Are Cheerios Good for You?
Cheerios are a great source of fiber, calcium, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, biotin, choline, lutein, lycopene, phytosterols, polyphenols, and antioxidants.
They’re also low in calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, trans fats, saturated fat, added sugar varieties, and some grams of carbohydrates.
But if you’re wondering whether Cheerios are good for you, there are multiple reasons why they might NOT be.
First, they contain lots of refined grains, including white flour, corn syrup solids, dextrose, maltodextrin, modified food starch, and sucralose. These ingredients are processed and stripped away from whole foods, leaving behind only the basic components of wheat and corn.
Second, they contain high amounts of hydrogenated oils, which are used to prolong shelf life and add texture. Hydrogenation creates trans fats, which are linked to heart disease and obesity.
Third, they contain artificial flavorings, preservatives, colorings, and sweeteners. Artificial flavoring gives them a distinctive taste, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re healthier.
Preservatives prevent mold growth, but they don’t necessarily keep the product fresh or safe. Colorings give them a bright yellow hue, but they’re not natural. Sweeteners are made from cane sugar, corn syrup, or molasses, which isn’t considered healthy.
So although Cheerios are a nutritious cereal, they do come with several drawbacks. But if you still think they’re worth trying, here are a few tips to help you decide whether they’re right for you.
Cheerios Contain A Variety Of Essential Nutrients
Cheerios are primarily composed of whole-grain oatmeal. These oats are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Oats are also rich in lignans, which are compounds that protect against cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Whole grains are also low in calories and few grams of fat, and they contain no trans fats. Additionally, whole grains are a great source of fiber, which helps prevent constipation and improves digestion.
In addition, Cheerios are fortified with a wide variety of essential nutrients, including iron, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and potassium.
These nutrients play a crucial role in maintaining health and preventing certain illnesses, such as anemia, osteoporosis, and kidney stones (8Trusted Source).
Finally, Cheerios are delicious and nutritious. They taste great and are easy to prepare. Plus, they’re convenient because they come in individual boxes and don’t require cooking.
They’re Good For Children
Cheerios are nutritious snacks for children.
They’re made with whole grain oats, wheat bran, corn flour, soy protein isolate, milk solids, vitamins D and B12, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, iodine, selenium, potassium, fiber, and iron.
Plus, they’re fortified with vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamin C.
But don’t let that fool you into thinking that they’re safe for babies or toddlers. While they’re fine for older children, they’re not recommended for infants under 1 year old. And since they’re soft enough to swallow, they can cause choking hazards.
So instead of relying on Cheerios exclusively, try incorporating several whole foods from each food group into your baby’s diet. This will give him or her a variety of nutrients and help support optimal growth and development.
How Many Different Kinds Of Cheerios Are There?
There are several kinds of Cheerios available. Each one comes in its unique flavor.
Most are made from base oatmeal, but some varieties include additional ingredients.
Some of the most popular Cheeerrio flavors are:
- Plain – These are the original cheerios and the most basic option.
- Honey nut – One of the top-selling varieties, these are sweetened with amounts of sugar and honey, along with a hint of almond flavor.
- Chocolate – This kind is made out of corn and oats, as well as cocoa powder and simple sugar content.
- Apple cinnamon – Made primarily out of whole grain oats and cinnamon, this type also includes applespuré and cinnamon.
- Frosted – Made with whole wheat oats and cornmeal, this type is sweetened with a vanilla-flavored sugar coating.
- Multigrain – This variety combines whole-grain oats, corn, and brown rice. It’s sweetened with slightly less sugar than other varieties.
- Ancient grains – This type is sugar-sweetened and made out of whole-grain oats, quinoa, and rice.
You may notice that many of these Cheeerrio varieties harbor added sugar. That’s why it’s important to limit your intake of calories from sugar flavors or simply choose the plain variety.
Downsides Of Cheerios
Cheerios are a great cereal option for breakfast or snacks. But they’re not without drawbacks. Here are some downsides to eating Cheerios every day.
Low In Protein
Cheerios are one of the worst breakfast cereal options out there. Not only does it provide less than half the protein of a cup of cooked chicken breast, but it’s also loaded with sugar.
