Food Showdown: Battle of the Breakfast Cereals

0SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
4/21/2012 10:00 AM   :  160 comments   :  35,431 Views

When I was growing up, my parents kept our pantry stocked with at least five different kinds of cereal, and I spent many a Sunday morning eating it out of a bowl the size of my head while reading the comics. I got smarter about portion control in college, but cereal remained my favorite sweet and crunchy breakfast and late-night studying snack. I would try to gravitate toward healthier, whole-grain varieties, and two of my favorite old standbys were Kashi GoLean Crunch and Barbara's Peanut Butter Puffins. These seemed to be good choices, as both of them boasted all-natural ingredients and whole grains. However, despite the health claims that these two cereal boxes tout, both of them still contain some sugar—and one contains much less than the other. Out of these two seemingly healthful cereals, which one is the ultimate low-sugar winner?
 

The Winner: Barbara's Peanut Butter Puffins!

 

(Source: Flickr)
 
Despite the healthy-sounding name of the cereal, just one serving of Kashi GoLean Crunch contains 13 grams of sugar—that's over three teaspoons! The Peanut Butter Puffins come out on top with just 6 grams of sugar per serving. However, Kashi GoLean Crunch does have some redeeming qualities: it has 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of dietary fiber, whereas the Puffins only contain 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. For a cereal with maximum protein and fiber with just a touch of sweetness, try Kashi GoLean Original (6 grams of sugar, 13 grams of protein, and 10 grams of fiber per serving). For a high-fiber choice with virtually no sugar, dig into a bowl of plain Shredded Wheat (0.5 to 1 gram of sugar per serving and 6 grams of fiber, depending on the variety).
 
What's your favorite healthy cereal?



Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
 

NEXT ENTRY >   You Asked: ''Is It Okay to Exercise When You Have a Cold?''

Great Stories from around the Web

Comments

  • CHERRYZMB60
    160
    cheerios, plain shredded wheat, all bran, corn flakes and special K with 1/2 cup of fresh fruit and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk. very tasty - 7/22/2014   11:08:47 AM
  • 159
    A1/2 cup serving of All Bran (original) cereal and milk, Sometimes I put my own raisins in because usually the ones in cereal are tossed with sugar so they don't stick together. May add walnuts for the good fat if I need it for the day. I forgot to say I just eat cereal for my evening snack usually 3-4 hours before bed, not for breakfast. - 7/22/2014   12:58:22 AM
  • 158
    Plain old regular Cheerios are the BEST!!!
    - 10/27/2013   11:08:00 PM
  • 157
    Hi all!
    I enjoy pretty much all the gluten free chex cereals. Either as breakfast or as a snack, when I'm going out. - 12/16/2012   8:45:59 AM
  • RBENNETT42
    156
    Try regular Shredded Wheat . It tastes great and it's made of whole grains. - 10/9/2012   11:57:57 PM
  • LJDAVID
    155
    I was buying Kashi cereals, also, but found that they are very high in sugar (carbs), and were about 6 points plus value with fat free milk on Weight Watchers. I like to save my points for the later part of the day, so I started buying Special K with berries. A serving of that with fat free milk and some berries on top are just 4 points plus and it's yummy! - 8/19/2012   10:42:30 AM
  • AFREIMAN
    154
    A few things...

    One, to the person that said cereal is expensive. We don't buy cereal if it costs more than .50 cents a box any more. Coupons + Sales happen about every 3-4 weeks for most brands..but not all.

    Second, cereal (pre-packaged) does not really fill me...and is normally high in sugar so I just avoid it.

    I do understand that my breakfast only rates a C+ from a health perspective but I almost always have 1 FiberOne / FiberPlus bar and one Greek Yogurt. 140x2 = 280 calories for breakfast and I am full to boot.

    I am almost never hungry before Lunch time. The most important thing for ME is to make sure when I sit down to eat I am not overly hungry or I can and will over eat. So I avoid that at all costs..even if I occasionally have to eat snacks in between meals.

    So I am fairly consistant...one Fiber Bar / One Greek Yogurt. I do sometimes mix it up with Oatmeal and Fruit etc..but to be honest I almost always feel hungrier when I do mix it up.

