Healthy cereal: Which are the healthiest cereals? The best and worst cereals for your diet revealed

Best and worst cereals

Finding a healthy cereal for breakfast is a challenging task, as some of the most popular brands are filled with hidden sugars and other additives.

To find the healthiest cereal, we've ranked 25 different cereals from best to worst. The rankings are based on their nutritional value, looking at serving size, calorific information, sugar and salt content, with particularly high or low nutritional scores highlighted throughout.

Over the years, the health myths around breakfast foods have been debunked. Experts have weighed in on healthy cereal bars (opens in new tab) and whether Greek yoghurt is good for you (opens in new tab), they've debated the positives and negatives around low calorie breakfasts (opens in new tab) to start the day. Now we know that what we eat in the morning should be high in nutrients and low in sugar, after multiple studies (opens in new tab) on the topic. But it's actually more important than many people might think.

Healthy cereals from best to worst, at a glance

The healthiest cereal overall is Weetabix, finally answering the question of whether Weetabix is good for you. Although it might have a higher sugar content than other cereals, it's got the lowest fat, saturated fat and salt score. Weetabix also has lower calories (opens in new tab) than other cereals, scoring well for the amount of calories per 100g. They're almost half that of the worst overall cereal.

  • Best cereal overall: Weetabix
  • Best cereal for sugar content: Nestle Bitesize Shredded Wheat
  • Best cereal for saturated fat content: Kellogg's Cornflakes

While the worst cereal overall is Honey Monster Puffs, with 48.8g of fat and 610 calories per 100g. It also scores high on the amount of saturated fat, sugar count and has a high salt content.

  • Worst cereal overall: Honey Monster Puffs
  • Worst cereal for sugar content: Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
  • Worst cereal for saturated fat content: Honey Monster Puffs

Cheerio cereal in bowl with milk being poured over it

Credit: Getty

"When we’ve spent several hours fasting through the night, our blood sugar is likely to be low on waking." Liz Cooper, nutritional advisor at Bio-Kult (opens in new tab), explains. "So it’s important to eat a breakfast that’s not going to cause a spike in our blood sugar level, as this could result in a slump by mid-morning and could potentially have us reaching for sweet snacks or caffeine to give us the energy boost we’ll no doubt need."

"Having these blood sugar peaks and troughs is not only detrimental to our energy, focus and concentration in the short-term, but it can ultimately have long-term health implications, such as increasing our risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease."

A healthy cereal should contain the right balance of ingredients to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, Liz says. "This requires sufficient amounts of protein, healthy fat and fibre, which all further help towards supplying us with nutrients vital for functions such as hormone production, growth and repair and immune function."

Nutritional advisor Liz recommends bircher muesli and granola, as they are "free from added sugar and high sugar dried fruit. In fact, making your own granola (opens in new tab) is even better and often much more cost effective". Other healthy breakfast ideas include porridge, omelettes and smoothies.

To make our findings fair we have analysed the cereals from 100g portions, instead of the individual recommended serving size for adults or children, and haven't included milk.

Healthy cereal with fruit on top, apples and blueberries

Credit: Getty

A 100ml serving of milk has the following nutritional content:

Whole milk: Calories: 66.9 Carbohydrate: 4.7g Protein: 3.3g Fat: 3.9g

Semi-skimmed milk: Calories: 50 Carbohydrate: 4.8g Protein: 3.6g Fat: 1.8g

Skimmed milk: Calories: 34 Carbohydrate: 5g Protein: 3.4g Fat: 0.1g

Which are the healthiest cereals? Healthy cereals ranked from best to worst:

Best cereal overall: Weetabix

Best and worst cereals

Per 100g -

Cals: 362

Fat: 2g

Saturated fat: 0.6g

Sugar: 4.4g

Salt: 0.28g

Weight: 432g (2 Weetabix is 37.5g)

Price: £2.17 at Waitrose

Verdict: Is Weetabix good for you? The answer is a resounding yes! Weetabix is a family favourite and is low in sugar and really low in fat too. Plus the great thing about them is that your portion size is chosen for you, so you can't heap a bowl up of cereal and eat more than the recommended amount. The perfect healthy cereal choice.

If you like to sprinkle some sugar over the top, try a natural sweetener like honey or add some naturally sweet fresh fruit instead.

Ready Brek Original Porridge

healthy cereals

Per 100g -

Cals: 183

Fat: 5.0g

Saturated fat: 1.9g

Sugar: 7.5g

Salt: 0.23g

Weight: 450g

Price: £2 at Sainsbury's

Verdict: A comforting bowl of porridge oats is a winning breakfast, and the nutritional info for Ready Brek agrees. There are high levels of vitamin D and fibre in this, and the fat and sugar content is comparatively lower than other cereals.

Best cereal for low saturated fat: Kellogg's Cornflakes

Best and worst cereals

Per 100g -

Cals: 378

Fat: 0.9g

Saturated fat: 0.2g

Sugar: 8g

Salt: 1.3g

Weight: 500g

Price: £1.98 at Asda

Verdict: Kellogg's Cornflakes are one of the classics when it comes to cereal and no wonder they've been around so long - they're really good for you. Cornflakes have a super low fat and sugar content - just don't add too much sugar if you like a sweeter taste!

