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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

20 Healthiest Breakfast Cereals

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Have you looked at the cereal aisle lately? There are literally a million types of cereal, many of which claim to be healthy when they’re not. So which are the healthiest cereals? On top of that, how do you know which healthy breakfast cereals actually taste good? This guide will help you to find the best healthy cereals for you and your family — cereals that taste great, will keep you full and satisfied, and are actually good for you too!

We’ve all been there.

The cereal aisle.

Rows and rows of colorful boxes with labels like “whole grain” and “all natural” and “organic” – but which one is actually the healthiest? The good news is, there are actually quite a few healthy cereals made with wholesome ingredients available at most grocery stores!

Read on to find my tips and tricks for finding the healthiest cereal, my top 20 best healthy cereal brands, and healthy cereal FAQs.

How To Find The Healthiest Cereals

When looking for the healthiest breakfast cereal, here’s what you should look for. A good healthy cereal will have:

  • Low calories per serving: Healthy brands of cereal will have no more than 150 calories per 3/4-1 cup serving (note: for Granola or Raisin Bran type cereals which tend to be denser, you want no more than ~200 calories for 1/2 cup serving).
  • Low sugar: You want low sugar cereals with less than 6 grams of sugar per serving (any more than that and you’re venturing into dessert territory). Watch out for all of the ingredients that don’t sound like sugar on the nutritional label but actually are, including: cane sugar, fruit juice, high fructose corn syrup, barley malt, evaporated cane juice, maple syrup, honey, and sucrose. Also you want to choose a cereal with minimal or no dried fruit added, since that’s a hidden source of extra sugar.
  • Lots of fiber: The healthiest cereal brands will have at least 4-5 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Some protein: At least 3 grams of protein per serving.
  • No soy: Avoid cereals that have soy protein isolate or soy protein added, as these are highly processed versions of soy that can have a negative impact on hormones and overall health.
  • Whole grains or grain free: Look for “whole grain” or “bran” or “whole wheat” as one of the first few ingredients, or grain free ingredients like beans or chickpeas.
  • No preservatives, no artificial ingredients: Avoid cereals with weird ingredients / preservatives that you can’t pronounce. The healthiest cereal to eat will have no preservatives, and no artificial colors or flavors on the ingredient list.
  • Organic ingredients: Ideally, the best breakfast cereal brands will have either 100% or at least majority organic ingredients, especially due to glyphosate found in most non-organic cereals. As a runner up, non-GMO cereals can also be ok.

What Is The Healthiest Cereal To Eat?

The best healthy cereal is any cereal that is organic, high in fiber (at least 5 grams per serving), low in sugar (under 6 grams per serving), under 200 calories per serving, and has no preservatives or artificial colors / flavors added.

Is Cereal Good For Weight Loss?

If you’re trying to lose weight, you might be wondering “Is cereal healthy?” The answer here is: it depends! Depends on the type of cereal you’re eating and how frequently you’re eating it. If you’re just having cereal once a day for breakfast, and you’re choosing a high fiber/lower calorie/low sugar option, then that can certainly be part of a diet for weight loss. On the other hand, if you’re loading up on sugary cereals multiple times a day, that’s actually a recipe for weight gain!

What Cereal Has No Sugar?

There are a few healthier cereal brands that have no sugar added! All of the best healthy cereals listed below are low in sugar, but cereals with no sugar include: plain oatmeal / rolled oats, One Degree Foods Organic Sprouted O’s, Three Wishes Grain-Free Unsweetened Cereal, Nature’s Path Organic Puffed Kamut, and Uncle Sam Toasted Whole Wheat Berry Flakes & Flaxseed.

What Is The Least Healthy Cereal?

Most Kellogg’s fortified breakfast cereals aimed at kids (Lucky Charms, Golden Grahams, Froot Loops, etc.) are super unhealthy because they’re high in sugar (which leads to those sugar highs and crashes), low in fiber, and contain artificial colors and flavors. Any cereal that has more than 8-9 grams of sugar per serving and contains artificial colors, flavors or preservatives is going to be pretty unhealthy for you!

best healthy cereal - healthiest cereals guide (healthiest breakfast cereals) - photo of a cereal aisle at a grocery store

The Top 20 Healthiest Breakfast Cereals

From the healthiest o’s, puffs, crunchy cereal, and flakes, to oats, granola, bran and raisin bran cereal, we have got you covered with this list of the healthiest cereals. You’ll even find quite a few grain free and gluten free cereals to try that are healthy for you too!

