Your morning bowl of cereal might actually be hurting your health! This post will share the 10 Best Healthy Cereal Brands, and what to avoid while shopping.
A quick bowl of cereal is one of the easiest ways to fuel up in the morning, especially when you’re in a rush (hello start of the school year!).
Cereal is fast, convenient, and can be a healthy/ energizing breakfast. The thing is, certain brands do the opposite. Some cereals are unhealthy (AKA processed), not very energizing, and lead to sugar crashes a few hours later.
While certain breakfast cereals are marketed as good options, I’ve found many brands misleading. That’s why I’ve written this post. To better educate myself and you on the Top 10 Healthiest Breakfast Cereals.
Whether you like oats, rice crisps, fruity flavors, or chocolate…there’s something for you in this post. Let’s learn more!
Can You Lose Weight Eating Cereals?
You can lose weight eating cereal in the morning if you’re eating a healthy brand and not eating it in excess. What does this mean? Well, as you probably suspect, an overflowing bowl of cocoa puffs won’t help you reach your weight loss goals.
What you want to look for is something that you’ll want to eat (tastes good) but also provides a good serving of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Protein is especially helpful for weight loss because it keeps you full longer.
What Ingredients To Avoid In Your Cereals?
Let’s dive deeper, beyond the cute and colorful packaging. When choosing a breakfast cereal, these are the ingredients you’ll want to avoid…
- Sugar: Popular cereal brands are repeat offenders of hidden sugars! Which often goes by different names on the nutritional label. Watch out for all of these: cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, sucrose, and barley malt. A small amount of sugar can be OK but I’d recommend keeping it under 6-8 grams per serving. With cereal, it is very difficult to find options that meet this requirement, so we also look for healthy upsides, like added fiber and protein, to make up for the added sugar.
- Artificial food dyes: Yeah, the bright coloring in fruity pebbles is not natural. A single serving actually contains 13.9 mg of dyes. Yikes! We want to avoid artificial food dyes because they may contain contaminants that are known to be cancer-causing substances.
What Is The Least Healthy Cereal?
While there were many top contenders, the least healthy cereal (based on my research) is…Honey Smacks by Kellogg’s. Unfortunately, it’s about 60% sugar. And it also contains the worst kind of fat out there; hydrogenated oils.
The high sugar and unhealthy fat content puts children and adults at risk for obesity if eaten regularly. If this is one of your go-to cereals, fear not! There are 10 healthy alternatives discussed below.
What Is The Healthiest Cereal To Eat?
The healthiest cereals to eat are made with whole grains. It’s a big deal because whole grains are known to help decrease cardiovascular problems and cancer risk by 9%. The healthiest cereals are also low in sugar and packed with fiber (which promotes a healthy gut and helps you maintain a healthy weight).
You’re beginning your day with cereal, after all. So it’s important that it’s doing good things for your body!
Top 10 Healthiest Breakfast Cereals
Enough about the bad cereals, let’s get to the good stuff! Here are the 10 healthiest breakfast cereals I’ve found in the supermarket…
1. One Degree Sprouted Brown Rice Cacao Crisps
Ingredients: Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Brown Rice, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Cacao, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Unrefined Salt, Tocopherols (Vitamin E).
This One Degree product is one of my favorite cereals when it comes to taste! These cacao crisps are 100% organic, vegan and non-GMO. Made with whole oats (which we already know are super good) and sprouted chickpeas (sprouting improves digestibility and the nutritional profile).
2. Nature’s Path Smart Bran
Ingredients: Wheat Bran, Oat Fiber, Cane Sugar, Psyllium Seed Husk, Barley Malt Extract, Oat Bran, Whole Oat Flour, Sea Salt.
Smart Bran is a wonderful option if you want more fiber in your diet! In a 3/4 cup serving size, you already get 17 grams of fiber. Which is 70% of the recommended daily intake for women! It’s organic, too.
