Love it, Like it, Hate it: “Healthy” Breakfast Cereals

Breakfast sets the tone for the day when it comes to our energy levels, our ability to focus and learn, and even our cravings.  The right breakfast leaves us energized and feeling solid until lunchtime.  The wrong breakfast leaves us bottomed out, craving more carbs.  And since cereal is one of the more popular breakfast choices, we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on the best and worst of the seemingly healthful cereals!

Note:  Serving sizes for cereal can range from ½ cup to 1 – ½ cups – so to make it easier to compare stats side-by-side, the following nutrition facts are for approximately two-ounce servings, unless otherwise noted.

LOVE IT!

Good ratio of protein to carbohydrate; relatively low in sugar 

Nutritious Living’s Hi-Lo Cereal

  • Per 2 ounces: 180 calories, 26 grams carbohydrate, 12 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar, 24 grams protein
  • First ingredients include soy grits, wheat gluten, soy protein isolate, corn bran…

Kay’s Naturals Cereal (in Apple Cinnamon, Honey Almond, or French Vanilla)

  • 200 calories, 31 grams carbohydrate, 6.5 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar, 20 grams protein
  • First ingredients include soy protein isolate, corn flour, rice flour, inulin, pea fiber, honey, sugar, stevia
  • Added bonus: available in single-serving packs

Puffins (top choice as kid-friendly cereal) – nutrition facts for ¾ cup

  • 90 calories, 23 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar, 5 grams protein
  • First ingredients include corn flour, whole grain oat flour, corn bran, cane sugar, molasses.

 

LIKE IT!

 

Kellogg’s Special K Protein Cereal (original)

  • 210 calories, 28 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 12 grams sugar, 17.5 grams protein
  • First ingredients include whole wheat grain, wheat gluten, sugar, soy protein isolate, sucralose (Splenda).

Nature’s Path Optimum Power Blueberry Cinnamon Flax

  • 200 calories, 38 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 9 grams protein
  • First ingredients include whole wheat meal, wheat bran, cane sugar, soy flour, flax, puffed kamut wheat, barley malt extract, soy fiber, oat bran, freeze-dried blueberries.

Kashi Go Lean

  • 180 calories, 40 grams carbohydrate, 13 grams fiber, 8 grams sugar, 12 grams protein
  • First ingredients include hard red wheat, brown rice, honey, cane syrup, barley, oats, rye, buckwheat, sesame seeds, corn flour, soy grits, cane syrup, soy protein isolate.

Kellogg’s All Bran Bran Buds – nutrition facts for 1/3 cup

  • 80 calories, 24 grams carbohydrate, 13 grams fiber, 8 grams sugar, 3 grams protein
  • First ingredients include wheat bran, sugar, psyllium seed husk, oat fiber

 

 

HATE IT!

At least 3x more sugar than fiber and as much as 2-4x more sugar than protein

 

Nature Valley Honey Oat Clusters

  • 230 calories, 44 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 13 grams sugar, 8 grams protein
  • First ingredients include whole grain oats, whole grain wheat, corn grits, sugar, soy protein isolate, canola oil, refiners syrup, honey

Honey Bunches of Oats “Whole Grain”

  • 220 calories, 46 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 12 grams sugar, 4 grams protein
  • First ingredients include whole grain wheat, white rice, sugar, rolled oats, brown sugar, canola oil, corn syruphoney.

Protein Cheerios

  • 220 calories, 40 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 16 grams sugar, 7 grams protein
  • First ingredients include whole grain corn, “clusters” made with sugar, corn syrup, white flour, molasses, honey; followed by more sugar, whole grain oats, oil, refiners syrup

 

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