The World Health Organization and the American Heart Association recommend limiting added sugar to no more than 25 grams per day!
These seven cereals include Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Frosted Mini Wheats, Lucky Charms, Froot Loops and Raisin Bran.
You might as well eat cookies for breakfast (please don't). A serving of Chips Ahoy! Chocolate Chip cookies has fewer grams of added sugar than some of these cereals.
Cereal is a popular breakfast choice because it's quick and easy, but you have to be careful about what kind you buy and how you eat it if you want one that's good for you.
To limit your intake of added sugar, I recommend that you pick one that has less than or equal to five grams of sugar per serving-- this will likely eliminate anything with the words “frosted” or “honey”.
Click here for a more complete list of hidden food sources of added sugar.
Besides sugar, my other concern about cereal is that it tends to be low in protein.
Breakfasts that are low in protein aren’t very satisfying and leave us ravenous soon after eating. I usually add nuts or melted nut butters to my cereal to boost the protein content. You might opt for Greek yogurt in place of milk or a hard-boiled egg on the side. Did you notice that I did not suggest choosing cereals with "Protein" added to them in the form of soy flour or soy protein isolate (E.g. Special K Protein)?
On the plus side (for most people), many cereals contain quite a bit of dietary fiber, especially if you choose ones with at least five grams per serving. Add high fiber toppings, like chia seeds, ground flax, oat bran or fruit for additional fiber and other important nutrients.
In addition, cereals are usually low-fat, cholesterol-free, and fortified with important B-vitamins and iron.
Bottom line: choose cereals low in sugar, high in fiber (as tolerated), and dress them up with nutritious and delicious toppings.