7 Best Healthy Cereal Options in 2023

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Dr. Jennifer Hughes, MD
Medical Reviewer

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From Trix and Froot Loops to Cookie Crisps and Cocoa Puffs, the majority of breakfast cereals out there are glorified desserts.

With up to 18 grams of sugar per serving, artificial food dyes and preservatives, and next-to-no fiber and protein, most cereals are simply not healthy ways to start the day. 

Fortunately, many brands are now coming out with much more nutritious options—and we’ve got the lowdown for you. 

In this article, check out our list of the seven best healthy cereal options on the market today, including our number one pick, Three Wishes, in addition to the top healthy low-carb, organic, kid-friendly, and high-fiber cereals.

TNI Main Logo 700x432 1Best Overall
Three Wishes
Low-Carb
Magic Spoon
Organic
Cascadian Farm Organic Mixed Berry Cereal
ProductThree WishesMagic SpoonCascadian Farm
Added Sugar Per Serving3g0g0g
Cost$0.83/oz
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$1.57/oz
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$0.33/oz
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Best for: Anyone looking for a healthy grain-free cereal that is low in sugar and doesn’t contain stevia.

Three Wishes is our top pick for the best healthy cereal on the market today, with its six simple ingredients, low sugar content—just 3g per serving—and gluten-free, grain-free, and vegan status.

Compared to many other cereals with laundry-list-long ingredient labels, Three Wishes has just a handful (plus one) of recognizable foods going into them: 

  • Chickpea
  • Tapioca
  • Pea Protein
  • Organic Cane Sugar (3g per serving)
  • Vegan and Non-GMO Natural Flavors
  • Monk Fruit

We also love the addition of pea protein—at 8g per serving, this cereal has the same amount of protein as one egg. 

In addition to the much-loved Honey cereal, Three Wishes also offers nostalgic flavors like Vanilla Frosted, Cocoa, Fruity, Cinnamon, and Strawberry, plus Unsweetened for the purists, containing 0g of sugar.

Best for: People on a low-carb or keto diet looking for flavored healthy cereals. 

For anyone looking to lower their carb or sugar load in the morning, Magic Spoon is the healthy cereal for you. 

With just 4g of net carbs and 0g of added sugar, Magic Spoon is a popular choice for the keto and low-carb crowd—and the flavors are reminiscent of childhood favorites, like Fruity, Peanut Butter, Frosted, Cinnamon Roll, Cocoa, and more.

The sweetness comes from a combination of monk fruit and allulose, a naturally occurring sugar from figs, raisins, and other fruit that doesn’t get absorbed by the body, therefore not contributing to net carbs or sugar. 

For a peak at the ingredients, the Fruity flavor contains: Milk Protein Blend (Casein, Whey Protein Concentrate), Sweetener Blend (Allulose, Monk Fruit Extract), Oil Blend (High-Oleic Sunflower Oil, Avocado Oil), Tapioca Starch, Inulin, Natural Flavor, Salt, Turmeric Extract, Spirulina Extract, Vegetable Juice (for color)

Plus, each serving of Magic Spoon is loaded with 13-14 grams of protein (from milk proteins) per serving, making it a more filling breakfast (or snack) than almost any cereal out there.

Best for: People wanting a USDA Organic Certified whole grain cereal with healthy ingredients. 

Cascadian Farm Organic Mixed Berry Cereal is our first pick for the best organic cereal—plus, it is also an incredibly healthy option, with no added sugar, 6g of fiber, 5g of protein, and healthy fats from coconut oil.

We love that Cascadian Farm uses simple, recognizable ingredients—this Organic Mixed Berry Cereal contains:

  • Organic Whole Grain Wheat
  • Organic Rice
  • Organic Date Powder
  • Organic Sunflower Oil
  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Organic Dried Fruit (Blueberries and Strawberries)
  • Organic Natural Flavor
  • Sea Salt
  • Vitamin E Added to Preserve Freshness

Rather than adding sugar or non-caloric sweeteners, Cascadian Farm uses organic date powder and dried fruit to sweeten up the cereal, making it a tasty and healthy breakfast or snack for all ages.

Best for: Anyone looking to up their fiber intake with a healthy cereal.  

Loaded with 17g of fiber per ¾ cup serving from wheat bran, whole grain oats, and psyllium husk, Nature’s Path Organic Smart Bran Cereal is an excellent choice for people wanting to increase their fiber intake. 

As fiber is essential for digestive health, cardiovascular function, and maintaining a healthy body weight–and most Americans do not eat nearly enough—this cereal is an easy way to frontload your fiber for the day. 

One caveat: if you’re not used to eating this much fiber in one sitting, start with a half-cup serving and work your way up from there—otherwise, your morning may be spent rushing to the bathroom. 

