Calories in Food: Should You Avoid Dense Cereals?

People are likely to eat more of dense breakfast cereals like granola and Grape-Nuts than less-dense cereals like flakes.


U.S. researchers offered 41 adults one of four cereals for breakfast once a week—either ordinary wheat flakes or the same flakes crushed so that their volume was only 80 percent, 60 percent, or 40 percent of the ordinary flakes. The participants were allowed to eat as much cereal (from an opaque container), fat-free milk, and calorie-free sweetener as they wanted.

The denser the cereal, the more the volunteers ate. Their breakfast calories rose from 286 for the ordinary flakes to 358 for the densest flakes. However, they all estimated having eaten the same amount of cereal.

What to do: Beware of dense cereals. Don’t just check a cereal’s calories per serving. Check the serving size, which can range from ¼ cup to 1¼ cups.

Source: J. Acad. Nutr. Diet. 2014. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2014.01.014.


Other relevant links:

2 Replies to “Calories in Food: Should You Avoid Dense Cereals?”

  1. I like muesli, don’t like granola because it’s too sweet. Most dense cereals have too much sugar. The muesli is dense, but has no added sugar, and the dried fruits aren’t deadly sweet either.

    1/4 cup of muesli on fresh fruit, topped with a few tablespoons of low-fat [or home-made Greek style] yogurt is a healthy breakfast, not low calorie, but smart calories, and not too many either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *