The Best Healthy Cereal Options Out There

These Are the Best Healthy Cereal Options Out There , Pouring Milk Into A Bowl With Cornflakes Cereals. Cereals And Milk Isolated On A Blue Background
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While they might not have technicolor marshmallows or copious amounts of cinnamon, these healthy cereal brands are just as sweet — and far more nutritious.

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The Health Benefits of Cereal

These Are the Best Healthy Cereal Options Out There , Pouring Milk Into A Bowl With Cornflakes Cereals. Cereals And Milk Isolated On A Blue Background
Getty Images

Good news for cereal eaters: Eating enough whole grains and cereal fibers may reduce your risk of early death, mostly due to a lowered chance of developing illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, and respiratory disease, according to a 2015 study in BMC Medicine. The ideal number? The research suggests that people eating 1,800 calories should aim for about 53 grams of whole grains a day.

But don't start filling your cart with every box on the shelf. The emphasis here is on "whole" — grains without the word "whole" listed in front have been processed and thus, lost most of their disease-fighting nutrients, as Shape previously reported. Plus, most varieties are covered in sugar, defeating the purpose of eating cereal for a healthy breakfast.

And folks that are gluten- and grain-free are in luck: There are plenty of healthy cereals for you, too. Just be sure to also steer clear of those with too much sugar and opt for picks packed with nutrient-rich ingredients (think: protein, fiber, and antioxidants).

Ahead, 10 of the best healthy cereals (including plenty of delicious whole grain cereal picks) to fill up your morning —and, okay, sometimes dinner — bowl.

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General Mills Cheerios

General Mills Cheerios
General Mills

Think General Mills Cheerios are just for children? Think again. These classic o's are made from whole grain oats, which contain beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that a 2015 study found to help slow digestion, increase satiety, and suppress appetite. In other words, a bowl of this whole grain cereal will keep you full for hours (or at least until lunchtime comes a-knocking). And while there is some added sugar in these crunchy circles, it only stacks up to about 2 grams a bowl.

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Kashi GO Original Cereal

Kashi GoLean Original Breakfast Cereal

When it comes to healthy cereal brands, look no further than Kashi, which boasts a bounty of good-for-you breakfast options. Kashi's healthiest creation, however, is the protein-packed GO Original Cereal. With 11 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber per serving, this slightly-sweetened whole grain cereal features a mix of whole grain puffs, fiber twigs, and soy protein grahams that offers almost half of your daily recommended serving of fiber and nearly 20 percent of your daily protein needs. Meaning, eating a bowl of this best cereal in the a.m. will make you feel like you've already accomplished a ton for the day — and all before sitting down at your desk.

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Three Wishes Honey Grain-Free Cereal

Three Wishes Honey Grain-Free Cereal

Just because you're gluten- or grain-free doesn't mean you can't enjoy some of the best healthy cereals, too. Made of chickpea flour, pea protein, and tapioca, Three Wishes Honey Grain-Free Cereal offers 8 grams of protein per (wheat-free!) serving. And while every spoonful is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, you're only slurping up about 3 grams of sugar.

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Nature's Path Flax Plus Multibran Flakes

Natures Path Flax Plus Multibran Flakes

Organic wheat, oat bran, and flax flakes team up to create a delightfully crunchy breakfast that's sure to help you start the day off on the right foot. After all, a bowl of Nature's Path Flax Plus Multibran Flakes has 16 grams of whole grains, 5 grams of plant protein, 7 grams of fiber, and lots of omega-3 fatty acids. Fun fact: Omega-3 fatty acids have been directly linked to decreasing anxiety, among delivering other perks too. (See more: 9 Foods That Can Help Ease Anxiety)

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Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal, Golden Flax

Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal, Golden Flax
Ezekiel

One of the least processed options on this list, Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal, Golden Flax packs several whole grains — wheat, sprouted barley, sprouted millet, and sprouted spelt — into each box. Not only will these ingredients fill you up and promote a healthy digestive system, but some (see: ancient grain millet) are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. What's more, this whole grain cereal also boasts 8 grams of protein and only 1 gram of sugar in each 1/2 cup serving.

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Post Grape-Nuts

grape-nuts-healthy-cereal

Like a fine wine, Grape-Nuts get better with age. Since 1897, this whole grain cereal has continued to be a breakfast staple in countless kitchens across America — and for good reason. Not only does it feature — you guessed it — whole grain wheat flour (aka an all-star a.m. ingredient), but it also offers a slew of vitamins and minerals. And while grape lovers might be disappointed by the somewhat misleading name, it's hard not to appreciate that the healthy cereal also makes for an A+ yogurt topping.

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Kellogg's Special K Protein

kellogs-special-k-protein-cereal

Not only is Special K Protein a great source of whole grains, but this bowl also boasts a whopping 15 grams of protein — without even factoring in the milk. It is, however, a bit on the higher end when it comes to sugar (8 grams per serving). So, if you're looking to curb your intake of the sweet stuff, this might not be the absolute best healthy cereal for you.

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Magic Spoon Frosted Cereal

magic-spoon

If you're following a low-carb diet, you might be wondering, "what is the healthiest cereal for me?" Meet: Magic Spoon Frosted Cereal, a grain-free pick packed (and I mean packed) with protein. One cup of the healthy cereal brand's frosted variety has 13 grams of protein, 4 grams of net carbs, and 0 (!!) grams of sugar. (

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Alpen No Sugar Added Muesli

Alpen No Sugar Added
Alpen

Alpen No Sugar Added Museli contains rolled oats, whole grain wheat flakes, hazelnuts, almonds, and raisins for a sweet-and-crunchy breakfast. As its name implies, this whole grain cereal is also free of added sugars, so you can feel especially good about downing a bowl before heading off to work. And while it boasts 8 grams of protein per serving, you can take each spoonful to the next level by mixing it with Greek yogurt.

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Cascadian Farm Hearty Morning

cascadia-farms-healthy-cereal-whole-grains
Amazon

By now you (hopefully!) realize that there's no one "best healthy cereal." But Cascadian Farm Hearty Morning, a nutrient-rich pick, comes close. With whole grain wheat flakes, granola clusters made from whole grain oats, and crunchy bran, this healthy breakfast cereal is practically overflowing with whole grains — 30 grams per serving, to be exact. It's also full of fiber, so you can rest easy at night knowing a satiating (digestive-helping!) breakfast is waiting for you come morning.

Updated by
Elizabeth Bacharach
Photo of Elizabeth Bacharach

Elizabeth Bacharach is the associate editor for Shape.com, where she frequently covers mental and physical health, food and nutrition, lifestyle trends, and more. Based in New York City, she has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, will take advantage of any opportunity to talk about her dog, Franklin, and dreams of becoming best friends with Ina Garten, who is, undeniably, an absolute queen.

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