A single cup of Cheerios with 4 oz. (120 ml) of whole or low-fat cow’s milk provides only 7 grams of protein. And if you plan to eat Cheerios for breakfast, you might be missing out on a great opportunity to include a source of protein in your day.
Pairing Cheerios with a source of protein will give you a little extra protein without adding any calories. Eggs, Greek yogurt, or a small portion of tofu scramble would work well. Or try adding a handful of almonds or peanut butter to your bowl for additional protein and healthy fats.
May Contain Added Sugar
Cheerios are delicious cereal treats made with whole-grain oats, wheat germ, bran, honey, milk, raisins, almonds, peanuts, and dried fruit. But did you know that several varieties of Cheerios may contain added sugars?
Honey Nut Cheerios are loaded with added sugars. One cup (35 grams) contains 12 grams of sugar – a whopping 12 times as much sugar as the plain variety. And there’s no way to avoid it since the ingredient list doesn’t include any ingredients containing less than 15% sugar.
In addition, Honey Nut Cheerios are fortified with vitamins D and E, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, copper, manganese, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
But despite being nutritious, Cheerios are still high in sugar. So if you regularly eat Cheerios, opt for the plain variety instead. You won’t miss out on anything important, and you’ll reduce your overall sugar intake.
It is A Processed Food
Processed foods are usually made using highly refined ingredients and additives. These types of foods tend to be high in calories, fat, sodium, and sugar. However, there are certain benefits to processed food.
Some processed foods may be healthier than unprocessed foods because they are fortified with vitamins and minerals.
For instance, processed foods are typically made using highly refined ingredients. Many processed foods are made with refined sugars, refined flour, hydrogenated fats, artificial flavors, and synthetic chemicals.
As a result, processed foods are often high in calories, fat, and salt.
In addition, processed foods are often made using highly refined ingredients, which means that they don’t provide any nutritional value. Because processed foods lack nutrients, they don’t provide the energy needed to keep us active throughout the day.
However, processed foods do have certain advantages. Some processed foods may be fortified with vitamins and minerals, which makes them healthier than unrefined versions. And, processed foods are often easier to prepare than unrefined foods.
So, although processed foods are convenient, nutritious, and tasty, they should only be enjoyed in moderation.
Consuming Cheerios With Milk
Cheerios are delicious cereal treats made with oats, corn starch, wheat flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, vanilla flavoring, and bits of raisins. You can enjoy eating them on their own or adding them to recipes. But if you prefer, you can also drink them with milk.
Milk is a healthy, nutrient-rich dairy product that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming. Every cup of Original Cheerio’s (28 grams) and skim milk (125 milliliters) contains:
15% of the DV for Vitamin A
10% of the DV for vitamin c
25% of the DV for Calcium
45% of the DV for Iron
25% of DV for Vitamin D
30% of the DV for Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
10% of DV for Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
25% of DVs for Niacin (Vitamin B3)
25% of DMVs for Vitamin B6
50% of the DV for Folate (Folic Acid)
30% of DV for Vitamin B12
20% of the DV for Phosphorus
10% of DMVs for Magnesium
Can Cheerios Be Included In A Healthy Diet?
Cheerios can be added to a healthy diet. You can serve them with high-protein dairy or non-dairy milk, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, and omelets. And topping your healthy cereal with berries or slices of fruit will boost your vitamin and mineral intake.
But remember to keep your diet balanced with other nutrients and practice moderate eating habits if you prefer the higher sugary versions.
For more protein, try adding a scoop of nut butter, hazelnut spread, or peanut butter to your bowl.
Hard-boiled eggs and pancakes also make great side dishes.
Topping your cereal with berries, sliced fruit, or flax seed meal can add fiber and healthy fat.
Just make sure you include a variety of whole foods throughout the week to meet all of your nutritional needs.
Hey'all I'm Amy, a born foodie and diagnosed with celiac disease 7 years ago. I refused to cave into tasteless, boring gulten free food and create my own!
On my blog you'll find info & cool facts along with recipes, all on gluten free foods!