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10 Healthiest Breakfast Cereals

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10 Healthiest Breakfast Cereals

When I posted 10 Breakfast Cereals to Avoid I seemed to have suffered a sugar flashback; and the 1970s-swank, Henry Mancini jingle for Pink Panther Flakes has been stuck in my head ever since. The fuchsia frosted flakes were painfully pink and shamefully sweet, and thankfully, haven’t been seen for several decades–but what an enduring testament to marketing for kids and the girl-pleasing power of pink sugar! Today’s sock-it-to-you-with-the-sweet cereals aren’t much better, as evidenced by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity’s report on cereal nutrition–but at least some healthier options do exist.

Reading the report’s list of most nutritious cereals, I didn’t expect to find products made by the same companies responsible for some of the shady cereals which ranked as most egregious, but sure enough, there they were. Which goes to show that some of these companies are indeed making healthier options, they’re just not pushing them as diligently. Cereal companies spend more money than any other packaged food category in marketing their products to children ($229 million in 2006), which is why we may be more familiar with Post Fruity Pebbles, one of the worst offenders, than Post Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Wheat ‘n Bran, one of the best cereal choices.

Although within each brand there is a wide range, Kashi ranks as the best brand overall in terms of ingredients, according to the report. If you don’t see a cereal you eat in this list (number 1 being the healthiest), you can check the Rudd Center’s database.

10. Nature’s Path: Synergy 8 Whole Grains
Nutritional Score: 78
Artificial Sweeteners: No
Artificial Food Dyes: No
Sugar Content: 13%
Fiber Content: 17%
Sodium (Mg per 100g): 0

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Read more: Basics, Children, Diabetes, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, News & Issues, , , ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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1:26PM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

I prefer my Trix cereal with half a can of lite beer and a slice of cold pizza. I also eat a sliced orange for nutrition !

9:51AM PST on Feb 9, 2014

Nice picks. Here's another opinion (not without overlap):

2:00AM PST on Dec 7, 2013

I don't eat breakfast cereals. That amount of milk would make me run to the toilet. :-(

1:46AM PST on Dec 7, 2013

Thank you :)

1:31PM PDT on Nov 2, 2013

I am surprised that no one mentioned the Ezekiel cereals. They have no flour and no sugar.

10:14AM PDT on Sep 1, 2013

Thanks for the info, but I'll stick to my steel-cut oats with fruit, nuts & almond milk!

9:36PM PDT on Aug 11, 2013

Oatmeal is good and I like muesli too. Shredded wheat is great if I can find it. GMOS should be avoided, they so need to label.

9:17AM PDT on Jul 27, 2013

Thank you.

8:57AM PDT on Jul 27, 2013

Most, if not all of the cereals listed contain GMO's and therefore cannot be considered healthy.

7:33AM PDT on Jul 27, 2013

Good to know!

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