3. Nature’s Path Flax Plus Raisin Bran
Ingredients: Whole wheat meal, raisins (coated with sunflower oil), wheat bran, cane sugar, flax seeds, oat bran, barley malt extract, sea salt, tocopherols (vitamin E).
Conventional raisin bran is a classic favorite…but it isn’t exactly the best option. This healthy alternative by Nature’s path has WAY less sugar (only 7.2 grams per serving compared to Kellogg’s 18 grams per per serving).
4. Kashi Go Rise
Ingredients: Soy protein concentrate, degeminated yellow corn flour, Kashi Seven Whole Grain Honey Puff cereal, ground degeminated corn, wheat bran, oat fiber, cane sugar, expeller pressed soy flour, corn bran, Kashi Seven Whole Grain & Sesame Flour, salt, natural flavors.
These multigrain crisps are packed with nutrition, flavor and crunch. Pretty much everything you’d want in a breakfast cereal, yes? One serving contains 46% of your required daily fiber, and 17% of your recommended protein.
5. Kashi Go Play Honey Almond Flax Crunch
Ingredients: Kashi Seven Whole Grains and Sesame blend, soy flakes, brown rice syrup, cane sugar, chicory root fiber, almonds, whole flax seeds, whole grain oats, expeller pressed canola oil, honey, salt, natural flavors.
Flaxseed is hugely beneficial! Learn more about it in this post. This Kashi cereal makes it easy to eat with crunchy clusters, honey, and almonds. Triple yum!
6. Alpen Muesli
Ingredients: Rolled Whole Oat Flakes, Whole Wheat, Raisins (may be coated with Expeller Pressed Canola or Sunflower Oil), Brown Sugar, Whole Barley, Skim Milk Powder, Roasted Hazelnuts, Malt Extract, Sliced Almonds.
Rest assured that this non-GMO muesli will give your body a brilliant nutrition boost, first thing in the AM! It’s got raisins, hazelnuts, almonds and whole grain flakes. And is super good combined with yogurt and fresh fruit.
7. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Muesli
Ingredients: Whole Grain Gluten Free Rolled Oats, Raisins, Sunflower Seeds, Dried Cranberries (Cranberries, Sugar, Sunflower Oil), Dried Apples, Brown Rice Crisps, Dry Roasted Soy Beans, Almonds, Coconut And Pumpkin Seeds.
If you struggle with inflammation, want to boost your energy, and also encourage weight loss. This gluten-free muesli makes it easy to do in the morning! It’s made of hearty whole grains, protein-rich nuts, seeds and naturally dried fruit.
8. Barbara’s Original Morning Oat Crunch Cereal
Ingredients: Whole oat flour, whole wheat flour, evaporated cane sugar, barley malt extract, unsulfured molasses, baking soda, sea salt, vitamin C, tocopherols.
I’m a crunch lover, personally. And this cereal satisfies my crunch craving wonderfully. Barbara’s Oat Crunch is Non-GMO, vegan, and (of course!) is a great source of fiber.
9. Cascadian Farm Organic Purely O’s
Ingredients: Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Barley, Wheat Starch, Malted Barley Extract, Sea Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Oats, Malted Barley, Vitamin E
Healthier alternative to cheerios right here! This cereal is USDA approved organic, crunchy, and sweet (without containing alarming amounts of hidden sugars).
10. Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola
Ingredients: Organic Gluten-Free Oats, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Puffed Amaranth, Organic Quinoa Flakes, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Cinnamon, Salt.
Oh the many things we can do with granola. I suggest eating it with almond milk…or with Greek yogurt for a delectable parfait. The Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola is very low in sugar compared to most granolas on the market.
More Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Here are some other healthy and energizing options to fuel a wonderful morning…
- Protein Pancakes
- Frozen Breakfast Burritos
- Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- Make-Ahead Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches
- Egg White Scramble + Sweet Potato Hash
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