Nutritionists Rate Healthy Supermarket Cereals
Nutritionists Rate Healthy Supermarket Cereals

Nutritionists Rate Healthy Supermarket Cereals

Often full of refined carbs and high in sugar, a bowl of cereal may not be the healthiest breakfast choice, but change is afoot. Here, we asked four nutritionists to rate some of the cleaner cereals making their way onto supermarket shelves…
By Tor West

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High Protein Cereal, £6 | Surreal

This plant-based, zero-sugar cereal is a top pick for nutritionist Joan Abebe. “If you’re looking for a healthy start to the day, this is a good option,” she says. “Surreal is high in protein and low in carbs, making it good for weight management, and the variety of flavours will add excitement to your breakfast.” However, nutrition expert Kathryn Danzey is wary of the use of rapeseed oil and artificial sweeteners, which, when consumed in large amounts, can lead to inflammation and weight gain. “These cereals are loaded with protein and fibre, but with more than five ingredients, it’s considered an ultra-processed food, so this should be seen as a treat.”

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Protein Cereal, £28 for 4 Pouches | Eleat

“If you’re looking for a high-protein, low-sugar cereal that’s also gluten-free and vegan, Eleat is a good option,” adds Jen Mackinder, naturopathic nutritional therapist at Baldo & Mason. “However, if you are sensitive to artificial sweeteners, you may want to opt for an alternative,” she says. Joan, however, says it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a filling cereal that will support an active lifestyle. “With only 1g of sugar per serving alongside 15g of protein and 10g of fibre, it’s a rounded option. It can also be enjoyed at various times – from breakfast to an afternoon pick-me-up or a post-dinner snack.”

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Keto Granola, £6.50 | Keto Hana

This is a clean, wholesome choice, continues Joan. “Keto Hana is all about minimal processing, whether through gentle baking or leaving the cereals raw. This approach ensures natural goodness is preserved. Containing almonds, coconut, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, a small amount of coconut oil, vanilla extract and natural flavours, these cereals are naturally low in carbs and high in fat and protein, which will keep hunger at bay.” However, just because it’s low carb doesn’t automatically mean it’s right for you, says Kathryn. “Carbs aren’t bad for you, and a keto diet doesn’t suit everyone. The right wholegrains can provide slow-release energy throughout the morning.”

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Gut-Loving Granola, £3.95 | Bio&Me

“Founded by a nutritionist, Bio&Me products are packed with plant goodness for better gut health,” says Joan. “In fact, its cocoa and hazelnut granola is a firm favourite in my kitchen – I often have a bowl for breakfast with Greek yoghurt and berries. If you’re looking to support your digestive health while enjoying a tasty breakfast, Bio&Me comes recommended.” The range has plenty to choose from, but some blends are healthier than others, adds Kathryn. “The Super Seedy & Nutty Granola contains the equivalent of one-and-a-half teaspoons of sugar, while the Oats & Plenty Porridge is a better option as it’s lower in both sugar and fat.”

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Granola, £3.80 | Deliciously Ella

“This is a brand I recommend to clients looking for a healthier start to the day,” Joan tells us. “Featuring clean, whole ingredients and just the right amount of sweetness, these cereals and granolas are high in fibre and full of flavour without the use of additives. Enjoy with yoghurt, sprinkled over a smoothie bowl for added crunch, or as a wholesome snack.” Kathryn is also a fan: “These cereals contain foods our body can recognise and digest. They don’t contain artificial sweeteners, but some do contain sunflower oil. It’s also worth noting many of these cereals aren’t high in protein, so will need to be served with Greek yoghurt or another source of protein for a balanced breakfast.”

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Muesli, £3 | Alara Organic

All three experts rate these clean, fibre-rich cereals. For Joan, it’s the use of organic ingredients. “You’ll always find a packet of Alara cereal in my cupboard. Using organic grains, fruits, nuts and seeds, you can enjoy a nutritious start to the day without the worry of harmful pesticides. My go-to in the range is the gluten-free porridge oats – they’re rich in fibre and wonderfully creamy.” Kathryn, meanwhile, recommends the Ancient Grains cereal, which contains spelt, a protein-rich grain that’s an excellent source of iron. “This particular cereal is really versatile – serve with milk or soak overnight to eat with yoghurt.”

