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Cereal Nutrition and Health

Choose a Cereal that is Healthy

The healthiest type of cereals are made with whole grain. If you want to control cholesterol, lose weight or manage diabetes, your best choice would be something like hot cooked oatmeal or barley.  You can add raisins, dried fruits, cinnamon, or nuts to add flavor.

Many of us still prefer cold cereal so we recommend carefully checking the list of ingredients on the box. Whole grain should be the First ingredient listed. Then browse through the other ingredients and if you see "partially hydrogenated," put the box back on the shelf. You should try to avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oils or "trans fats.

After you've eliminated all the brands made with refined grains or partially hydrogenated oils, look for ADDED sugars.  Reducing the amount of sugared cereals you eat can help you lose weight.

Are You Overweight?

Find out if you need to lose a few pounds by using the Free Overweight Calculator.

If your BMI is between 17 to 22, your life span might be longer than average.  Men are usually satisfied with a BMI of 23 to 25 and women tend to believe they look their best at values between 20 to 22.

If your BMI is between 23 and 25, most people wouldn't consider you to be overweight.  If your BMI is 26 or more, you are considered overweight and are statistically likely to have a lower life expectancy.

overweight calculator

The Vitamins in Your Cereal

A serving of most cereals provides 10 to 25 percent of the daily value for 10 or more essential nutrients.  But Mother Nature did not put them there. Unprocessed grains are naturally rich in fiber, the B vitamins and minerals.   But when the grains are milled, many of the nutrients are lost.  So cereal makers add some back with a little extra for good measure. Some vitamins and minerals are added to the cereal dough as it is mixed. Others are sprayed on before the cereal is baked.

How to Choose a Healthy Cereal

Compare Cereal Nutrition Facts

Glycemic Index of Cereals

Recommended Cereals: Made with all or mostly Whole Grains
(Little or no added sugars; No trans fats, but check the list of ingredients -- each year they can change.)

Cheerios - General Mills
Chex, Wheat or Multi Grain - General Mills
Cinnamon Toast Crunch - General Mills
Cinnamon Grahams - General Mills
French Toast Crunch - General Mills
Golden Grahams - General Mills
Grape Nuts - Post
Healthy Choice Mueslix - Kelloggs
Healthy Choice Almond Crunch with Raisins - Kelloggs
Healthy Choice Low Fat Granola - Kelloggs
Healthy Choice Toasted Brown Sugar Squares - Kelloggs
Kashi (all varieties) - Kashi Company
Life - Quaker
Mini-Wheats, all varieties - Kelloggs
Muesli - Familia
Nutri-Grain, all varieties - Kelloggs
Oatmeal Crisp, all varieties - General Mills
Oatmeal Squares - Quaker
Organic Healthy Fiber Multigrain Flakes - Health Valley
Puffed Wheat - Quaker and others
Shredded Wheat - Post and others
Smart Start - Kelloggs
Total - General Mills
Wheaties - General Mills

Recommended: All Bran or High Bran Cereals
(no trans fats, little or no added sugars. )

100% Bran - Post
100% Natural Granola - Quaker
All Bran, all varieties - Kelloggs
Bran Flakes - Post
Chex, Multi-Bran - General Mills
Complete Wheat Bran Flakes - Kelloggs
Complete Oat Bran Flakes - Kelloggs
Cracklin' Oat Bran - Kelloggs
Crunchy Corn Bran - Quaker
Fiber 7 Flakes - Health Valley
Fiber One - General Mills
Fruit & Bran - Post
Granola, Low Fat - Kelloggs
Oat Bran - Quaker
Oat Bran Flakes - Health Valley
Oat Bran Flakes with Raisins - Health Valley
Organic Bran with Raisins - Health Valley
Raisin Bran - Kelloggs
Raisin Bran Flakes - Health Valley
Raisin Bran, Whole Grain Wheat - Post
Raisin Nut Bran - General Mills
Shredded Wheat 'n' Bran - Post
Total, Raisin Bran - General Mills
Weight Watchers Flakes 'n' Fiber

Cereals Less Recommended - Made from Refined Grains
Also be careful not to eat too much of these cereals because they contain a lot of added sugar

Apple Jacks - Kelloggs
Cap'n Crunch, all varieties - Quaker
Chex, Rice or Corn - General Mills
Cocoa Frosted Flakes - Kelloggs
Cocoa Blasts - Quaker
Cocoa Pebbles - Post
Cocoa Puffs - General Mills
Cookie Crisp/Chocolate Chip - General Mills
Corn Pops - Kelloggs
Corn Flakes - Kelloggs and others
Count Chocula - General Mills
Crispix - Kelloggs
Frosted Flakes - Kelloggs
Fruity Pebbles - Post
Honey Bunches of Oats - Post
Honey Comb - Post
Honey Nut Clusters - General Mills
Kix - General Mills
Lucky Charms - General Mills
Product 19 - Kelloggs
Puffed Rice - Quaker
Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs - General Mills
Rice Krispies, all varieties - Kelloggs
Total Corn Flakes - General Mills

Cereals NOT Recommended: Contain Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Trans Fats)
These cereals are high in added sugars and refined grains.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pops - Kelloggs
Cocoa Krispies - Kelloggs
Corn Pops - Kelloggs
Froot Loops - Kelloggs
Mini-Swirlz - Kelloggs
Smacks - Kelloggs

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