Forager Grain-Free Cereal

Forager Cereals might be my top pick for the best healthy cereal on the market today! They are 100% organic, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, whole food based, paleo, low-sugar, vegan and vegetarian friendly. With a super clean ingredients list like chickpeas, navy beans and cassava root as the first ingredient, their cereal is one of the healthiest choices you can make! They come in 3 flavors – plain, cinnamon and chocolate (I like cinnamon the best, it reminds me of a healthy version of cinnamon toast crunch, and really is one of the best tasting healthy cereal options I’ve found). This is definitely the healthiest cereal for adults and kids, and is my personal favorite cereal, I eat it daily.

Ingredients: Ground Chickpeas, Cassava Flour, Cane Sugar, Ground Navy Beans, Pea Protein, Psyllium Husk Powder, Sunflower Oil and/or Safflower Oil, Cinnamon, Sunflower Lecithin

Nutritional Info: 1 cup has 110 calories, 4 grams fiber, 4 grams sugar, and 4 grams protein.

Price: $7.69 for a 7.5oz box.

Allergen friendly, gluten free, grain free, vegan
Only 4 grams sugar per serving
Comes in 3 flavors
Delicious taste
Healthy organic cereal
On the pricier side
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One Degree Foods Sprouted Rolled Oats

One degree foods rolled oats bag

Oatmeal is definitely one of the best healthy cereals out there. I love One Degree Foods’ oats and cereals, because all of their healthy breakfast cereals are organic, non-GMO, and sprouted (sprouted grains have more available vitamins & minerals than regular grains, less starch, and are easier to digest). They also have sprouted steel cut oats and sprouted quick oats. They actually have a Sprouted O’s dry cereal that I love as well that’s made with sprouted oats and is gluten free, but it’s a bit hard to find which is why I haven’t officially included it in this list here. Oatmeal is one of those cereals that you really can’t go wrong with – it’s high in fiber, has protein, is always going to be the best sugar free cereal and least processed cereal option, and is super filling.

Ingredients: Organic sprouted rolled oats

Nutritional Info: 1/3 cup uncooked has 140 calories, 4 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, and 6 grams protein.

Price: $8.19 for a 24oz package.

No sugar
Gluten free, organic sprouted grains, non GMO
High in fiber and protein
Natural ingredients, and only 1 ingredient!
Does require prep time (you can’t just pour the oats in a bowl and eat them). You’ll either have to cook them or make overnight oats the night before.
On the more expensive side for oats
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Nature’s Path Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

rolled oats container - best healthy cereal

Organic rolled oats especially are low glycemic compared to their instant oats counterparts – which is beneficial in stabilizing blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Oats are one of the best cereals to eat, because they are packed with nutrition and are rich in B vitamins, have a high fiber content, and lots of essential minerals. The first and only ingredient on the nutrition label for this healthy cereal brand is organic rolled oats. Top these whole-grain oats with some sliced banana, fresh berries, and peanut butter for a filling and complete meal!

Ingredients: Organic whole grain rolled oats

Nutritional Info: 1 cup of cooked rolled oats has 150 calories, 3 g fat, 27g carbs, 4 g fiber, 0-1 g sugar, and 5 g protein.

Price: $3.72 for an 18oz package.

Organic, Non GMO, vegan friendly
More affordable than Sprouted Rolled Oats
High in fiber, best heart healthy cereal
No sugar
Not certified gluten free
Does require prep time (you can’t just pour the oats in a bowl and eat them). You’ll either have to cook them or make overnight oats the night before.
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Nature’s Path Organic Puffed Kamut

This Nature’s Path cereal has just one ingredient – organic whole grain Kamut Khorasan wheat. Free from artificial flavors, preservatives and colors, Certified USDA Organic, vegan, and non-GMO. It’s a healthy low calorie cereal option that you can’t really go wrong with!

Ingredients: organic whole grain kamut khorasan wheat

Nutritional Info: 1 cup has 50 calories, 2 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, and 2 grams protein.

Price: $3.41 for a 6oz bag.

Organic, non GMO
Only 1 ingredient!
Lowest calorie breakfast cereal
This cereal can be pretty bland, so I recommend mixing it with other cereals or adding berries and nuts to make it both heartier and tastier
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Barbara’s Original Puffins

barbara's original puffins - healthiest breakfast cereals

This is my top pick among all of the Barbara’s Cereals line, it’s also one of the most popular cereals I’ve found for kids that’s actually healthy! Simple ingredients, non-GMO, crispy and slightly sweet. Enjoy this healthy cold cereal with low-fat milk, or your favorite plant based milk like unsweetened almond milk or oat milk.

