Are Cheerios Good For You?

Cheerios have been a staple in American homes for years. This cereal is marketed as being heart-healthy and great for lowering cholesterol, among other promises. Fortunately for fans of this cereal, it actually is one of the best options for breakfast (via Livestrong). Cheerios are primarily made with whole grain oats, which is much better than other cereals packed with empty carbohydrates.

The one caveat is that you'll want to stick to plain Cheerios. "They contain a good amount of fiber and are low in sugar, all those things that we look for [in a healthy cereal]," Gretchen Spetz, RD, a clinical dietitian with University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Ohio, told Everyday Health. "Go with the plain Cheerios, not the honey nut or vanilla or any of the other flavors." Other Cheerios varieties tend to be packed with sugar for extra flavor. If you want to sweeten your bowl of cereal, opt for fresh cut fruit. You'll get a boost of flavor with the added benefits of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Other healthy cereal options

If you don't love Cheerios, there are plenty of other healthy cereal options you can try. To find an option that you can feel good about, it's important to check the nutrition label and know which ingredients to look out for. "When hunting for a healthier cereal you need to look out for those that are higher in fiber and protein without a lot of added sugars or preservatives," Kara Landau, a New York City-based registered dietitian and founder at Uplift Food, told Men's Health. "And definitely don't be scared of fats if they come from good sources like nuts and seeds."

When browsing through cereal options, stick to products that are made from whole grains like oats or quinoa. Your cereal should also have less than 10 grams of sugar in the entire box, if possible. Look for options that have at least three grams of fiber and three grams of protein per serving. Cereal that is low in sugar, high in fiber, and high in protein will keep you full and satisfied all morning.