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8 Oatmeal Brands To Stay Away From Right Now

These may not qualify as the most important meal of the day...

Do you love to enjoy a warm bowl of oatmeal for breakfast? Are you prepping overnight oats to enjoy in the morning? It's an often healthy breakfast, but some prepacked oats may only appear so.

Brands use labels like gluten-free, collagen, protein, and vegan to seem healthier than they are. Foods can undoubtedly be gluten-free or vegan but contain added ingredients that make them not worth it. But which one should we stay away from?

We consulted two registered dietitians to help determine which oatmeal brands to avoid: Lisa Young, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim & The Portion Teller Plan, and Toby Amidor, award-winning nutrition expert and Wall Street Journal best-selling author of Diabetes Create Your Plate Meal Prep Cookbook. Here's what they recommend.

RELATED: 4 Yogurt Brands To Stay Away From Right Now


Quaker Instant Oatmeal Maple & Brown Sugar – 10ct

quaker maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal
PER PACKET: 160 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 260 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (3 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 4 g protein

"This oatmeal contains too much sugar and salt—with 12 grams of sugar and 260 milligrams sodium, I'd stay away from this option," says Young.

Amidor agrees, noting, "There are 12 grams of added sugar in this instant oatmeal, which can be used occasionally when in a bind, but there really are other options with the main difference being the added sugar. Many other brands out there have less added sugar."


Purely Elizabeth Collagen Protein Oat Cup – Blueberry Walnut

purely elizabeth blueberry-walnut collagen protein oats
Purely Elizabeth
PER CONTAINER: 230 calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium, 37 g carbs (5 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 9 g protein

This oat cup with collagen is a prime example of seeming to be a good choice. However, Young points out some problems.

"I prefer not to have collagen in my oatmeal, so it wouldn't be a top choice," she says. "Plus, the dried blueberries contain added sugar, and this oatmeal is over 200 calories." Young isn't a fan of powders and prefers to get nutrients from whole foods.


KIND Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Almond – 1.5oz/6ct

KIND dark chocolate almond oatmeal
PER PACKET: 170 calories, 6 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium, 28 g carbs (4 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 5 g protein

KIND is known for its snack bars, which can be a healthy choice. However, its oatmeal is a different story.

"I'd stay away from this option as it contains chocolate and over two teaspoons of added sugar," Young adds.


Kroger Apple & Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal

kroger apple & cinnamon instant oatmeal
Courtesy of Kroger
PER CONTAINER: 170 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 37 g carbs (3 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 3 g protein

Both of our dietitians agree to stay away from this Kroger oatmeal. The main reason is the sugar content.

"With sugar listed as the second ingredient and 21 grams sugar, I'd stay away. It also has a super long ingredient list as far as oatmeal goes," Young advises.

"The added sugar is 21 grams per serving, which is WAY higher than most other brands on the market. This one I would surely skip," Amidor agrees.


Lucky Charms Instant Oatmeal, 6 ct, 8.4 oz

lucky charms instant oatmeal
Courtesy of Walmart
PER POUCH OATMEAL + 1 POUCH TOPPING: 140 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 115 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (2 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 3 g protein

Lucky Charms and oatmeal fans may be excited about the new Lucky Charms instant oatmeal, but the added sugar is a concern.

"With sugar and corn starch as the second and third ingredients, this instant oatmeal would not be my top choice. It also contains too much added sugar (3 teaspoons!)," Young explains. She notes that cornstarch is a highly processed, refined carb that has no nutrients. The nostalgia isn't worth it.


MUSH Gluten-Free Vegan Vanilla Ready-to-Eat Overnight Oats – 20oz/4ct

mush vanilla bean oats
Courtesy of Instacart
PER CONTAINER: 220 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 105 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (6 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 6 g protein

Mush Overnight Oats is a perfect example of something that seems healthy but may be deceiving. With labels like gluten-free and vegan, what could be wrong?

"Although oats are certainly healthy, if someone is looking to watch their calorie intake or complement the oats with another food like fruit, the calories in this portion are high than many other brands on the market at 220 per serving," Amidor explains.

She also points out that because it uses almond milk, the calcium and vitamin D contents are lower than cow milk. That's a concern because Americans are typically not getting enough of both of these nutrients.


GreenWise Instant Oatmeal Maple And Brown Sugar

greenwise organic maple + brown sugar instant oatmeal
Courtesy of Instacart
PER 1 PACKET: 150 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 95 mg sodium, 31 g carbs (3 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 4 g protein

Greenwise instant oatmeal looks innocent, but the amount of sugar is concerning.

"There are 12 grams of added sugar in this instant oatmeal. You can find better options with less added sugar on the market instead," says Amidor.


Umpqua Oats Oatmeal Cup, Maple Pecan, 2.58 oz, Single Cup

umpqua oats maple pecan oatmeal cup
Courtesy of Walmart
PER CONTAINER: 280 calories, 7 g fat (0.82 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 44 g carbs (5 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 9 g protein

Last but not least is Umpqua oats. Amidor chose this one to stay away from.

"With 280 calories per serving, it has one of the highest calorie counts on the market. There are so many other options to choose from with similar (or less) amounts of added sugar and fewer calories," says Amidor.

Nicole LaMarco
Nicole has a first-degree black belt in Taekwondo and is passionate about everything health-related. Read more about Nicole