myFM: A Closer Look at Cereal

by Lianne Phillipson February 28, 2024

myFM: A Closer Look at Cereal

The CEO of Kellogg’s recently made a statement that raised quite a few eyebrows.

He suggested that cereal could be a better choice than traditional dinner for those looking to save money on food. It’s worth mentioning that the CEO himself is paid handsomely and owns plenty of stock in his company, as public records show. So it should come as no surprise that his comments were met with some backlash.

One specific ad showed a family opting for cereal over dinner and launched a lot of discussion about the role cereal can play in our diets. And I get it — sometimes I want eggs and toast, but there’ve been many nights where I’d rather just eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch instead.

But we do have to question how healthy it is to suggest something like this to families, especially children.

Cereal is an ultra-processed, high-sugar, low-fiber food. We know fiber does things like help move food through the intestines, capture toxins and support gut health — all good stuff! We also know high-fiber diets reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Sugar-wise, guidelines say women should consume no more than 25 grams per day while men should cap off at 36 grams per day. To put that into perspective, many cereals contain more sugar than this recommendation in just one serving size!

I used Raisin Bran as an example earlier because people tend to think it’s healthier — but its 18 grams of sugar per cup put you only seven grams away from your daily limit when you wake up in the morning! Plus while seven grams of fiber and five grams of protein aren’t terrible amounts, its calorie count is too high for what it offers (190) —and we still have to talk about the fact that they sweeten it up further with high-fructose corn syrup!

Corn flakes offer fewer ingredients so you might think they’re not so bad. But their high glycemic index score and low fiber content are both indicators of an ultra-processed food. A glycemic index rating of 83 out of 100 even means corn flakes spike your blood sugar levels more than table sugar.

Still, there is some hope for cereal lovers who are looking to eat it as a meal. Oatmeal is considerably healthier than most other cereals due to its natural ingredients, higher fiber content and lower levels of sugar.

The Bottom Line:

Cereal for dinner: Yay or nay? That’s what we’re trying to figure out here. I can tell you that eating CTC at 7 p.m. is probably not the healthiest option I could go for — but maybe Cheerios would be! It’s all about finding the right balance between saving money and enjoying our favorite breakfast foods.

Listen to segment below!

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