiber (6 grams). Lastly, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal has 5 grams of protein per 1 1/2 cup serving, no sugar or sodium and a good amount of fiber (4 grams).

Gorin’s favorite options also include Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal, plus Kind Healthy Grains Dark Chocolate Whole Grain Clusters. “A lot of granolas are higher in calories, saturated fat or sugar,” Gorin said. “This option is just 110 calories per 1/3 cup serving and is a good source of filling protein… It’s also lower in added sugar. It has a base of five different whole grains, with oats as the first ingredient.”

“At the end of the day, don’t feel guilty if you have Frosted Flakes in the morning,” Valdez said. “The meal doesn’t matter as much as the collective diet. Now if you were to eat Frosted Flakes all day, that’s a different story.”

No matter which cereal you choose, he recommended complementing it with a few additions to round out your breakfast and reach a target 25-30 grams of protein per meal. This can be achieved by adding a cup of lowfat milk and fruit to cereal, plus three eggs with spinach or other mixed vegetables and garlic (which add fiber and antioxidants).


The Healthiest Breakfast Cereals, Ranked By Nutritionists

Although debate continues on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day, breakfast cereal sales keep growing year after year, with $15 billion in revenue expected in 2018.

Though cereal is certainly appealing for its quick and easy preparation, sorting through the multitudes of options at grocery aisles can be a tricky task if you’re looking for something healthy. It’s a good rule of thumb to steer clear of artificially colored cereals with cartoon characters on the box, but other seemingly nutritious brands tout misleading claims of wholesome ingredients and other health benefits, concealing some not-so-great qualities, such as excessive added sugar.

We chatted with two nutritionists to get some clarity on what makes for a healthy cereal, and asked them to rank the nation’s most popular varieties.

Here are America’s nine top-selling cereals, according to 2017 figures from Chicago-based data firm IRI:

  1. Honey Nut Cheerios
  2. Honey Bunches of Oats
  3. Frosted Flakes
  4. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  5. Cheerios
  6. Froot Loops
  7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
  8. Lucky Charms
  9. Raisin Bran

Here’s what our nutritionists look for in a healthy cereal

“I like to recommend shopping for whole grain options,” Amy Gorin, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York, told HuffPost. “You can take a look at the ingredients list of the cereal to check that the first ingredient is a whole grain. That ingredient might be whole wheat, oats, cornmeal or another whole grain.”

Gorin added that ample fiber (at least 3 grams per serving), some protein (at least 5 grams per serving) and a conservative amount of sugar (no more than 4-6 grams per serving) is also ideal. “Protein and fiber help keep you fuller for longer, and we should try and limit our intake of added sugar,” she said.

Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and media rep for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommended checking out the total carbohydrates as well, ideally 45-60 grams per meal, to make sure you have enough energy to power through the morning.

Here’s what they try to avoid

When it comes to added sugar, less is better, and when possible opt for fruit to add sweetness rather than table sugar, Valdez said.

Unlike whole grains, refined grains like white flour and degerminated cornmeal have been stripped of most of their fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are more quickly digested and have a high glycemic index, which may lead to overeating.

Those with high blood pressure or a family history of this condition should also take note of the amount of sodium in cereal, Valdez said. Aim for less than 5 percent of the daily value.

When looking at a nutrition label, it’s important to note the serving size, which can vary widely from cereal to cereal. Remember that the size of your favorite bowl does not a serving make. Ready-to-eat cereals range from 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups and granolas are usually around 1/3 cup.

The first ranking

Below is Valdez’s ranking of these cereals from healthiest to least healthy, with key nutrition facts for reference.

“In general when choosing cereals, I always look at the protein and fiber content more than anything,” says Valdez. “These are the components that will help you stay fuller for longer. If you have a low-calorie breakfast, you will likely have cravings later. and are more likely to eat more.”

Of his top pick, Raisin Bran, Valdez said, “The added sugar is coming from the raisins, versus table sugar. Raisins are grapes and they contains antioxidants.” Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes, the refined grain options of the bunch, are ranked lowest.

  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (59 g)
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 18g (9g added sugar)
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 1 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (32g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 21 biscuits (54 g)
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (28g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (31 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Whole grain? Yes
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (27 g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

8. Froot Loops (not whole grain, good fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? Partially (the first ingredient is a corn flour blend containing whole grain corn flour and degerminated yellow corn flour)
  • Serving size: 1 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 2g

9. Frosted Flakes (not whole grain, very little fiber, high sugar)

  • Whole grain? No (first ingredient is milled corn)
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup (29 g)
  • Fiber:

1. Cheerios
2. Honey Bunches of Oats
3. Raisin Bran
4. Honey Nut Cheerios
5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
6. Lucky Charms
7. Frosted Mini-Wheats
8. Froot Loops
9. Frosted Flakes

Other nutritionist-approved cereals

Valdez’s short list includes Special K Protein Cereal, featuring 10 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving, relatively low sugar (7 grams) and adequate fiber (3 grams). Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes Cereal is also on the list, with 6 grams of protein per 1-cup serving, low sugar (6 grams) and high fiber (6 grams). Lastly, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal has 5 grams of protein per 1 1/2 cup serving, no sugar or sodium and a good amount of fiber (4 grams).

Gorin’s favorite options also include Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal, plus Kind Healthy Grains Dark Chocolate Whole Grain Clusters. “A lot of granolas are higher in calories, saturated fat or sugar,” Gorin said. “This option is just 110 calories per 1/3 cup serving and is a good source of filling protein… It’s also lower in added sugar. It has a base of five different whole grains, with oats as the first ingredient.”

“At the end of the day, don’t feel guilty if you have Frosted Flakes in the morning,” Valdez said. “The meal doesn’t matter as much as the collective diet. Now if you were to eat Frosted Flakes all day, that’s a different story.”

No matter which cereal you choose, he recommended complementing it with a few additions to round out your breakfast and reach a target 25-30 grams of protein per meal. This can be achieved by adding a cup of lowfat milk and fruit to cereal, plus three eggs with spinach or other mixed vegetables and garlic (which add fiber and antioxidants).