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That Cold Cereal You Thought Was Healthy Is Actually Really, Really Bad

cerealI originally started this with the sanctimonious statement that I have never bought my kids a sugary cereal.

You know, no Cap’n Crunch, no Cocoa Puffs or Trix … Just good old Raisin Bran.

Turns out, I may as well have been giving them doughnuts for breakfast!

I’ll explain in a second. But first, if you do serve cereal for breakfast, what’s the healthiest cold cereal out there? Survey says: good, old-fashioned Cheerios.

And by ‘healthiest cold cereal’ I mean the least bad cereal out there.

Ever looked at the amount of sugar in one serving of Lucky Charms (11 grams!) or Cap’n Crunch (12 grams!)? Well, here’s one that totally blew my mind: Post Raisin Bran has 20 grams of sugar per serving. Kelloggs has 19 grams. Twenty grams? You might as well be shoving a candy bar in your kid’s hand before pushing him out the door. And remember, a serving equals one cup, and when did anyone ever just eat one cup of cereal for breakfast? Double that, at least.

I’m shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you. Here I thought I was this great parent but I was just suckered by the word “bran.” And, you know, raisins. But according to Today, Raisin Bran is among the worst cereals out there. “These raisins, as you can see, are all wearing little sparkly jackets of sugar. Add that to the three forms of sugar in the flakes — corn syrup, HFCS, and invert sugar — and you’ve got a serious sugar buzz in the making.”

I mean, you can eat Cookie Crisp and consume far less sugar than what’s packed into Raisin Bran.

Compare those numbers with just one gram of sugar in Cheerios. According to Yahoo, the first ingredient in Cheerios is whole grain oats. The cereal, which was first made in 1941 under the name Cheerioats, is low in calories too — almost half of the nearly 200 calories per serving of Raisin Bran.

Throw some blueberries or strawberries in your Cheerios and you’ve got a tasty, fairly healthy breakfast. So, what do you serve for breakfast in your house? Were you, like me,  laboring under the delusion that Raisin Bran was among the healthier picks?

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