Ingredients: Yellow corn flour, corn bran flour, unsulphured molasses, whole oat flour, expeller pressed high oleic oil (canola and/or sunflower), salt, baking soda, vitamin c (ascorbic acid), natural vitamin e (mixed tocopherols to maintain freshness)

Nutritional Info: 1 cup has 130 calories, 6g fiber, 6g sugar and 3g protein.

Price: $6.70 for a 10oz box.


High in fiber
Tastes great, kids love it
Not organic
Does include canola/sunflower oil
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Kashi Heart to Heart, Honey Toasted Oat / Honey Nut

kashi heart to heart honey oat - healthiest breakfast cereals

This is a good choice for a healthier alternative to Honey Nut Cheerios. Kashi Heart to Heart is delicious and comes in two flavors (honey nut and cinnamon). It’s USDA Organic Certified, non-GMO, perfectly sweet, one of the best oat cereal brands, and is crunchy and packed with whole grains.

Ingredients: Whole oat flour, degerminated yellow cornmeal, invert cane syrup, oat fiber, honey, salt, expeller pressed canola oil, natural flavors, iron (ferric phosphate), mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) for freshness.

Nutritional Info: 1 cup has 150 calories, 6 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, and 4 grams protein.

Price: $6.49 for a 12oz box.

Organic, Non-GMO
Tastes great
Healthier alternative to Honey Nut Cheerios
Made with whole grains, high in fiber
A little higher in sugar than I’d like, but for a 3/4 cup serving it’s under the “6 grams” threshold
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Kashi Heart to Heart, Warm Cinnamon

kashi heart to heart organic warm cinnamon - healthiest breakfast cereals

This cinnamon version of Kashi Heart to Heart is just as delicious as its honey nut counterpart, is a heart healthy cereal, and has all of the same benefits of the other flavor! It’s organic, non-GMO, sweet, crunchy, and packed with whole grains.

Ingredients: Whole oat flour, degerminated yellow cornmeal, invert cane syrup, oat fiber, honey, cinnamon, salt, expeller pressed canola oil, iron (ferric phosphate), natural flavors, mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) for freshness, ginger, cardamom

Nutritional Info: 1 cup has 150 calories, 5 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, and 4 grams protein.

Price: $6.49 for a 12oz box.

Organic, Non-GMO
Tastes great
High in fiber, packed with whole grains
Vegan friendly
A little higher in sugar than I’d like, but for a 3/4 cup serving it’s under the “6 grams” threshold
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Nature’s Path Flax Plus Flakes

nature's path flax plus bran flakes

The best alternative to corn flakes or bran flakes! It’s the healthiest bran cereal option I’ve found that’s widely available in grocery stores. These flax based flakes are hearty, filling, and packed with healthy fats thanks to the omega-3 rich flaxseeds. Organic, Non-GMO, vegan, kosher, and slightly sweet.

Ingredients: Whole Wheat Flour, Wheat Bran, Evaporated Cane Juice, Flax, Oat Bran, Barley Malt Extract, Sea Salt, tocopherols (Natural Vitamin E)

Nutritional Info: 1 cup has 150 calories, 7g fiber, 5g sugar and 5g protein.

Price: $3.79 for a 13.25oz box

High in fiber, rich in whole grains
Organic, Non-GMO
Has healthy fats from the flaxseeds
While these flakes do have 5 grams of sugar included, they don’t taste sweet and so you might be tempted to add sugar to them (which would not be good!)
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Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls Multigrain

barbara's shredded spoonfuls multigrain - healthiest breakfast cereals

This healthy whole grain cereal is best alternative to shredded wheat (especially frosted shredded wheat)! Non-GMO, no high fructose corn syrup (frosted shredded wheat does have high fructose corn syrup), vegan friendly, and is sweetened with molasses instead of refined sugar.

Ingredients: Whole oat flour (with added oat bran), yellow corn flour (with added corn bran), unsulphured molasses, whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda, natural vitamin e (mixed tocopherols to maintain freshness), vitamin c (ascorbic acid)

Nutritional Info: 1 cup has 140 calories, 5g fiber, 7g sugar, and 5g protein.

Price: $5.49 for a 14oz box.

Non-GMO, vegan friendly
High in fiber, made with whole grains
On the more affordable side
Tastes great
A little higher in sugar than I’d like, but for a 3/4 cup serving it’s under the “6 grams” threshold
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Cascadian Farm Organic Purely O’s

cascadian farms purely o's - healthiest breakfast cereals

The best healthy alternative to regular Cheerios! Regular Cheerios is not organic and is high in glyphosate residue (a pesticide). Cascadian Farm Organic Purely O’s tastes just like regular Cheerios but is 100% organic and non-GMO which means you don’t have to worry about pesticide residue on your cereal! It’s one of the best low-sugar cereals – it’s crunchy and mild – and is also great for a toddler/kid finger food or cereal snack.