    For whatever reason FIber bar + Greek Yogurt is my go to breakfast for feeling full. There are healthier breakfasts out there but this works for me.

    - 7/16/2012   12:06:36 AM
  • 153
    My favorite cereal? All of them!!!

    I think there should be a Baskin & Robbins 31 Flavors Cereal! I have been known to binge on boxes of the stuff at a time....so, the only cereal I eat nowadays is oatmeal.

    I just am unable to handle refined carbohydrates - breakfast cereals are made of them...wheat is a huge "no,no" for me. The addictive cycle rages on and on...

    The simplest thing for me is to just stay away from them...'cuz I can't just eat one!

    - 7/7/2012   9:33:49 PM
  • 152
    I've gotten hooked on Giada DeLaurentis' oatmeal recipe which includes 1/2 c old fashioned oats cooked with water in the microwave. To the cooked oatmeal, add 1T EVOO and a little sea salt to taste. It's an acquired taste but once you get it ... delicious! - 4/27/2012   4:39:23 PM
  • 151
    I alternate breakfasts with Kashi GoLean Original, then oatmeal (w/ a few walnuts in it), and the third day I eat an egg. I've been eating GoLean Original for a decade or so; and if you're lucky enough to get HEB Mootopia milk, its a great, healthy combination. - 4/26/2012   11:34:16 PM
  • MSBREN74
    150
    I like the Fiber One 80 Calorie Honey Squares cereal. It's only 80 calories per serving, 3 grams of sugar and 10 grams of fiber. I have that with skim milk and a banana, but on days when I do have 2 servings (160 cal) it may cause some other side effects because of the fiber, however I really like this cereal. - 4/26/2012   4:28:24 PM
  • 149
    I don't have cereal on a daily basis but when I do, it varies.

    Right now I'm enjoying a mixture of Uncle Sam original cereal (7g protein, 1g sugar & 10g fiber) and Nature's Path optimum banana almond cereal (10g protein, 9g sugar & 5g fiber).
    I love adding cinnamon to my cereal (whether hot or cold) & then top it off with berries : ) ! - 4/26/2012   1:53:09 PM
  • WIDIKERB
    148
    Special K with Strawberries - 4/26/2012   10:15:19 AM
  • 147
    My favorite Cereal is Special K Protein plus. It has 5 fibers 10 proteins and only 2 sugars. Only 100 calories for 1 serving (only 3/4 c - but it's filling to me). This is of course before the milk. I use nonfat milk. Sometimes I add a fresh sliced strawberry to it. Yum! After the milk and the strawberry, I'm only sitting at 150 calories. - 4/25/2012   5:59:42 PM
  • 146
    I've usually bought cereal based on a combination of price and being similar to granola, e.g., mostly oat-based with some fruit and nuts. Since starting SP, I've noticed that some of the granola that I've liked are around 300-350 calories for a cup of cereal, which is less than I used to eat. So now I'll be using somewhat different criteria. I used to love Wheatabix when we lived in Kenya. I think I'll be looking into Shredded Wheat and Special K.

    I like the Kashi GoLean, but it gives me terrible gas. [Embarrassment!] - 4/25/2012   11:15:19 AM
  • TCARP8
    145
    Grapenuts in plain yogurt with raspberries and pecans and a bit of brown sugar added.

    For oatmeal, I hated it until I found real steel cut oats--takes a long time to cook but tastes great and has texture, nothing like quick oats. Also good to serve savory, cooked with broth and with veggies and cheese added. - 4/25/2012   8:07:48 AM
  • PATRIC8
    144
    20 Frosted mini-wheat biscuits per morning with !/2 cup skim milk and a banana.....consistent and dull....but....I LIKE IT - 4/24/2012   11:08:15 PM
  • 143
    I'm not sure how healthy it is, but I love chocolate cheerios with almond milk. The chocolate colors the milk and the milk is already a bit denser than regular skim milk.

