There really is nothing quite like a bowl of cereal. It’s the one meal that anyone can easily make—you only need a bowl, a spoon, and some milk!—and diving into a box always brings on a wave of nostalgia. While you may have grown up eating tons of colorful, sweetly-coated crunchy goodness, a lot of cereals out there are actually not all that good for you. Not even in the slightest, actually.
Sorry to disappoint, but if you’re turning to a bowl of your favorite cereal every day as a go-to snack, you might want to stop that habit. It’s time to expose which cereal is truly the one you should always leave on grocery store shelves, as it’s not doing you any favors. (If you’re really in the mood for a trip down memory lane, be sure to check out these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback!)
Now, the most toxic, worst cereal is…
per 1 cup: 150 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 85 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (0 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 2 g protein
With the beloved cartoon Sugar Bear on the box, it might be hard to imagine that this cereal option is harmful to your health. Plus, with that tagline of how you “can’t get enough of that Golden Crisp,” it seems like would be a nice way to satisfy any sweet craving you might have. Well, one cup of this stuff is packing in all the wrong things. The big culprit? Sugar.
The first ingredient listed is sugar and the third is corn syrup, so you already know you’re in trouble. That one serving of the cereal gives you 21 grams of sugar—and it’s all added sugar we’re talking about here. And it’s no secret how dangerous consuming too much added sugar can be.
See, added sugar is a sign that a food choice is going to lead to weight, according to a BMJ meta-analysis, as there is a good chance it will have added calories. Plus, if you’re often eating sugary foods, you’re going to end up craving more sugar, which causes—you guessed it—weight gain. It’s a hard cycle to break that you’re unknowingly putting yourself on. (And to help you navigate the store aisles even more, your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!)
You’ll notice this cereal is also offering up zero grams of fiber. Yep, none at all. When you eat a meal that is high in fiber, you’re going to end up feeling fuller for longer, and it helps support your digestive system, too. So if you’re eating something that is devoid of fiber, soon enough you’ll be hungry again. There is barely any protein here either. Again, nothing redeeming with this cereal option, so you’re much better off walking right by it when you’re in the grocery store.