Ingredients: Whole grain oats, whole grain barley, wheat starch, malted barley extract, sea salt, calcium carbonate, oats, malted barley, vitamin e (mixed tocopherols) added to preserve freshness.

Nutritional Info: 1.5 cups has 140 calories, 4 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar, and 4 grams protein.

Price: $6.49 for a 8.6oz box.

Organic & Non-GMO
Healthy cereal for kids
Very low in sugar (1 gram per serving)
Made with whole grains
Healthiest cheerios option
On the more expensive side
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Uncle Sam Toasted Whole Wheat Berry Flakes & Flaxseed

uncle sam's healthy breakfast cereal

Only 4 ingredients, Non-GMO, Vegan. This honestly would be my #1 pick but taste wise, but it’s not organic and it can be pretty bland. I recommend buying this and mixing it with one of the best healthy cereals above (50-50) to bring a little more flavor to your breakfast bowl!

Ingredients: Whole grain wheat, flaxseed, barley malt, salt

Nutritional Info: 3/4 cup of this low sugar, high-fiber cereal has 220 calories, 10g fiber, 0g sugar and 8g protein

Price: $6.12 for a 10oz box

Non-GMO, vegan friendly
Very high in fiber and protein
Only 4 ingredients
No sugar added
Not organic
Can have a bland taste
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Three Wishes Unsweetened Protein Cereal

best healthy cereal - three wishes protein cereal box

Three Wishes is one of the tastiest high-protein cereals I’ve found. It’s also a grain-free, vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and a paleo friendly cereal! It’s low in carbs, high in protein and high in fiber. Their healthy cereal comes in 6 flavors: Cinnamon, Honey, Unsweetened, Cocoa, Fruity, and Frosted – giving you something for everyone!

Ingredients: The unsweetened option has just 4 simple ingredients: chickpeas, tapioca, pea protein and salt. The flavored versions will have these ingredients plus: cane sugar, monk fruit, and natural flavors.

Nutritional Info: 3/4 cup has 120-130 calories, 3 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar (the flavored versions have only 3 grams of sugar), and 8 grams of protein.

Price: $6.70 for an 8.6oz box.

Tastes delicious, great for kids, lots of flavors
Great way to get in extra protein
Non-GMO, grain free, gluten free, paleo
Simple ingredients
Not organic
On the more expensive side
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Love Grown Original Power O’s

love grown original power o's

Love Grown’s cereal is a healthy option for anyone looking for a high protein gluten free cereal. It’s non-GMO, vegan and made primarily with beans and lentils!

Ingredients: Bean blend (navy beans, lentils, garbanzo beans), brown rice flour, salt, vitamin E (to maintain freshness).

Nutritional Info: 1.25 cups has 130 calories, 5 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar, and 6 grams protein.

Price: $5.99 for a 8oz box.

Gluten free, simple ingredients, vegan
High in protein and fiber
Low in sugar
Not organic
Tastes a little bland, so I recommend mixing it with one of the other cereals on this list!
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Barbara’s Puffins Multigrain Gluten Free

Box of barbara's puffins gluten free cereal.

A great option for gluten-free cereals that are healthy that also happen to be Non-GMO and is made with whole grain brown rice flour.

Ingredients: Corn flour, whole grain brown rice flour, cane sugar, whole grain pure oat flour, fructooligosaccharides (prebiotic), oat hull fiber, calcium carbonate, sea salt, natural flavor, caramel color, anatto (for color), tocopherols (to maintain freshness).

Nutritional Info: 1 cup has 130 calories, 4 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, 3 grams protein

Price: $7.86 for a 10oz box

Gluten free, non GMO
Tastes great
Vegan friendly
Has prebiotics added
A little higher in sugar (7 grams per serving)
Not organic
On the more expensive side
Does include some “natural” caramel color
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KIND Granola Oats & Honey

kind granola - healthiest breakfast cereals

This healthy low sugar cereal is gluten free, non-GMO, slightly sweet and the perfect topping for Greek yogurt bowls or smoothie bowls.

Ingredients: Oats, tapioca syrup, brown rice, cane sugar, honey, millet, oat flour, coconut, canola oil, buckwheat, amaranth, molasses, quinoa, brown rice syrup, sea salt, Vitamin E (tocopherols to maintain freshness).

Nutritional Info: 1/3 of a cup has 110 calories, 2g fiber, 5g sugar and 2g protein.

