Breakfast Cereal is Healthy?


Breakfast cereals are an easy, convenient food. People claims impressive health benefits or try to promote the latest nutrition trend. But you may wonder whether these cereals are as healthy as they claim to be. This blog takes a detailed look at breakfast cereals and their health effects.

Breakfast Cereal

Breakfast cereal (or simply cereal) is a traditional breakfast food made from processed cereal grains in Western societies.. It is fortified with vitamins and minerals and mostly eaten with milk, yogurt, fruit, or nuts. How breakfast cereals are typically made:

Processing: The grains are usually processed into fine flour and cooked.
Mixing: The flour is then mixed with ingredients like sugar, cocoa, and water.
Extrusion: Many breakfast cereals are produced via extrusion, a high-temperature process that uses a machine to shape the cereal.
Drying: Next, the cereal is dried.
Shaping: Finally, the cereal is shaped into forms, such as balls, stars, loops or rectangles.

Breakfast cereals may also be puffed, flaked, or shredded — or coated in chocolate or frosting before it is dried.


Cereals & Added Sugar, Refined Carbs

Most breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar and refined grains. Added sugar treated as single worst ingredient in the modern diet. It contributes to several chronic diseases, and most people are eating way too much of it. Most of this sugar comes from processed foods and breakfast cereals are among the most popular processed foods that are high in added sugars. Starting the day with a high-sugar breakfast cereal will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels. A few hours later, your blood sugar will crash and your body will crave another high-carb meal or snack. It is first sympton of overeating. Excess consumption of sugar may also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Cereals & Fiber

Many breakfast cereals contain fiber, but most of them violate the “five-to-one fiber rule”: divide the number of carbohydrate grams by the number of dietary fiber grams (a result of 5 or less indicates a healthy balance of ingredients).

Cereals & Antioxidants 

Breakfast cereals are very low in antioxidants, especially when compared to breakfast alternatives like fruit smoothies. Adding fruit to cereals is a good idea.

Cereals & Vitamin B12

Fortified breakfast cereal can provide vitamin B12, a nutrient that is not naturally available in plant foods.

Misleading Claims

Breakfast cereals are often marketed as healthy. Boxes featuring health claims like "low-fat" and "whole-grain." But their first listed ingredients are often refined grains and sugar. Limited amounts of whole grains do not make these products healthy. Studies show that these health claims are an effective way to mislead people into believing that these products are healthier.


Is Cereal healthy for Kids?

Parents are busy. Breakfast cereals are cheap and convenient. There is no shame in feeding your child an easy breakfast. We have been programmed to believe that breakfast cereals are healthy, but we are wrong.

Many cereals you know and love claim to be a part of your balanced breakfast, but many of the well-known brands are actually chock-full of highly-processed grains, synthetic vitamins and minerals, artificial coloring and flavoring, and loads of sugar.

Food manufacturers specifically target children. Companies use bright colors, cartoon characters, and action figures to attract children's attention. This causes children to associate breakfast cereals with entertainment and fun. Studies show that some children prefer the taste of foods that have popular cartoon characters on the packaging. It considered a risk factor for childhood obesity and other diet-related diseases. While the colors and cartoons make the products more appealing to children, the health claims make the parents feel better about buying such products for their kids.

Cereal Selection Tips

Here are some tips to help you select a healthier option.


Limit Sugar

Try to choose a breakfast cereal with under 5 grams of sugar per serving. Read the food label to find out how much sugar the product contains.

Aim High Fiber

Breakfast cereals that pack at least 3 grams of fiber per serving are optimal. Eating enough fiber can have numerous health benefits.

Limit Portions

Breakfast cereals tend to be crunchy and tasty, and it can be very easy to consume a high number of calories. Try to measure how much you’re eating, using the serving size information on the packaging for guidance.

Read Ingredients

Ignore the health claims on the front of the box, making sure to check the ingredients list. The first two or three ingredients are most important, as they comprise the majority of the cereal. However, food manufacturers may use tricks to hide the amount of sugar in their products. If sugar is listed several times under different names the product is probably very high in sugar.

Add Protein

You can also enrich your cereal by adding protein. Protein is the most filling macro nutrient. It increases fullness and reduces appetite. This is likely because protein changes the levels of several hormones, such as the hunger hormone and a fullness hormone. Greek yogurt or a handful of nuts or seeds are good choices for extra protein.

Choose Healthy Breakfast

You should eat breakfast in the morning. However, it is best to choose whole, single-ingredient foods. Here are a few great choices:

  • oatmeal with raisins and nuts
  • Greek yogurt with nuts and sliced fruit
  • scrambled eggs with vegetables

Whole eggs are an excellent breakfast choice because they are high in protein, healthy fats, and nutrients. Also, they keep you full for a long time and may even boost weight loss. One study in teenage girls found that a high-protein breakfast of eggs and lean beef increased fullness. It also reduced cravings and late-night snacking. Other studies note that replacing a grain-based breakfast with eggs can help you feel fuller for the next 36 hours and lose up to 65% more weight.


Breakfast cereals are highly processed, often packed with added sugar and refined carbs. Their packages regularly have misleading health claims. So, read ingredients list before buying. The best cereals are high in fiber and low in sugar. Preparing a healthy breakfast from whole foods is not only simple but starts your day with plenty of nutrition.

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