The 8 Best Grains for Weight Loss, Approved by Dietitians

When it comes to convenience, it’s hard to beat a bowl of cereal. The only problem is that many breakfast cereals are known to be high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. And this may not be the best way to start your day. On the other hand, a balanced breakfast is not only good for your overall health, but can also support your weight loss efforts. Grain lovers, rest assured. There are many good breakfast cereals on the market for weight loss; you just have to know what you’re looking for. Here are our top picks for healthier cereals for weight loss.

What to look for in a cereal for weight loss

Depending on your personal health goals, there are several factors to consider when choosing breakfast cereal. If you want to lose weight, we recommend that you consider the following before purchasing:

  • Fiber: Data just shows that about 7% of adults in the US actually reach the daily fiber recommendation of 28 to 34 grams per day (the specific number depends on age and gender). Still, fiber is important for weight loss because it moves slowly through the digestive tract, helping you feel full without adding more calories to your meals. Fiber also helps keep your blood sugar levels in check after breakfast so you don’t face an energy crash mid-morning. Double-check the Nutrition Facts label and choose cereals with at least 4 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Egg white: The combination of protein and fiber is a one-two punch for a breakfast with some staying power. Like fiber, protein can support your weight loss efforts by slowing digestion and keeping you feeling full. Protein also helps regulate leptin and ghrelin, your appetite hormones. Because many traditional breakfast cereals don’t contain protein, you may find yourself reaching for a snack not long afterward. So it is worth choosing a grain with a higher protein content.
  • Added sugar: Grains have gotten a bad rap for their added sugar content. According to the American Heart Association, men should consume less than 36 grams (9 teaspoons) of added sugar daily and women should consume less than 25 grams (6 teaspoons). Excessive consumption of added sugars in your diet can increase your risk for a variety of chronic diseases and may contribute to obesity. Starting your day with a breakfast with less added sugar can help you make smarter choices throughout the day.

1. Fiber One original bran

While bran cereals aren’t as exciting as Lucky Charms, they have a lot to offer nutritionally. Fiber One Original Bran” is great because it [a ⅔-cup serving] contains 18 grams of fiber, which is more than 50% of your daily recommended fiber intake. Fiber helps keep you full and aids in digestion. Therefore, this is ideal for someone who wants to lose weight. Plus, there’s no added sugar, which keeps the calorie count low,” says Caitlin Ogletree, MS, RD, a dietitian based in San Antonio, Texas. Score a few extra grams of fiber by adding fruit. “My favorite way to eat Fiber One cereal is mixed with a cup of yogurt and topped with fresh berries.”

2. Seven Sundays Maple Almond Protein Oats

Although these protein oats contain a little more sugar than other options on this list, they make up for it with extra protein and fiber. This cereal has a short and sweet ingredient list of whole foods like oats, almonds and chia seeds. Just one half-cup serving provides 7 grams of fiber, 11 grams of protein and 260 calories. Some research suggests that including whole grains, such as oats, in your meals can help you lose weight and prevent weight gain in the long term. This protein-rich breakfast cereal makes a delicious and crunchy topping for cottage cheese or a Greek yogurt parfait.

3. Catalina Crunch Cinnamon Toast

Catalina Crunch is a breakfast cereal line developed to appeal to fans of nostalgic classics. “I love it not only for the nutritional benefits, but also because it reminds me of a childhood favorite: Cinnamon Toast Crunch,” says Ogletree. “The Catalina Crunch Cinnamon Toast Cereal is a much healthier option that contains 11 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber and no added sugar [per a half-cup]All this makes this an ideal breakfast cereal for weight loss. Protein and fiber are the ultimate duo when it comes to keeping you full; you won’t have to run to the pantry for a snack an hour after eating this cereal!”

4. Kashi Go Original

Honey-Sweetened Kashi Go Original Cereal is a great option for those who love the taste of Honey Nut Cheerios but are looking for a cereal with a much higher protein and fiber content. Kashi Go Original may also appeal to those who want some texture variety, as it contains whole wheat puffs, cereal sticks and crispy squares. One serving (1¼ cups) of Kashi Go provides 11 grams of protein and a whopping 12 grams of hunger-fighting fiber.

5. Nature’s Path Optimal Strength Blueberry Cinnamon Flax Cereals

For those who like crunchy and flaky cereal, try Nature’s Path Optimum Power Blueberry Cinnamon Flax Cereal. This whole-grain breakfast cereal provides 8 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving, keeping you satisfied for much longer than many other flaky breakfast cereals. “These cereals contain 9 grams of protein, and higher protein choices also help with satiety and maintaining muscle mass as you try to lose fat,” says Jaime Bachtell-Shelbert, RDN, LDN, founder of Wholly Nourished.

Many healthier breakfast cereals are kind of bland because they don’t contain tons of added sugar, but this one is packed with flavor from freeze-dried blueberries and cinnamon. Additionally, blueberries have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including improved weight maintenance.

6. Cocoa Three Wishes

Chickpeas are an unlikely breakfast cereal ingredient, but Three Wishes has found a way to incorporate them into their lower sugar, higher protein cereals. If you’re a chocolate lover, the Three Wishes Grain-Free Cocoa Flavored Cereal might be your ideal breakfast. One cup of these crunchy O’s provides 8 grams of plant-based protein from chickpeas and pea protein. They are subtly sweet, with only 3 grams of total sugar per serving.

7. Post Grape-Nuts Original

It’s hard to top a classic, which is why Post Grape-Nuts Original cereal remains a staple for those trying to opt for healthier breakfast cereals. Just half a cup of this cereal provides 7 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and just 5 grams of total sugar. Some people may think that these cereals could use more flavor. If that’s you, make your bowl more interesting by pairing this cereal with fresh fruit or serving it as a topping for your morning smoothie bowl or yogurt.

8. Bob’s Red Mill Protein Oats

If oatmeal is one of your favorite breakfast options but you’re looking for a little more protein, try Bob’s Red Mill Protein Oats. Research has shown that oats can help you control your weight. Surprisingly, this product only contains one ingredient: oats. Yet it contains a conventionally grown variety of oats with a higher protein content. One ⅓ cup serving of these protein oats provides 10 grams of protein, compared to 6 grams per serving for regular oatmeal. Make these oats with milk and top with nuts or nut butter to add even more protein and fiber, or try one of these savory oatmeal recipes with added protein from cheese or eggs.

It comes down to

If you’re trying to lose weight and have written off cereal as a healthy option, we’re here to tell you that you can definitely enjoy a bowl of cereal and still achieve your weight loss goals. However, we recommend double-checking the nutrition label and choosing grains that are rich in fiber and protein and low in added sugar. Start your day with one of these eight cereals, and you’ll be well on your way to meeting your daily fiber and protein needs (while also fending off the mid-morning munchies).

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