Is Eating Cereal a Good Idea? – Best and Worst Breakfast Choices

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Is eating cereal a good idea?

The simple answer: Yes, eating cereal is a good idea.

The not-so simple answer: Eating breakfast is always better than going without. However, there may be better options than cereal.

Here are the reasons along with statistics and nutritional facts.

Some people believe that not eating breakfast will help with weight loss. Others, such as training athletes, believe eating breakfast will help with gaining weight. So which one is right? A study was done (reported by in their article: Eat More Calories for Breakfast and Less Throughout the Day to Lose Weight and Lower the Risk of Disease), and they recorded that they studied 93 obese women.

They were randomly assigned to two different meal plans. The first group at a bulk of their calories in the morning and less throughout the rest of the day. The other group ate a large portion of their calories for the day in the evening or later in the day. The group that ate the larger portion of calories in the morning, on average, lost 17.8 pounds and three inches off their waistline. The other group, on average, lost 7.3 pounds and 1.4 inches off their waistline.

That group that ate the large meal in the morning were observed to have less of a desire to snack later in the day. Obesity diseases, which are linked to large levels of insulin, glucose, and triglycerides, are going to be less popular in the big morning eaters because those levels were all observed to be lower.

So we know that eating well in the morning is helpful for obesity health issues, but what about someone who is looking to either put on weight or just maintain their weight and create a healthier lifestyle. 

Studies have repeatedly shown that eating more in the morning is healthier, but what exactly should we eat in the morning?


It is my firm belief that the number one health risk to us nowadays is sugar. Sugar is added to almost everything, and it is killing us, literally. It is linked to so many health risks I can’t even list them because the list would be so long. If you don’t belief me, just go without sugar for the next month, tell me how much added energy you have and how healthy you feel.

So let’s start looking at some of our favorite breakfast foods and decide whether we should eat them or toss them (some of this may shock you).


When I was little, my mom would not allow us kids to eat “sugar cereal” because they weren’t good for us. She was always afraid of the crazy amounts of sugar that they put in those other cereals (Reese’s Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cap’n Crunch, etc.) So looking at this label, the sugar is at 9 g. Now let’s compare it to Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Label
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Label

Wait a second (scratches head)? Is this the Honey Nut Cheerios or Cinnamon Toast Crunch label? The sugar is at 10 g, and almost everything else on the Nutrition Facts label is pretty similar to Honey Nut Cheerios. Does that mean that Honey Nut Cheerios Should be added to my mom’s sugar cereal list? Before we do so, how about we take another look at a “healthy” cereal…

Rise Krispies Label
Rice Krispies Label

Rice Krispies have less than half of the sugar than Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. So this one seems to be alright. Now I have decided to compile a list of unhealthy ingredients in a lot of cereals that we should look for:

-BHT – Keeps the cereal fresh in the box (while that is pretty hard not to find in most cereals)
-Soybean Oil/Soy Lecithin
-High Fructose Corn Syrup

If we take a look at those two cereals above, I can finally see where my mom was right. The Honey Nut Cheerios cereal does contain just about as much sugar as Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but it passes on most other unhealthy tests. The only real red flags are the sugar and freshness preservatives that are added. Cinnamon Toast Crunch contains sugar, fructose, soy lecithin, color, and BHT. Note that most breakfast cereals do come with good stuff too, including vitamins and minerals.

Be sure to check that “No-No List” before buying cereal and make sure you don’t have any of those bad ingredients in your cereals.


Now let’s take a look at what we are getting in eggs. World’s Healthiest Foods wrote a great article on eggs. They write about all of the benefits of eggs. Here’s some of what you are benefiting from:

Choline, Selenium, Biotin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Molybdenum, Iodine, Pantothenic Acid, Protein, Phosphorous, Vitamin D, Vitamin A.

And this doesn’t come with all of that extra added sugar, coloring, and preservatives junk. Obviously, they recommend organic eggs and that you ask for pasture-raised. Local farms are good too. Definitely, eggs > cereal.]

Not forgetting about the cons of eggs, they deliver saturated fat (2 grams per egg), and cholesterol at 185 mg per egg. The recommended daily cholesterol limit is 300 mg.


Oatmeal if a fantastic meal in the morning. It is rich in whole oat sources and fiber that directly link to healthy hearts. Potassium and calcium are high in oatmeal, and it is very helpful in lowering blood pressure.

Along with the whole oat and fiber, included in oatmeal is several other benefits:

-Energy Booster – studies have been done that prove eating oatmeal helps with endurance
-Prevents Diabetes – oatmeal has a low glycemix index
-Weight Loss – oatmeal causes a slow rise in glycemix levels, which is ideal for fat burning during exercise.
-Skin Protection – known to act against skin irritation and relieve itchiness
-Healthy Heart – whole oat and fiber = healthy heart
-Colon Cancer Reduced – high fiber diets reduce the risk of colon cancer


Pancakes are not actually the worst breakfast foods you can eat. They do have fiber, whole-wheat, and protein.

The main benefit to eating pancakes is the fullness you feel from eating them, along with the low amounts fiber and protein. The bad part about them is the syrup added to them. Eggs obviously carry a lot more good with them than pancakes.


I don’t think we can really take donuts seriously as a viable breakfast substitute, but just for the fun of it, here are some pros and cons.

-Can fill you up (yep, that’s about it)

-High in carbs
-High in sugar


After looking through these and finding out what exactly was in each one of them, I suggest a healthy mix of eggs, oatmeal, and cereal. The cereal has to be chosen very wisely, however, because so many cereals are about as bad as donuts. I don’t want to say you can’t eat donuts, pancakes, and other unhealthy foods, but just realize what you are eating when you do so.

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