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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 cereal healthiest 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

puffed kamut cereal - healthiest cereal

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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66 responses to “20 Healthiest Breakfast Cereals”

  1. Hi! Could you please give me a review on Kellogg’s All Bran Natural Nutri Fiber Cereal? I’ve been eating this one and I’d like to consider your opinion. Thanks!

    • Hi Kate! What do you mean by “instant cereal”? Do you mean instant oatmeal? If so, I don’t recommend instant oats at all because they are high-glycemic. Instead, I recommend rolled oats or steel cut oats and cooking them in the microwave or on the stovetop!

  2. I eat Red River breakfast cereal which has steel cut wheat, steel cut cracked rye, and whole flax. I recently read that most wheat now grown has been modified and is not good for you. Your opinion, please.
    Thanks, Frank

    • Hi Frank! The ingredients in Red River cereal actually look good! But yes, to your point, most wheat that is not organic either has GMOs or glyphosate residue — so I always recommend buying non-GMO wheat (and ideally, organic wheat). But that’s not always possible, and in those instances a cereal like Red River is still a good option since it has 100% whole grains and no added sugar!

    • I just phoned the red river questions phone line in Canada and the person reassured me that it is definitely NOT GMO. She said their management is definitely looking to add this to the label as well. Can this verbal answer be trusted?

      • That is really helpful to know and thank you for looking into that! I think it’s about as good of an answer you can get – especially if they are planning to update their labeling to indicate that.

  3. Anjali, this is so helpful! I actually rarely buy cereal but when I do, I try to stick with organic because of glyphosate. So glad that you mentioned it!

  4. I just started buying the Nature’s Path Raisin Bran with Flax and I’m obsessed! I’m extremely health conscious and just started a diet program that resembles Eat Stop Eat. It’s basically intermittent fasting. When I come off of a 24 hour fast, the first thing I want is Nature’s Path Raisin Bran with Flax. It’s so satisfying and healthy. Gets the system going well and I love how packed with fiber it is and high in protein. Just what you need to keep things moving. It’s so nutty and crunchy too. Thank you for the validation in naming it one of the healthier cereals! This made my day

  5. I just looked up the 365 Raisin Bran because I want an alternative to Kellogg’s with all the sugar. Your post says that is contains 6 grams of sugar but I just read the package and it has 16 grams per one cup.

    • Hi Lara, that’s a great point. This post was written 6 years ago, and I believe the formulation of the 365 Raisin Bran has changed since then. The formulation of the other raisin bran I recommend in the post (Nature’s Path) also changed in the past 6 years! I have updated my post with the correct info and have removed 365 Raisin Bran from the list. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

  6. Glad i stopped here and took a peak. I’m starting a new healthy lifestyle regimen on Monday and i know I won’t have time every morning to wip up something fast and tasty to eat. So i was going thru healthy cereal suggestions and came across your website. Thanks for the great tips and list of cereals. Will really save me time in the cereal isles reading away :). Great site and helpful. Thanks again and God bless.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your journey Ann! I’m so glad this post was helpful! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions on other healthy things to eat as you begin this new regimen!

  7. I am very glad to see another stand in the cereal aisle reading labels, of course I stand in all the aisles reading labels.
    Thanks for your suggestions, I will follow up on it.

  8. Uncle Sam Original? I remember it being high fiber(flax seed) and ultra low sugar (like 1g) Both kinds of fiber too.. and relatively inexpensive.. nice list

    • Thanks Mase! That’s a great point! Uncle Sam’s Original is an awesome cereal as well – consider it #11 on this list 🙂

  9. Have you tried the Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted cereal? The almond flavor added with a little bit of a natural sugar and warm milk is just divine!!! Also, half a cup has 8 grams of protein and about 200 calories. I eat this cereal the days I am in a rush, its super filling too!

    • Hi Palak! You know, I haven’t tried it – but it honestly sounds amazing and that it would totally make my list! Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  10. Hi,
    Many many thanks for the breakfast cereal collections…

    Kellogs cornflakes are good but I was looking for some change and landed on your page… Will look and try some new ones 🙂

    Thank you

  11. I love your breakfast cereal collection here. Delicious and healthy. Great for a complete and energizing breakfast.

    • Thank you so much Janet! I’m so glad it’s helpful – let me know which one’s your favorite after you try some of them!

  12. Instead of going straight for the Kellogg Special K or the Cheerios, I am 100 % going to check these cereals out! This information was extremely useful for someone like me who needs to start the day in a healthy way. Loved the Healthy Cereal rules too! Thanks Again!

    • That’s so great! I’m so excited for you to try some of these cereals – they’ll keep you feeling full much longer than something like Special K will (more fiber/protein in these options). Enjoy – let me know which one you end up choosing! 🙂

  13. I’ve also stood in the cereal aisle forever making lists of healthy cereals. 🙂 Number 2 on your list is my favorite and the one I eat every day. I usually look for as much fiber as possible but some of the higher fiber cereals are just inedible. The cardboard packaging would probably taste better. 🙂

    • Omg I know – isn’t Kashi Heart to Heart the best? I eat that + Barbara’s Original Puffins + Nature’s Path Flax Plus Flakes every day (yes – I’m one of those weird people that combine cereals 🙂 ). I totally agree that most of the super high fiber cereals are inedible – and honestly 5g fiber + fruit in the morning is a good amount of fiber to start your day. The only high fiber one that I find to be pretty good is All Bran, especially if you mix it with Kashi or one of the others on the list. Interested to hear what you think if you end up trying that one of these days!

  14. This is a great list which we will be adding to our phones so we have it at the market! Thanks for the great tips!

    • Yay! So glad it’s helpful 🙂 And hopefully it will save you time when you’re in that looong cereal aisle! Happy shopping!

  15. Just added this list to my grocery list. Thought I would have seen Fiber One cereal on here. Would it qualify as an honorable mention? Looking forward to trying some of these new ones! Thanks for posting.

    • Thanks Kaleigh! Regarding Fiber One – I actually left it off the list because it has Aspartame and artificial colors added to it – so All Bran is actually a healthier version of Fiber One 🙂 Hope that helps – and can’t wait to hear how you like some of these cereals!

  16. Besides for Cheerios- I haven’t tried any of these…going to add some to the grocery list- thanks!

    • Oh yay! I’m so excited for you to try some of these – they’re all such great options for a hearty start to the day. Let me know which one ends up being your favorite!

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