    Also, Quaker Oatmeal Squares are great too. - 4/24/2012   7:18:16 PM
  • 142
    Cheerios, Frosted mini- wheats or oatmeal! - 4/24/2012   2:19:57 PM
  • GARRIE1
    141
    Metamucil! Ha ha! I love McCann's Quick & Easy Steel Cut Irish O atmeal. Tried it just yesterday with diced fresh apple and a bit of brown sugar, and it was tasty. I can't eat it without some kind of sweetener...sad as it sounds. I do have to add here that Metamucil has been a wonderful addition to my routine. Can't say enough about how much better I feel since incorporating it!
    - 4/24/2012   11:18:59 AM
  • 140
    I don't really do cereal anymore - for one, it's pretty expensive! And I always find myself wracked with indecision in the cereal aisle, staring at All.Those.Boxes and trying to figure out what I want to eat first thing in the morning for the next week or so. Too much pressure in the grocery store :)

    Lately I've been eating cooked barley with a touch of honey and some dried fruit, plus a steamed vegetable (this week it's carrots) and a hard boiled egg. It's yummy!

    (To be perfectly honest, though, I LOVE Frosted Mini Wheats right out of the box...) - 4/24/2012   10:57:14 AM
  • 139
    Post Raisin Bran and Bob's Red Mill Brown Rice Farina - 4/24/2012   10:33:03 AM
  • 138
    Cheerios. Oatmeal on the weekends. I've got to try those PB Puffins since you all give them such a good review. - 4/24/2012   9:58:45 AM
  • 137
    Trader Joe's bran flakes do it for me. I can add a lot to them, and getting 40% of my daily recommended fibre is huge. - 4/24/2012   9:49:15 AM
  • TRULYVISIBLE
    136
    I like Trader Joes organic Corn Flakes. I use one cup, put 5 half walnuts in it. I use two tsb. of honey. Great tasty and filling breakfast. - 4/24/2012   9:31:18 AM
  • 135
    I've always been a cereal fanatic -- it's been my go-to breakfast all my life. My current favorite is the Kashi Island Vanilla. It is lower in sugar than other sweetened shredded wheats I've tried, though at 9 g per serving still not super-low. But the Island Vanilla is high fiber and free of additives and preservatives. I usually eat about 2/3 of a serving, with a small side of almonds for fat and additional protein and fiber, and find it very satisfying. - 4/24/2012   9:07:32 AM
  • 134
    I have been making my very own granola since 2007 (before I joined Spark) and that's what I eat every morning with a half cup of Greek yogurt. It's nutritious, delicious, food additive free, it keeps well, it's not too sweet (only a half cup of honey in a recipe that makes 31 half cup servings) and the 8g of fat that is in it comes from nuts and flax and canola oil - all good stuff. There is also 9g of protein in it and 6g of fiber.
    Check it out! I can't post html here so can not share the link to the recipe, but if you do a search at Spark recipes for Hippi Granola, Submitted by: HIPPICHICK1, you'll find it. - 4/24/2012   9:00:24 AM
  • 133
    I wish I could stomach oat meal. But had to eat too much of it as a child. No matter how I doctor it up, it's horrible . I do like hot Cream of Wheat in the cold weather.
    Have Kellogg's Crunchy Nut, and Cheerios new Peanut Flavored cereals.
    - 4/24/2012   12:27:20 AM
  • 8CAROLINE97
    132
    I remember a recipe that made oatmeal out of plain yogurt and oatmeal--mix the two together with fresh fruit and allow it to sit for a few minutes--it is good, very good for you, and could not be easier. - 4/23/2012   9:55:49 PM
  • 131
    I love the Cheerios Multigrain Peanut Butter Cereal, it has become
    my new Favorite Cereal. it only has under 10 grams of sugar. - 4/23/2012   9:08:28 PM
  • MIRANDA2112
    130
    Plain oatmeal with nuts and banana - 4/23/2012   5:41:27 PM
  • BEBE051
    129
    I love oatmeal was raised on it. I use steel cut and I dress it up with fruit, flax seed cinn, walnuts. Makes a good healthy breakfast. - 4/23/2012   3:11:55 PM
  • 128