Price: $7.90 for an 11oz package

Low sugar granola option, tastes great
Made with whole grains
Gluten free
On the more expensive side
Runs into some of the same challenges regular granola has in that it’s calorie dense – 1/3 cup has 110 calories vs. 1 whole cup being around 120 calories for regular (non-granola) cereal
Not organic
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Bear Naked Fit Vanilla Almond Crunch Granola

bear naked fit granola healthiest breakfast cereals

These crunchy clusters are non-GMO, with whole grain oats and hearty almonds, and are one of my favorite healthy breakfast cereal options because they’re low in sugar. This cold cereal is a great choice for a low calorie, low sugar granola – it has 45% less sugar most leading granola brands!

Ingredients: Whole grain oats, brown rice syrup, almonds, cane sugar, oat bran, brown rice, ground flax seeds, natural flavors.

Nutritional Info: 1/4 cup has 120 calories, 2g fiber, 3g sugar and 3g protein.

Price: $7.99 for a 12oz bag


Low sugar granola
Tastes great
Made with whole grains
On the more expensive side
Not organic, not gluten free
Runs into some of the same challenges regular granola has in that it’s calorie dense – 1/4 cup has 120 calories vs. 1 whole cup being around 120 calories for regular (non-granola) cereal
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Purely Elizabeth Granola, Original Flavor

purely elizabeth granola

USDA Organic, Non-GMO, Made with a variety of ancient grains including quinoa, amaranth and chia. Uses coconut sugar which is a lower glycemic option. One of the best healthy cereal brands if you’re looking for an organic healthy way to get your granola fix.

Ingredients: Organic Gluten-Free Oats, Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Puffed Amaranth, Organic Millet Flakes, Organic Quinoa Flakes, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Cinnamon, Salt.

Nutritional Info: 1/3 of a cup has 130 calories, 2g fiber, 7g sugar, 3g protein.

Price: $5.67 for a 12oz bag

Organic, Non-GMO
Gluten free, vegan friendly
More affordable than most other granolas
Packed with whole grains and ancient grains
Runs into some of the same challenges regular granola has in that it’s calorie dense – 1/3 cup has 110 calories vs. 1 whole cup being around 120 calories for regular (non-granola) cereal
Higher in sugar than the other granola options on this list
Buy Now

Seven Sundays Blueberry Chia Buckwheat Muesli

Seven Sundays Blueberry Chia Buckwheat Muesli

Certified gluten free, made with wild blueberries, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds for more protein. This non-GMO project verified cereal is one of the best healthy muesli brands. It has half the sugar and twice the protein when compared to most other muesli brands, making it a great option if you’re looking for a healthy muesli cereal. Enjoy it cold with milk or hot with water or milk, or even use it as a topping for yogurt!

Ingredients: Gluten free oats, sorghum flakes, buckwheat groats, blueberries (blueberries, apple juice), unsweetened coconut chips (no sulfites), apples, organic honey, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, lemon extract

Nutritional Info: 1/2 cup has 240 calories, 6g fiber, 4g added sugar (7 grams total sugar) and 8g protein.

Price: $15 for a 32oz bag (equates to $7.50 for a 16oz bag)

Gluten free, non-GMO
Low added sugar, healthiest muesli option
High in protein
Affordable compared to other granolas
Runs into some of the same challenges regular muesli has in that it’s calorie dense – 1/2 cup has 240 calories vs. 1 whole cup being around 120 calories for regular (non-granola/muesli) cereal
Not organic
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Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal, Original

Food For Life Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal, Original

Ezekiel makes some of the most nutritious cereal – it’s USDA Organic, made with sprouted live grains, legumes, seeds and has absolutely no flour! This is one of the healthiest boxed cereal options and would be my top granola pick, but just like the Uncle Sam cereal, it’s a little on the bland side and works well when paired with another cereal 50-50. They have a few other flavors (Almond, Golden Flax, etc.) that are equally good for you!

Ingredients: Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Whole Barley, Organic Sprouted Whole Millet, Organic Sprouted Whole Lentils, Organic Sprouted Whole Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Whole Spelt, Filtered Water, Sea Salt.

Nutritional Info: 1/2 cup has 190 calories, 6g fiber, 0g sugar and 8g protein.

Price: $8.66 for a 16oz box.

Organic, Non-GMO
Nutrient dense
High in fiber, best protein cereal
No sugar
A little bland taste wise, best when mixed with other cereals.
Runs into some of the same challenges regular granola has in that it’s calorie dense – 1/2 cup has 190 calories vs. 1 whole cup being around 120 calories for regular (non-granola) cereal
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Nature’s Path Flax Plus Raisin Bran

natures path flax plus raisin bran - healthiest breakfast cereals

While dried fruit based cereals may not be the healthiest cold cereals to eat, this particular brand is a great alternative to traditional Kellogg’s Raisin Bran (which has tons of sugar – 18g per serving). It is high in fiber and contains healthy fats from the flax seeds. The Nature’s Path version has only 4.8 grams of added sugar (10.4 grams of total sugar) for each 1 cup serving.

