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Cereal is an extremely popular breakfast food.
It’s easy and convenient for those who live busy lifestyles but is often high in added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.
But several nutritious cereal options are available — both do-it-yourself (DIY) varieties and brands you can purchase at the store.
This article will cover the 14 healthiest cereals you can eat.
Oats are a nutritious cereal choice.
They are commonly rolled or crushed and then consumed as oatmeal, or porridge.
Since oats are whole grains, they are rich in fiber and important nutrients. One cup (234 grams [g]) of cooked oats provides 4 g of fiber, as well as 59% of the Daily Value for manganese, 23% for selenium, 21% for zinc, and 14% for phosphorus (
They also provide good amounts of iron and magnesium (
Additionally, some oats may be fortified with vitamins and minerals during processing.
You can purchase pre-portioned and flavored oatmeal at the store, but it is best to make your own. Store-bought oatmeal is often high in added sugars and other unhealthy ingredients.
Oatmeal is incredibly versatile and can be prepared in many ways. It is often boiled with water or milk and then topped with fresh fruit, cinnamon, or nuts.
You can also make “overnight” oats, which are soaked in milk or yogurt for several hours so they are ready to eat in the morning for breakfast.
Muesli is a healthy and delicious type of cereal. It’s typically made with a combination of rolled oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
While similar to granola, muesli differs in that it is consumed raw, without being baked. Some versions are made without any added sweeteners or oils.
The combination of whole grains and nuts makes muesli a good source of protein. For example, Alpen muesli provides about 6 g of protein in a 2/3-cup (55-g) serving. It also contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals (
You can lower the carb content of muesli significantly by making a grain-free version with coconut flakes, nuts, and raisins.
Homemade granola can be a very healthy cereal option.
It is typically made by baking a combination of rolled oats, nuts, and dried fruit in the oven until it becomes crispy.
Most types of granola contain a fair amount of protein and healthy fats. Additionally, it can provide several vitamins and minerals, such as phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and B vitamins (
Despite its nutrient content, store-bought granola tends to be high in added sugar, which is why it’s best to make your own.
Also, keep in mind that granola is quite high in calories. A 1-cup (122-g) serving provides close to 600 calories. For this reason, it is best eaten in moderation if you’re watching your calorie intake. Consider sticking with a serving size of about 1/4 cup (85 g) (
There are several types of tasty “cinnamon crunch” cereals on the market, but many are high in added sugar. You can avoid that by making a healthier version using flaxseed, hemp seeds, cinnamon, coconut oil, and apple juice or a sugar substitute. Find instructions here.
One serving of this cereal could provide about 5 g of filling protein and is much lower in carbs than many store-bought cereals.
For example, a 28-g serving of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal contains 22 g of carbs. A single serving of this homemade version made with a sugar substitute contains only 3 g of carbs, according to the recipe writer (
Grape Nuts are another healthy cereal option.
According to the manufacturer, Original flavor Grape Nuts are made with only four simple ingredients: whole grain wheat flour, malted barley flour, salt, and dried yeast.
They provide 7 g of fiber per 1/2-cup (170-g) serving, along with a variety of nutrients, including iron, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and copper (8).
You can also make your own Grape Nuts, using almond and coconut flours instead of wheat flour. Try this recipe.
Bob’s Red Mill Paleo-Style Muesli is not only healthy but also gluten-free.
In fact, unlike traditional muesli, it is totally grain-free, made instead with coconut, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds.
Ezekiel 4:9 makes sprouted whole grain cereals, which are quite nutritious.
These sprouted cereals are quite high in fiber and protein and do not contain any added sugar. The manufacturer reports that a 1/2-cup (57-g) serving contains 23% of your daily fiber needs and 8 g of protein (11).
Nature’s Path Organics Superfood Cereals are full of wholesome ingredients.
Barbara’s Shredded Wheat stands out from other types of cereal in that it has only a single ingredient: 100% whole wheat.
The wheat is shredded in the form of biscuits that you can crush up and serve with milk. This product also contains no added sugar — a rare quality among store-bought cereals.
According to the brand, a 2-biscuit serving of Barbara’s Shredded Wheat provides 20% of your daily fiber needs and 5% of your daily potassium needs (21).
Arrowhead Mills Spelt Flakes are another good cereal option.
They are made with only a few simple and organic ingredients and do not contain any added refined sugars.
They provide 4 g of protein per serving plus some fiber, vitamin C, phosphorus, B vitamins, and iron, as reported by the manufacturer (22).
One way to keep cereal healthy is to make it out of cauliflower.
You can make cauliflower “oatmeal” by cooking riced cauliflower with milk or an unsweetened milk alternative and then adding your own mix-ins. Check out this recipe for inspiration.
This is an excellent way to reduce your carb intake while still enjoying the delicious taste and textures of oatmeal.
Homemade peanut butter puffs are a healthy alternative to store-bought varieties.
They are prepared by making a “dough” out of almond flour, peanut butter, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and a few other ingredients; rolling it into small balls; and baking them in the oven. Try this recipe as an example.
Substituting these for store-bought peanut butter puffs is a great way to lower your sugar intake.
Additionally, using almond flour rather than wheat flour is an effective way to lower the carb content of your cereal. One hundred grams of almond flour contains 16 g of carbs, while 1 ounce of wheat flour contains 77 g.
It is important to be mindful of your portion size with this cereal because almond flour is quite high in calories, with 622 calories per 100 g. Consider sticking to a serving size of 1/4–1/2 cup (
Love Grown Original Power O’s are simple yet packed with nutrition.
They contain only a few ingredients, including brown rice and garbanzo beans, and have no added sugar. Additionally, they provide a decent amount of fiber, with 4 g per 1-cup (35-g) serving, according to the brand (27).
What’s more, a 1-cup (35-g) serving contains 12% of your daily protein needs, as well as some vitamin C, iron, and calcium (27).
You can also make your own healthy cereal out of flax and chia seeds.
All you have to do is make a “dough” with flax meal, chia seeds, coconut oil, and cinnamon. You can add a sweetener, such as stevia, if desired.
You can then cut the “dough” into squares and bake them.
Many people enjoy eating cereal for breakfast.
However, cereals are often made with refined grains and added sugars, which you may wish to limit or avoid.
There are plenty of nutritious cereal options on the market that contain lots of fiber and protein without the added sugar.
The key is to double-check the ingredient list before buying cereal to ensure that it’s a healthy option.
You can also make your own cereal, which is a great way to increase the nutrient content and avoid less-healthy ingredients.