October 3, 2014

Why Most Cereal Isn’t The Best Choice

I totally get the appeal of cereal, and I won’t deny that it’s super tasty. I just want to take a minute and pull back the clever marketing curtain for second, so you’re aware of what you’re eating. I have no issues with eating cereal, but I don’t want you to be mislead into thinking that it’s a” healthy” daily breakfast.

When I was growing up, my mom was one of those hippy parents who didn’t allow sugary cereals, unless it was for dessert (funny, how one persons desert is the next persons “healthy” breakfast). Cinnamon Toast Crunch was my favorite, but always dry, no milk. When I went to France in 9th grade, I had Captain Crunch for the first time and thought I died and went to heaven! When I got home and bought the same cereal, it didn’t taste the same at all. That’s when I realized in France, I was using heavy cream as milk. Ha!  That might have something to do with the heavenly taste.

Anyway, this article does a great job pointing out the reality of “healthy” breakfast cereal. One great point that Abel James (love his podcasts, by the way) makes, is how many people will resist the temptation of obvious sugar bombs like cake and cookies, while being mislead that their cereal breakfast is a “healthy choice.” In reality, the desert and the cereal may be completely equal ingredients and nutrients (or lack there of), however one is presented/ marketed as a “health food.”

A few points to consider about cereals:

  1. They are highly processed carbohydrates (even Kashi and the like). Could you make cereal in your kitchen? That’s how you know it’s highly processed.
  2. They tend to be mostly carbohydrate with very little healthy fats or protein. The milk does help, but doesn’t give an ideal amount of protein to carbohydrate ratio, overall.
  3. Since cereal tends to be an unbalanced and mostly processed breakfast, it often leaves you feeling hungry, soon after.

Check out some of these alternative breakfast options!

Breakfast Cookies

Pumpkin Breakfast Parfait

Breakfast Sausage 

Banana Bread 


Reduced Carb Oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Crustless Quiche 

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Don’t want to prep ahead or forgot to? Consider a quick breakfast of:

  1. Hard boiled, fried or scrambled eggs and fruit
  2. Yogurt (low sugar, no artificial sweetener) with nuts and fruit
  3. A fruit, some nuts and a cheese stick
  4. Quality breakfast sausage and a fruit




One Comment

  1. Ashley Rivas October 5, 2014 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    What a breathtaking article(s). Wow, I was certainly unaware of the many Many times I was eating dessert for breakfast. And then also congratulating myself for doing such a good deed to my body/diet/HEALTH………
    Terrifying to think of how many people who actually substitute this for meals. I know I certainly have. And will Never again. I will maybe kind of sorta do what you used to and reward myself with it as a special ‘treat’.
    Nice write up Marit Harney RD, LDN, CPT. And thank you for showing me/people the light on such a impactful matter!
    Ashley Rivas

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