Ingredients: Organic whole wheat meal, organic raisins (coated with organic sunflower oil), organic wheat bran, organic cane sugar, organic flax seeds, organic oat bran, organic barley malt extract, sea salt, tocopherols (vitamin E).

Nutritional Info: 168 calories for 1 cup, 7.2 grams fiber, 10.4 grams sugar (only 4.8 grams added sugar) and 5 grams protein. (Note: 1.25 cups has 210 calories, 9 grams fiber, 13 grams sugar / 6 grams added sugar, and 6 grams protein).

Price: $4.33 for a 14oz box

Organic, Non-GMO
Has healthy omega 3 fatty acids added
Low in sugar compared to other Raisin Bran cereals, healthiest Raisin Bran cereal option
High in fiber
Still higher in sugar and calories overall compared to other cereal options
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Healthy Cereal FAQs

What Makes A Cereal Nutritious?

Healthy whole grains, plant protein, and a small amount of added sugar makes for a nutritious cereal. When trying to find the healthiest cereal, if you prioritize cereals that are low in sugar (less than 6 grams per serving) and high in fiber (4 grams or more per serving), you’ll likely find a good option that will keep you full all the way until lunch!

And when in doubt, choose organic, gluten free rolled oats and make oatmeal for breakfast – because that is guaranteed to be healthy every time!

Note: If you’re feeding an especially picky eater, I recommend supplementing with an organic kids vitamin along with their breakfast to ensure they’re getting all of the nutrients they need!

Is Raisin Bran Healthy?

Raisin Bran is certainly a popular cereal, but unfortunately the most common Raisin Bran cereal brands (made by Kellogg’s and Post) are not healthy for you.

While the name “Raisin Bran” sounds healthy, it’s actually loaded with calories and sugar – because of the amount of raisins included in the cereal. Raisins are dried fruit, and dried fruit overall is concentrated in sugar, since it doesn’t have all of the water that its fresh fruit counterparts contain.

One serving of Post’s Raisin Bran cereal (1.25 cups) contains 210 calories and 20 grams of sugar. Kellogg’s is no better – one serving (1 cup) contains 190 calories and 17 grams of sugar.

That’s almost the same amount of sugar in a can of Coke, or a regular sized Snickers Bar! For a healthy Raisin Bran type cereal, try Nature’s Path Flax Plus Raisin Bran instead.

Is Granola Healthy?

Granola typically runs into the same problem as Raisin Bran – way too much sugar and calories packed into a small serving! Making granola at home will result in a healthier granola since you can control the amount of sugar and fat added to the recipe (like this low calorie granola recipe that is super low in sugar!)

If you are looking for a pre-made/store-bought granola, follow the same rules as you would when looking for an actually healthy cereal (low in sugar, high in fiber). I like KIND Granola, Bare Naked Fit Granola, and Purely Elizabeth Granola.

Remember, with granola, portion size matters – you can go overboard even with the healthy granola brands if you eat more than 1 serving per day!

Are Cheerios Healthy?

On the surface, Cheerios look healthy: one serving (1.5 cups) has 140 calories, 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein (and they are gluten-free).

However, because Cheerios are not organic, they have been found to contain high levels of the carcinogen glyphosate – so I wouldn’t recommend them!

Instead, try One Degree Foods Sprouted O’s or Cascadian Farms Purely O’s.

Is Captain Crunch Healthy?

Unfortunately no, Captain Crunch is not healthy at all! It is low in nutritional value, highly processed, contains no fiber, is not organic, and likely contains high levels of the carcinogen glyphosate. It’s also has an extremely high sugar content (17 grams per serving size!!) and includes artificial colors (yellow #5 and #6), and includes BHT (an ingredient banned in Japan, Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand due to it being classified as a carcinogen).

Is Quaker Oats Granola Cereal Healthy?

Quaker Simply Granola Oats with Honey and Raisins might sound healthy, but it is not healthy at all. It’s high in calories (270 for just 2/3 cup), high in sugar (16 grams per serving), and Quaker oats have been shown to have high levels of glyphosate because they are not organic. It’s also not vegan friendly as it contains whey protein. While this cereal does have a good amount of fiber and protein, it’s not enough to offset the negative attributes of this cereal.

Is Grape Nuts Healthy?

