Breakfast cereals are a popular food common to almost every household. While they promise many health benefits, they are often laden with unhealthy sugars, and also more expensive than plain hot cereals like oatmeal.
Surprisingly some of the cereals which purport to be the healthiest have the most sugar, namely: granola and bran flakes. In addition to granola and bran flakes, other cereals with high amounts of sugar include chocolate cereals, marshmallow cereals, golden puffs, Cinnabon cereals, and cereals with dried fruits.
Below is a list of cereals with the most sugar per common serving size. Also included is the number of calories and the net-carbs they provide. Net-carbs are the total amount of carbs (including sugar) minus the amount of fiber. The lower the net-carbs the better. For more information see the list of low sugar cereals.
How much sugar do breakfast cereals contain on average?
The average serving of cereal contains 9 grams of sugar.
25% of those will contain 6 grams or less.
50% will contain 9.3 grams or less.
25% will contain 12 grams or more.
All brands of raisin bran contain a lot of sugar, with 18-19 grams per cup. However, granolas and Familia's granola in particular, can contain even more with an astounding 28 grams of sugar per cup.
What can I do to reduce my sugar intake in cereals?
Try making your own hot cereal at home. Check labels for instant oatmeals, as they can often have a lot of added sugars. Your best choice is to buy whole cereals. Making oatmeal is really easy and should not take more than 5 minutes. See our step by step guide for how to make oatmeal. If you do feel the need to have some sugar, try using a little bit of honey, or dry fruits, and use less and less each time. Low sugar fruits like strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries are a good choice to substitute for sugar.
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Data Sources and References
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.