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10 Best New Healthy Breakfast Cereals

Looking for a healthy way to start your day? Give these healthy -- and tasty-- new breakfast cereals a try.
By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
WebMD Expert Review

Stuck in a rut with the same old, same old breakfast cereal? There are plenty of new offerings out there in your grocery store -- including many that are higher in fiber and lower in added sugar than the old standards. To find the 10 best new cereals, WebMD took to the cereal aisle with a spoon and calculator in tow.

Each of the great-tasting cereals on this list contains less than 28% calories from sugar, and gives you at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. Some of these cereals may have more sugar than you think is desirable, but they offer a nice step down for those that are used to eating the sweeter cereal options. And even though a serving of some of the cereals below contains about 10 grams of sugar per serving, this is actually fewer grams of sugar than you get in 2 tablespoons of raisins (15 grams).

Three of the new cereals contain more than 150 milligrams of sodium per serving (210-350 milligrams) so if you are on a restricted sodium diet (less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day), you might want to try some of the cereals listed here with less than 100 milligrams per serving. For comparison, two slices of whole-wheat bread total 300 milligrams of sodium before any spreads or toppings are added.

And here are two easy tricks to make them even more nutritious: Add 1% or skim milk to cold cereals (or cook hot cereals with milk), and top them with fruit and/or nuts.

10 Best New Healthy Breakfast Cereals

1. Frosted Mini-Wheat Cinnamon Streusel

If you like Frosted Mini-Wheats but are bored with the standard flavor, take the Cinnamon Streusel flavor for a spin. These mini biscuits have the signature crunchy texture, but with a nice cinnamon flavor added.

A 1.8 oz serving (24 biscuits) has 180 calories, 4 grams (g) protein, 44 g carbohydrate (12 g sugar), 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, and 0 mg sodium. Calories from sugar: 27%.

2. Fiber One Caramel Delight

This cereal will appeal to all the sweets lovers out there who are looking for a higher-fiber cereal with less sugar. Caramel Delight cereal squares have a crunchy texture that holds up in milk. Best of all, they don’t taste like a super high-fiber cereal, with their pleasantly sweet caramel flavor.

A 1.8 oz serving (1 cup) has 180 calories, 3 g protein, 41 g carbohydrate (10 g sugar), 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 9 g fiber, 260 mg sodium. Calories from sugar: 22%.

3. Raisin Bran Extra!

This version of Raisin Bran embellishes the traditional crispy flakes and plump raisins with yogurt clusters, sweet cranberries, and almond slices. I was personally hoping to find more sliced almonds and dried cranberries in the mix. But overall, this is a more interesting version of an all-time favorite.

4. Kashi Summer Berry Granola

This relatively new granola has a unique berry flavor, with strawberries, blackberries, and kiwi in almost every bite. Each serving contributes .35 grams of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, mainly coming from canola oil.

A 1.9 oz (1/2 cup) serving has 220 calories, 6 g protein, 39 g carbohydrate (9 g sugar), 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 150 mg sodium. Calories from sugar: 16%.

5. Shredded Wheat Vanilla Almond, Spoon Size

Ground vanilla beans give a pleasant vanilla flavor to this cereal, which is fortified with a variety of vitamins and minerals (iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, and zinc.) Although sugar is the second ingredient listed on the label, the calories from sugar total a respectable 23%. Almonds, which sit on top of the bite-size biscuits, are listed as the third ingredient on the label.

A 1.8 oz (1 cup) serving has 190 calories, 4 g protein, 43 g carbohydrate (11 g sugar), 1.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 45 mg sodium. Calories from sugar: 23%.

6. Kashi Go Lean Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble

This new Kashi cereal with cranberries and wild blueberries is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrate than most breakfast cereals. The flavors and textures combine nicely in a crunchy cereal that goes well with milk or as a topping for yogurt.

A 1.8 oz (3/4 cup) serving has 190 calories, 9 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate (12 g sugar), 4 g fat, .5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 8 g fiber, 130 mg sodium. Calories from sugar: 25%.

7. Banana Nut Bear Naked 100% Pure & Natural Cereal

If you're a fan of bananas, you'll probably love this new cereal. The 2.5 grams of saturated fat, which comes from the coconut oil used to make the banana chips, may sound a bit high. But when you have the cereal with some skim milk, your breakfast will contain less than 9% calories from saturated fat. Without the milk, it contains 10% calories from saturated fat.

A 2 oz (3/4 cup) serving has 220 calories, 5 g protein, 43 g carbohydrate (13 g sugar), 5 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 210 mg sodium. Calories from sugar: 24%.

8. Cinnamon Puffins (Barbara’s Bakery)

Technically, this isn’t a new cereal -- but you may not have tried it yet, as this brand is most often found at alternative markets, such as Trader Joe’s. Ground cinnamon dusts both sides of the cereal pillows, which are wheat-free and made mainly of corn meal, corn bran, and oat flour. Unsulphured molasses is the main sweetener.

A 1.1 oz (2/3 cup) serving has 100 calories, 2 g protein, 26 g carbohydrate (6 g sugar), 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 150 mg sodium. Calories from sugar: 24%.

9. Heart Healthy Whole Grain Cranberry Instant Oatmeal (Trader Joe’s)

This instant oatmeal is not only unusual because it features dried cranberries, but also because it contains ground flaxseed (although the package doesn’t say how many grams of omega-3s are in each serving) and healthy plant sterol esters (adding .65 grams of plant sterol esters per serving). The third ingredient listed on the label, inulin, is a good-for-you soluble fiber.

One packet has 160 calories, 4 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate (10 g sugar), 2.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 90 mg sodium. Calories from sugar: 25%.

10. Kashi Go Lean Honey & Cinnamon Instant Hot Cereal

Unlike oatmeal, this instant hot cereal has a variety of taste and textures. It’s only slightly sweet, so you may want to add some fresh, frozen, or dried fruit for some added flavor.

One packet has 150 calories, 8 g protein, 26 g carbohydrate (7 g sugar), 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 100 mg sodium. Calories from sugar: 19%.

(Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the "Recipe Doctor" for WebMD and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.)
 

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