It’s not just kids’ cereals that are too sweet. Adult cereals like Kashi GoLean Crunch have 3 teaspoons of added sugars per (3/4 cup) serving. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugars a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men.
It’s hard to tell how much added sugar is in many cereals. Why? Because the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require Nutrition Facts labels to separate the naturally occurring sugar in fruit (like raisins) from added sugars like evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, honey, fruit juice concentrate, agave nectar, and high-fructose corn syrup.
(Note: We do not recommend cereals—like General Mills Fiber One Honey Clusters—that contain the sugar substitutes monk fruit extract or sucralose, which we rate as “Caution,” or that have acesulfame-potassium, which we rate as “Avoid.” See chemicalcuisine.org.)
Instead, add your own fruit to a whole-grain cereal that has little or no added sugars, like bran flakes, shredded wheat, Cheerios, or Uncle Sam Original. Cereals that do that for you include Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli, Alpen No Sugar Added, and Erewhon Organic or Uncle Sam Skinner’s Raisin Bran.
Other relevant links:
• Are certain cereals good for your heart? See: Heart and Disease: Decoding the Heart Claims on Cereal Boxes
• Sugar can be a problem in hot cereals too. See: Skip the Sugar in Hot Cereal
• Dense cereals are high in calories. See: Calories in Food: Should You Avoid Dense Cereals?