Grape Nuts is actually pretty healthy! It’s the best choice of conventional breakfast cereals that I’ve found. It’s Non-GMO, has only 4 ingredients (Whole grain wheat flour, malted barley flour, salt, dried yeast), and has 7 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein per serving.

The only downside to Grape Nuts is that it’s super calorie dense and is not a granola (which is the only type of cereal I’d expect more calorie density). Grape Nuts has 400 calories for a 1 cup serving (200 calories for 1/2 cup), which is why I didn’t include it on my list of healthy cereals above!

Is Special K Cereal Good For You?

Special K original cereal looks healthy, but it’s actually not that healthy for you. There are some positives: it’s low in calories (150 calories for 1.25 cups), high in protein (7 grams per 1.25 cups), and low in sugar (5 grams per 1.25 cups). But it has no fiber, includes BHT, and Special K was also one of the cereals found to contain glyphosate, so I would recommend avoiding it and choosing one of the other healthier cereal choices on this list above.

Is rice chex healthy?

Rice Chex looks healthy, but (like Special K and Cheerios), is not healthy for you unfortunately. The positive aspects of Rice Chex include: it’s gluten free, low in calories (160 calories for 1.33 cups) and low in sugar (3 grams per 1.33 cups). But Rice Chex has very little fiber, and it’s not organic and it is GMO. It’s also pretty processed and has a glycemic index of 69, which is more than a chocolate bar!

I hope this list of healthy cereals that taste good helps you to pick out a great and satisfying cereal – it’s the perfect excuse to make a healthy start to your day! Also, check out some of these delicious healthy eating guides!

Love this healthy eating guide? Feel free to leave a review in the comments section further down the page!

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72 responses to “20 Healthiest Breakfast Cereals”

    • Hi! I have mixed feelings about this cereal – on the positive side it’s organic, has simple ingredients, and is high in fiber and protein. However, one serving (31 biscuits) has 9 grams of sugar – which is a lot for cereal. I like aiming for cereals that have 6-7 grams of sugar or less per serving, because usually one serving isn’t quite enough for a filling breakfast – most people end up using about 1.5 servings of cereal for breakfast. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Steel cut oats and quinoa are both great for breakfast! They’re not listed here because I was focusing more on packaged cereals in this post, vs. unprocessed whole grains (where oats and quinoa would fit in). Hope that helps!

      • Hi Clyde! I omitted Post Original Shredded Wheat because it recently tested positive for glyphosate – along with most of the non-organic, commercially made cereals. It is low in sugar, but the glyphosate makes it problematic. Hope that helps explain!

    • Post Wheat N Bran. Only 1.5 grams of fat, 0 Cholesterol, 0 sodium, 8 grams of dietary fiber, 0 sugar, 0 added sugar. Calories a little high 210 per serving per 1 1/3 cup. And 49 grams of carbs. First ingredients Whole grain wheat, wheat bran. I’m a diabetic I have 3/4 cup in the morning which cut down on calories and carbs. The main thing I look for is added sugars added sugars I do not choose anything with added sugars.

      • Hi Wade! Post Wheat N Bran is good from a fiber & sugar standpoint, but Post has had issues with glyphosate being detected in their cereal, which is why I didn’t add them to my list. Thanks!

  1. Hi Anjali,
    Thank for for the wonderful information! Have you done any research on the “Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oatmeal” sold at Costco? Just wondering if it is a healthy choice for kiddos at breakfast?
    Thank you!!!!

    • Hi Jessie! Great question! The Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oatmeal (the plain variety) has good ingredients in that it’s 100% oats and has no other ingredients added. But my main concern with quaker oats is the levels of glyphosate / pesticide residue that ends up in the oats because they are not organic. So for that reason I wouldn’t recommend buying quaker oats – instead I’d look for organic rolled oats (any brand would work, as long as it’s plain organic oats). Hope that helps!

  2. Hello –

    I’d be very much interested in hearing your thoughts on the nutritional aspects of muesli.


    • Hi Mike! Muesli can be healthy, but the store bought versions often have sugar added, or too many dried fruits added, which drives up the sugar content. Homemade muesli made from whole grains, oats, nuts, and a very small amount of dried fruit with no sugar added can be healthy. Hope that helps!

  3. Post shredded wheat biscuits are quite healthy. 2 biscuits are 170 calories and have 7grams of fiber and 0 grams of sugar. Ingredients list says whole grain wheat and BHT for freshness. Old Fashioned Quaker Oats are good as well. 1/2 cup dry has 150 calories 4 grams of fiber and 1g of total sugar. Ingredients are whole grain oats. Nothing else.

