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Food and Nutrition

Grocery Spotlight: Breakfast Cereals

Dana Calidonna, RD | Nutrition Specialist
/ July 3, 2020

We get a lot of questions from clients about healthy cold cereals, and while nothing could replace our love of oatmeal (hot or cold!), there are some decent options out there to add to the breakfast repertoire. Cereal often gets a bad rap for being loaded with sugar and devoid of fiber (even innocent-seeming Cheerios has sugar as the 3rd ingredient and a measly 3g of fiber), but with a little investigating we found some good buys. Check out our favorites below and also our reviews of some popular, but maybe not as healthy, brands.

Good Buys 

Post Shredded WheatA classic brand found at most major grocery stores, Post’s shredded wheat contains only one ingredient (whole grain wheat) along with 8g of fiber and 7g of protein for each 1 ⅓ cup serving at 210 calories. Also love that it boasts 0g of sugar. 

Barbara’s Shredded WheatSimilar nutrient profile to Post’s version, but comes in a big biscuit option (remember Weetbix?) versus the spoon-size squares. 

365 Whole Foods Wheat SquaresWhole Food’s house brand makes a comparable version. Note that this cereal is very calorie dense at 220 calories for just ¼ cup (but still a high source of fiber and protein).

Enjoy With Caution 

Uncle Sam’s Wheat Berry FlakesThis cereal is super high in fiber (10g per serving) from whole grain wheat and flaxseed but does contain a little added sugar (<1g) from barley malt.

Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain CerealWe like Ezekiel bread as an option for our folks on Stepwise or Maintenance, but in general their cereals contain small amounts (~1g) of sugar from malted barley or agave. Also, one dietitian noted this cereal was “like chewing on twigs.“

Grapenuts OriginalMaybe not your favorite growing up, but Grapenut’s has a pretty simple ingredient list and is high in both fiber and protein. It does have 5g of sugar (0g added) from the wheat flour and barley flour, so can’t compete with the 0g of the less processed shredded wheat.


Magic Spoon- A popular keto cereal, Magic Spoon contains a long list of ingredients of nothing that I would readily recognize as food. If you are trying to eat keto, best to just avoid the cereal aisle!

If you are accustomed to eating sugary cereals, these shredded wheat options might taste a little blah. Try enjoying unsweetened almond milk and ½ banana or some fresh berries to add a little natural sweetness! Or, want to make your own cold breakfast cereal? Check out the recipe on our blog for DIY Ancient Grain Cereal. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day after all.

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