Best & Worst

5 Best ‘Bad for You’ Cereals

Yeah, we know, sometimes you just want to cheat, or feel nostalgic over a bowl of sugary, milky Tony the Tiger-approved cereal.

Best & Worst

5 Best ‘Bad for You’ Cereals

Yeah, we know, sometimes you just want to cheat, or feel nostalgic over a bowl of sugary, milky Tony the Tiger-approved cereal.

Crack open a box of one of these best “bad for you” brands once in a while (emphasis on the once!), and you can satisfy your naughty cravings without blowing your diet. It's nostalgia without the guilt.

EAT THIS

Lucky Charms

Calories

142

Fat

1 G

Sugar

14 G

Protein

2 G

NOT THAT!

Apple Jacks with Marshmallows

Calories

110

Fat

1 G

Sugar

14 G

Protein

1 G

Okay, please remember, these are naughty cereals and we don’t think the words marshmallow and breakfast should be associated at all. But… if you must indulge in a marshmallowy breakfast cereal, you won’t find one with less sugar that Lucky Charms. (But it’s still 40 percent sugar by weight per serving).

The tweaked out looking apple on some boxes of Apple Jacks, on the other hand, should be enough to scare you away from this limited edition cereal, but if you need more convincing: it’s 50 percent sugar by weight per serving and the ingredient list looks like a bad chemistry test held together by trans fats.

EAT THIS

Fruity Cheerios

Calories

100

Fat

1.5 G

Sugar

9 G

Protein

1 G

NOT THAT!

Froot Loops with Marshmallows

Calories

110

Fat

1 G

Sugar

14 G

Protein

1 G

Okay, the colors in Fruity Cheerios aren't natural, but, if turning your milk colors is what you’re after, this is the cereal for you. Nine grams of sugar is still a lot, but it’s 50 percent less than most of the other fruity cereals out there. Froot Loops is 48 percent sugar by weight with trans fats hiding in the ingredient list. Sorry, Toucan, no can do.

EAT THIS

Honey Bunches of Oats

Calories

120

Fat

1.5 G

Sugar

6 G

Protein

2 G

NOT THAT!

Honey Smacks

Calories

100

Fat

0.5 G

Sugar

15 G

Protein

2 G

Now remember, the title of this piece is best “naughty cereals.” So, while normally we wouldn’t be recommending a cereal with 4 different kinds of sugars and the preservative BHT (banned in other countries because it might be carcinogenetic), we’re ignoring that and focusing on the fact this this naughty cereal only contains 6 grams of sugar per serving while Honey Smacks should be relabeled “box of candy” for its whopping 56 percent sugar by weight. Just one serving will give you 50 percent of your daily sugar intake.

EAT THIS

Kashi 7 Whole Grain Honey Puffs

Calories

120

Fat

1 G

Sugar

6 G

Protein

3 G

NOT THAT!

Golden Puffs

Calories

100

Fat

0 G

Sugar

14 G

Protein

2 G

With only 6 grams of sugar and 10 things on the ingredient list (7 of which are whole grains), this Kashi offering is a sweet cereal that can satisfy your sweet puff craving without putting you at risk for diabetes. Golden Puffs leave us wondering what it is about puffed wheat that makes food manufacturers want to drown it in sugar; it's yet another cereal that is 56 percent sugar by weight and 50 percent of your daily sugar intake in one serving.

EAT THIS

Frosted Flakes

Calories

110

Fat

0 G

Sugar

10 G

Protein

1 G

NOT THAT!

Golden Crisp

Calories

100

Fat

0 G

Sugar

14 G

Protein

1 G

Yes, you are better off with a bowl of Frosted Flakes (10 grams of sugar per serving) than you are with any of the worst cereals on this list. Plus, you get the chance to say, “They’re grrrrreat!” and mean it. Yes, they’ve added vitamins and minerals to Golden Crisp, but it's still a cereal that is 52 percent sugar by weight and 47 percent of your daily sugar intake in one serving. No thank you.