Are Cereals Healthy for You? – Everything You Need to Know

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

Breakfast cereals can be healthy. They are convenient food and are quick and easy to make. Many people do not understand what cereals are. 

They just eat it for its convenience and the marketing that it is the healthiest kind of breakfast.

But, are cereals healthy for breakfast? Is healthy cereal for weight loss? What are the disadvantages of cereals?

What are the benefits of eating cereal in the morning? I will answer all these questions for you in this article.

So, read the rest of the article to know the cereal benefits and disadvantages before you make a choice to eat them regularly.

What Is Cereal?

Breakfast cereal is usually made with processed grains and sometimes they contain minerals and vitamins.

Generally speaking, we eat cereal with milk, fruit, nuts, or yogurt. Here us how cereals are usually made:

  • The grains of cereal is processed into flour and then cooked.
  • Then they mix the flour with ingredients such as water, sugar, and cocoa.
  • Now the extrusion process begins, which requires a high temperature to make the shape of the cereal using a machine.
  • Then they dry the cereal.
  • Lastly, they shape the cereal into forms like stars, rectangles, balls, or loops.

These cereals can also be shredded, flaked, or puffed, as well as coated in frosting or chocolate before they are dry.

Disadvantages of Breakfast Cereal

There are quite a lot of disadvantages of breakfast cereal. Let us look at these disadvantages down below.

Refined Grains

They make cereal from wheat, corn, or rice, these grains are highly processed.

Plus, the extrusion process of making cereal strips them of their essential nutrients and vitamins,

Now, these grains become refined, and the cereal becomes a sort of processed food and refined carbohydrate.

It is good to add grains to your diet, but cereal is not the most ideal or healthy form of grains.

Added Sugar

Not only are the carbohydrates refined, but breakfast cereal usually also has a lot of sugar in them.

These refined sugar can cause a lot of health issues.

However, these sugar make it so that the breakfast cereal is really addictive, which makes you overeat them and cross the limit of the recommended daily sugar intake by breakfast.

Diabetes Canada says that you should not eat more than 10 percent of sugar of the entire day’s calorie intake, which is about 50 grams of sugar on a 2000-calorie diet per day.

It is ideal that you consume less than 5 percent of sugar, which would be about 25 grams of sugar.

Unfortunately, in a cup of those so-called healthy breakfast cereals, there are about 11 grams at the least.


Not only are there excess amounts of syrup, sweeteners, and sugar in breakfast cereal, but they also have potentially dangerous preservatives and additives in them.

A lot of cereals consist of artificial colors that make them look more appealing and vibrant, which are associated with cancer risks, behavioral issues as well as allergic reactions.

Furthermore, some popular brands still consist of BHA or butylated hydroxyanisole and BHT or butylated hydroxytoluene, which are harmful to the body.

BHA can cause cancer as it has on lab animals, while the research on BHT has mixed findings. Although a lot of brands do not use these components any longer, some still do.

Misleading Claims

The misleading health claims are part of the reason why people still think that breakfast cereal is healthy.

Processed foods like cereal have labels on them with buzzwords like high fiber, whole grains, low fat, and all-natural, whole grains, which encourage customers to think that they are healthier than they really are. So, the healthy cereals UK are not as healthy.

A lot of studies show that the health claim of these kinds mislead people into believing that these products are healthier than they really are.

Furthermore, these labels sometimes even target children with cartoon characters and bright colors, making them seem appealing.

And the sugary taste adds to the appeal.

The misleading health claims are just a marketing strategy that convinces parents to buy them as well.

Selecting Healthier Cereals

If you really want to eat breakfast cereal healthy, then you should definitely follow the tips that I am laying out for you to have a healthier output.

Limit Sugar

There is a lot of breakfast cereal healthy that has low sugar content. You just need to check the ingredients list first.

When checking the ingredients list, look for sugar content that is lower than 5 grams per serving. Always check the food label before buying.

Go for Higher Fiber Content

Again, you have to check the ingredients list for this.

You should check if your cereal has a fiber content of at least 3 grams per serving.

Eating a lot of fiber can have a lot of health benefits. So, you do not want to miss out on these benefits.

Portion Control

Breakfast cereals are ready tasty, and crunchy, making them more appealing.

You can easily overeat cereal because of this and add more calories to your body.

Try not to overeat and make sure you measure the portion that you are going to eat to avoid overeating.

Ingredients List

Do not fall for the health claims on the packaging. Instead, read the ingredients list to make sure what is what. You need to check for healthy fats a well.

They can list sugar under different names to increase its amounts and get away with it. So, make sure you know those names and check the list well.

Add Protein

If you add protein, your breakfast will be more filling, and that will reduce your appetite. You can use nuts, seeds, or even green yogurt to add more protein to your breakfast as well as adding fresh fruit.

Top 10 Healthiest Cereals

The healthiest breakfast cereals 2020 are down below.

  1. One Degree 
  2. Nature’s Path Flax Plus
  3. Kashi Go Play 
  4. Bob’s Red Mill Muesli
  5. Cascadian Farm Organic Purely O’s
  6. Nature’s Path Smart Bran
  7. Kashi Go Rise
  8. Alpen Muesli
  9. Barbara’s Cereal
  10. Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola


Are cereals healthy? The answer is not straightforward. Most cereals are not healthy. Brands make health claims of different sorts, but you should not fall for them.

The whole grains and sugar of cereal have no health benefits. Instead, they are bad for your health. So, check the ingredient list for fiber and sugar according to my tips, and you should be fine.

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