    I have been enjoying savory oatmeal, sometimes with a poached egg, lately. As it becomes warmer, overnight oatmeal will be my choice often. I tend to avoid sugar as it can bother my arthritis.
    Dianne - 4/23/2012   11:35:49 AM
  • 127
    I just make my own sugar-free musli and mix it in with some nonfat Greek yogurt, but when I indulge, I go for Peanut Butter Pandas. I imagine they're no better than the Puffins, but I think they taste better. I used to go straight for the Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch--anything PB makes me happy. I'm always on the lookout for tasty sugar-free cereals for my boyfriend, though, but the best compromise I've found for him was the Kashi Go Lean. - 4/23/2012   11:34:22 AM
  • 126
    Quaker Quick Oats, a small fresh banana, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and water. Zap it in the microwave. The banana gives it enough sweetness for taste. No milk or sugar. - 4/23/2012   11:24:33 AM
  • 125
    I've tried the mentioned cereal. It is ok but I have to stick by usuals cherrios, shredded wheat, bran flakes and any other cereals that is low in sugars also hot cooked oat meal. I have to mix things up rarely grits. Used be my fav but trying to get healthier does not include much grits. LOL! - 4/23/2012   10:43:05 AM
  • 124
    I don't do cereal anymore. Like MOONCHILD1949, I've turned my life around by eating pretty much no grains or legumes. My fibromyalgia-like symptoms and swollen joints have improved tremendously and finally my stubborn hypothyroid body is giving up extra pounds. I love not feeling bloated as my body tries to digest all that undigestible fiber too. - 4/23/2012   9:48:33 AM
  • 123
    Although I neither buy nor eat cereal per say, I love to eat Frosted mini wheats as a snack. NO MILK! Delicious. - 4/23/2012   9:43:42 AM
  • 122
    Oatmeal, and for boxed cereals, Alpen Muesli. 9g of sugar but also 4g of fibre and 5g of protein. And some of the sugar is from the raisins in it. - 4/23/2012   8:11:44 AM
  • LAURANCE
    121
    I don't like sweet cereal. I like the taste and texture of whole grain without any sweetening. Most cereal has sugar hidden in it, but there are a few that don't. - 4/23/2012   7:18:33 AM
  • 120
    I love oatmeal!!! I spice it up with ground cinnamon, add some Chia seed and ground flaxseed and fruit of choice. I also love Shredded Wheat and Cheerios. - 4/23/2012   6:44:53 AM
  • 119
    I vowed I would never eat oatmeal again, after gagging on it thru my childhood. Love dry cereals and feel that Cheerios are not too bad for ya... - 4/23/2012   1:34:32 AM
  • 7WORSHIPS
    118
    Favorite cereal - it's a tie between steel cut oats and shredded wheat! - 4/23/2012   1:28:44 AM
  • 117
    I like the Bob's Red Mill seven grain hot cereal with flaxseed which has one gram of sugar, 6 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein. There are no other added ingredients to these grains. Not even salt. So you probably guessed it no sodium. Great for a heart healthy meal.
    - 4/23/2012   1:24:05 AM
  • 116
    My favorite is Kashi GoLean Crunch, it does help me feel fuller, longer. - 4/23/2012   1:08:12 AM
  • 115
    My absolute favorite cereal is plain (no sugar) Cheerio's, however, Aldi's Millville Oats are just as good, I think! - 4/23/2012   12:29:49 AM
  • 114
    My favorite cereal at this point is steel cut oatmeal. I add raisins, flaxseed, and molasses to the bowl. - 4/22/2012   9:35:52 PM
  • 113
    This is a very delicious cereal and filling. - 4/22/2012   7:57:00 PM
  • EBDMAINE
    112
    I cook oat groats and add a touch of brown sugar for taste and then blueberries or some other small berry or else maple syrup I make myself. - 4/22/2012   6:30:46 PM
  • 111
    I love just about any cereal, but my favorites are Honey Nut Cheerios and any Special K flavor.
    - 4/22/2012   5:57:48 PM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›


Join SparkPeople.com

x Lose 10 Pounds by October 29! Get a FREE Personalized Plan