    • Hi Pat! Thanks for reaching out! While Post shredded wheat does have some good qualities (no sugar, high fiber, relatively low calorie, only one ingredient). The BHT basically makes this cereal totally unhealthy. BHT is a preservative that’s banned in Europe due to its likely nature as a carcinogen (more details here). Old Fashioned Quaker Oats have a similar problem as shredded wheat — on the surface they look good (low sugar, high fiber, low calorie, one ingredient), but because their oats are not organic, they use glyphosate (a very toxic pesticide) on their wheat crops – and Old Fashioned Quaker Oats were one of the cereals with the highest concentration of detectable glyphosate (more details here). Based on that – I excluded both of these cereals from my list. Hope that helps!

  4. As cited by you under Kellog’s Raisin Bran that it has high sugar due to high proportion of raisins, but does removing those Raisins to reduce sugar be a good tweak?

    I mean to say the existing Raisin Bran products can be modified to achieve low sugar instead of buying an expensive product with no taste. Please confirm my assessment.

    • Hi Harry! I do think removing the raisins from Raisin Bran would be a good tweak. I don’t know how the sugar content breaks down between raisins & the flakes, but removing the raisins would reduce the sugar for sure!

  5. I’m looking for organic Raisin Bran with lowest sugar, also affordable. Nature’s Path Organic Flax Plus Raisin Bran Cereal fits that criteria as per you, but it has 6g of added sugar, when compared to Great Value’s Raisin Bran it is very similar. How is the Nature Path’s option better?

    Secondly, can you suggest an affordable and organic Raisin Bran cereal with close to zero-sugar?

    • Hi Harry! There are three reasons why I prefer Nature’s Path over the Great Value version. 1) Nature’s Path has only 13 grams of total sugar and 6 grams of added sugar, vs. Great Value having 22 grams of total sugar and 7 grams of added sugar per serving. My guess is that Great Value uses way more raisins than Nature’s Path. And even though the added sugar is similar, the total sugar matters too – since it’s the equivalent of eating a ton of raisins which are still very high on the glycemic index. 2) Nature’s Path has more fiber and protein per serving than Great Value 3) Nature’s Path is organic and Great Value is not. Non organic cereals are made from ingredients that are sprayed with pesticides (notably, glyphosate – which is a carcinogen), and those pesticides do end up being detectable on the cereal.
      To your second question, unfortunately there is no Raisin Bran cereal with zero sugar on the market today! That’s because raisins, inherently, are high in sugar since they are just dried grapes. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Hello Anjali,

        Thanks for your response. Great Value does have Bran cereal without Raisins in Walmart. They are not easy to find since they keep very few stock due to low popularity, but advantage here is they have the least sugar in the Bran cereal category.
        Lastly, I agree Great Value does not have organic cereal. I wished the Bran cereal would have been organic and non-GMO!

  6. Gosh, it’s hard to beat FiberOne but too am very concerned about glyphosate. 18 g of fiber and zero sugar & it tastes out of this world!

    • Fiber One is great from a fiber standpoint, but you are right about the glyphosate! It also has added sucralose which really isn’t good (that’s how it keeps the 0 grams of sugar stat). I’d recommend an organic fiber cereal from your local grocery store if you need something super high in fiber! Hope that helps!

  7. I eat Publix Greenwise corn flakes. They have 150 calories per 1 and 1/4 cup serving. They are organic have only three ingredients: organic milled corn, organic cane sugar, and se salt, they contain 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and only 3 grams of sugar.

  8. Hi Anjali,

    We are using “Nature’s Path Organic Granola Cereal” for quite sometime. Appreciate your inputs on this?


    • Hi Srikanth! It’s not bad for a granola (since most granolas are pretty high in sugar and calories), but it’s also not great — it’s sort of in the middle. 1 serving of the granola cereal is only 1/3 of a cup which is pretty small. 1/3 of a cup has 140 calories and 6 grams of added sugar. But if you compare that to regular cereal and make it an apples to apples comparison, it’s high in calories and higher in sugar than the other cereals on my list. For example, 1 cup of the granola has 420 calories and 18 grams of added sugar — vs. 1 cup of Kashi Heart to Heart has 160 calories and 6.6 grams of sugar. Hope that helps!

    • Hi Jessie! Plain Cheerios have some good things going for them: whole grains / contains fiber, very low sugar, low in calories. My only issue with Cheerios is that because they are not organic, the toxic pesticide glyphosate is used on the wheat / oats that go into Cheerios. In 2020, the EWG found that levels of glyphosate in Cheerios were 729 ppb and in Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch the levels reached 833 ppb. The EWG considers 160 ppb to be the highest level safe for children’s food. (source) — that’s my main reason for not recommending Cheerios! Hope that helps!

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