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Granola, £4.99 | Spoon

“High in protein and fibre and low in carbs and sugar, these cereals are sweetened with date and maple syrup, making them a good alternative to traditional breakfast cereals,” says Jen. Kathryn recommends the low-sugar granola, a combination of nuts, seeds and pea protein which provides the body with all nine essential amino acids. “It also contains inulin to improve gut health, while the other cereals contain apple pectin, a phytochemical linked to improved cardiovascular and digestive health.”

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Super Hoops, £22.49 for 4 Boxes | Brave

“Brave is a brand that lives up to its name, redefining the cereal landscape with clever, health-conscious choices designed to provide longer-lasting energy and better mental clarity. Each bowl is low in fat and contains around 12g of protein and a good amount of fibre to keep energy sustained throughout the morning,” says Joan. Kathryn rates the fact these cereals are made with chickpeas, casava root and peas. “This is a great concept that’ll boost the nutrient content of your diet. However, this cereal is still classed as ultra-processed and contains sweeteners and sunflower oil.”

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Here, the experts share their tips for choosing a nutritionally balanced cereal…

Find A Balanced Blend

“Traditional breakfast cereals tend to be loaded with sugar and are low in both fibre and protein, a combination that will send you on a blood sugar rollercoaster. Instead, look for a cereal that is high in protein, low in sugar and rich in fibre – these are the three macronutrients to be looking for. Bonus points if you can find a cereal that contains lots of nuts and seeds, which add additional protein and fats to create a more balanced meal.” – Clarissa Lenherr, nutritionist

Avoid Sweeteners

“An overwhelming number of food products that claim to be healthy are made with artificial sweeteners – this means brands can make claims about a cereal being low-sugar whilst still tasting sweet. However, regular consumption of artificial sweeteners has been linked to changes in the gut microbiome and they are something I advise my clients to actively avoid. At the same time, look out for real sugar on an ingredients label, which can be disguised as cane juice, dextrose, isoglucose, jaggery, maltose and barley malt.” – Clarissa 

Watch Out For Wheat

“Cereals like Weetabix and All Bran are wheat-based, which may seem like a healthy option, but wheat can irritate the gut and cause bloating. These big-brand cereals also all contain sugar. At the same time, wheat bran contains phytic acid (a natural substance found in wheat), which can prevent the absorption of certain nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. If you enjoy these cereals, enjoy them sparingly and in small amounts.” – Kate Delmar-Morgan, nutritional therapist at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition

Don’t Fear Carbs

“Some of these newer cereals are lower in carbs, but it’s important to understand that we all thrive on different diets. A low-carb breakfast can help keep you fuller for longer, but a low-carb diet can reduce the number of healthy plants you eat. The brain needs at least 130mg of carbs a day to function, and if you are very active and do lots of exercise, you’ll need arguably even more to support your physical performance.” – Kathryn  

Choose Granola Wisely

“Granola is a tricky one as it pretty much always contains added sugar and oil, whether it’s marketed as healthy or not. Commercial granolas often use high amounts of sugar or syrup as well as refined oils, which can cause an imbalance of healthy omega-3 fats within the body. Always choose a granola that includes nuts and seeds and the least amount of added sugar possible.” – Kate 

Boost Your Nutrients

“Getting creative with your cereal toppings is a simple way to make your bowl more satiating and nutritious. Top with fresh fruit like berries and chopped apples for antioxidants, vitamins and fibre; sprinkle with nuts and seeds for a dose of healthy fats and protein; swap regular milk for Greek yoghurt to increase the protein content; and add a tablespoon of your favourite nut butter for extra flavour, protein and healthy fats.” – Joan

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