The ingredients include plenty of whole grains, with the full list being: Wheat Bran, Oat Fiber, Cane Sugar, Psyllium Seed Husk, Barley Malt Extract, Oat Bran, Whole Grain Oat Flour, and Sea Salt (all organic except for sea salt). 

However, while Nature’s Path Smart Bran cereal packs in a healthy dose of fiber, it also contains 8g of added sugar per serving (from the cane sugar and organic malted barley malt extract).

Best for: Anyone looking for a healthy granola that’s low in added sugar. 

Although not technically a cereal, we added granola to this healthy cereal list because of the overwhelming amount of unhealthy, sugar-laden granolas on the market. 

Fortunately, Purely Elizabeth Banana Nut Butter Granola is not one of them—with just 4g of added sugar per ⅓ cup serving, this granola is one of the healthiest out there. 

Purely Elizabeth is also always paleo-friendly, grain-free, and gluten-free, instead using core ingredients like nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and coconut flakes. 

This Banana Nut Butter flavor is low-carb and keto, containing the following ingredients: Cashews, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Banana Purée, Organic Coconut Flakes, Cashew Butter, Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Hemp Seeds, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon Sea Salt.

With these healthy ingredients and stellar nutritional profile, feel free to eat Purely Elizabeth Banana Nut Butter Granola straight out of the pack or like cereal with a splash of milk on top.

Best for: Kids (or kids at heart) wanting a healthy cereal alternative to traditional sugar-laden cereals.

If you’ve been searching for a healthy alternative to a childhood fruity favorite, Seven Sundays Super Fruity Oat Cereal is our pick for you. 

With just 5g of added sugar from maple syrup, the sugar content in this cereal is one-third that of most other kid-friendly cereals. 

We also love the sustainable aspect of Seven Sundays, as they utilize climate-friendly upcycled whole grain oats and upcycled non-GMO corn. 

The other ingredients are equally impressive, including cassava starch, coconut oil, maple syrup, lemon extract, sea salt, orange extract, lemon extract, and real fruit (cherry/strawberry) powder.  
You won’t find any Red 40 or natural flavors here, as  Seven Sundays Super Fruity Oat Cereal is colored with beets and flavored with Michigan tart cherries and strawberries.

Best for: People who prefer hot cereal and are looking for a healthy cereal option. 

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal is our top choice for people who prefer a hot breakfast or just want to warm up on cold fall or winter mornings. 

With just four ingredients—freshly milled whole grain brown rice, corn, buckwheat, and sorghumBob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal is as simple as you can get. 

However, it’s not incredibly high in either fiber (2g) or protein (3g), so you may not feel full from eating just this cereal.

While it’s not terribly exciting to eat this hot cereal on its own, it lends itself well to tasty toppings—try adding chopped nuts, fresh fruit, dried fruit, coconut milk, or a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon for a cozy and healthy breakfast. 

You can also take this cereal the savory route (who said breakfast is deemed to be sweet, anyway?), adding cheddar cheese and chives or a poached egg on top.  

Healthy Cereal FAQs

Are Cheerios a Healthy Cereal?

Regarding conventional breakfast cereals, plain Cheerios are not a bad option. 

Compared to many other cereals, Cheerios (the plain ones, at least) are low in sugar (2g total) and moderate in fiber (4g), which is linked to heart health and digestive support. 

However, flavored Cheerios (Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, etc.) have added sugar (12g per 1 ½ cup serving), making them a less healthy cereal.  

Should You Eat Cereal Every Morning?

If a cereal is low in sugar, has healthy ingredients (no preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, or food dyes), and contains at least some fiber and protein, it would be fine to eat healthy cereal every morning.

However, most breakfast cereals do not contain much fiber or protein, giving cereal a low satiety factor—meaning, you’ll probably be hungry within a couple of hours if you only eat cereal for breakfast.

If you love eating cereal every day, try adding foods high in protein and/or fiber to your morning meal, like berries, nuts, or a side of eggs or Greek yogurt. 

If you’re gluten-free or gluten intolerant, there are now plenty of gluten-free and grain-free healthy breakfast cereals.

Otherwise, a cereal loaded with whole grains (like whole grain oats, whole wheat flour, oat bran, brown rice, bran flakes, whole grain barley, whole wheat berry flakes, or organic quinoa flakes) can be a great source of dietary fiber and plant-based protein.

What Does the FDA Recommend for Breakfast?

The FDA recommends eating a breakfast that contains protein, fat, and carbohydrates—this could be a bowl of healthy cereal (carbohydrate) with a side of whole milk yogurt (fat) and a hard-boiled egg (protein).

Which Cereal Has the Least Sugar?

Many of the healthiest cereal choices on this list are also low-sugar cereals, including:
Three Wishes (3g)
Magic Spoon (0g)
Cascadian Farm Organic Mixed Berry Cereal (0g)
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal (0g)



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