Scott's Porridge Oats

healthy cereals

Per 100g serving -

Cals: 374

Fat: 8g

Saturated fat: 1.5g

Sugar: 1.0g

Salt: Trace

Weight: 1kg

Price: £2.20 at Tesco

Verdict: Although this traditional breakfast of porridge oats is slightly higher in fat than you might think, its sugar levels are super low, and it's packed full of fibre and protein to help keep your body strong and healthy. Oats can even help to lower cholesterol, so the slightly higher fat content is somewhat balanced out.

Kellogg's All Bran

Kellogg?s-All-Bran-500g

Per 100g -

Cals: 334

Fat: 3.5g

Saturated fat: 0.7g

Sugar: 18g

Salt: 0.95g

Weight: 500g

Price: £1.50 at Asda

Verdict: All Bran is one of the best cereals we could find. Not only does it have low calorie content but with it's fab fibre content, it'll fill you up for the whole morning, so there will be no snacking until lunchtime.

Alpen Museli

Alpen Museli

Per 100g serving -

Cals: 369

Fat: 5.8g

Saturated fat: 0.5g

Sugar: 16g

Salt: 0.28g

Weight: 1.1kg

Price: £3.99 at Asda

Verdict: This tasty muesli is packed with roasted almonds, hazelnuts and juicy raisins. It has 8.3g of fibre per serving so is a great choice if you're looking to add more fibre into your diet.

Essential Waitrose Malted Wheats

Best and worst cereals

Per 100g -

Cals: 366

Fat: 1.9g

Saturated fat: 0.3g

Sugar: 15.7

Salt: 0.6g

Weight: 750g

Price: £1.90 at Waitrose

Verdict: Level pegging with family favourite Weetabix comes these surprisingly afforable Waitrose malted wheats. They're low in fat, salt and calories when compared with many of the cereals in our round-up, and they're made from wholegrain wheat, which means they're packed with fibre.

Their slightly sweeter taste means that the kids are likely to gobble them up too - a great all-rounder to have in the cupboard.

Best cereal for low sugar: Nestle Frosted Shreddies

Nestle-Frosted-Shreddies-500g

Per 100g -

Cals: 372

Fat: 1.7g

Saturated fat: 0.2g

Sugar: 28.4g

Salt: 0.6g

Weight: 500g

Price: £2.08 at Asda

Verdict: Considering these Shreddies are frosted, the sugar content is a lot lower than some other cereals we looked at. Although it wouldn't be good to eat these every morning, you won't be sprinkling any sugar over them, so don't feel guilty if you treat yourself or the kids every now and again. They have the second lowest sat fat content too.

Nestle Bitesize Shredded Wheat

Shredded Wheat Bitesize

Per 100g -

Cals: 367

Fat: 2.2g

Saturated fat: 0.5g

Sugar: 0.7g

Salt: 0.6g

Weight: 500g

Price: £2.08 at Asda

Verdict: With just 0.7g of sugar in 100g it has the lowest sugar content by far, compared to the other cereals. Plus it's really filling, you get some of your wholegrain for the day and it's just over £2 from Asda - what a healthy cereal bargain!

Special K (Original)

Special-K-(Original)-750g

Per 100g -

Cals: 375

Fat: 1.5g

Saturated fat: 0.3g

Sugar: 17g

Salt: 1g

Weight: 750g

Price: £3.99 at Tesco

Verdict: The original Special K has only 1.5g of fat in 100g so it's the perfect choice if you're trying to slim down. Plus, they taste really sweet so there will be no need for extra sugar and you'll be full until lunchtime. 

If you can't get enough of Kellogg's Special K and want to lose weight fast, check out the Special K diet plan (opens in new tab).

Nestle Cheerios

Nestle-Cheerios-600g

Per 100g -

Cals: 378

Fat: 3.7g

Saturated fat: 0.8g

Sugar: 20.9g

Salt: 1.0g

Weight: 600g

Price: £2.50 at Asda

Verdict: Those tasty little Os aren't just delicious, but they're a reasonably good choice for breakfast too. If you want to make this an extra healthy cereal choice, sprinkle some berries or slice a banana on top too to get you on track for your 5-a-day!

Per 100g -

Cals: 388

Fat:5.0g

Saturated fat: 0.7g

Sugar: 22g

Salt: 0.79g

Weight: 500g

Price: £2.85 at Tesco

Verdict:This chocolate cereal may be delicious, but it comes as no surprise given the very high sugar content! Though it's not a bad price, it also has a relatively high fat content - so maybe save this as an occasional treat...

Kellogg's All-Bran Prebiotic Oaty Clusters Original Cereal

Kellogg's All-Bran Prebiotic Oaty Clusters Original Cereal

Per 100g serving -

Cals: 388

Fat: 12g

Saturated fat: 0.5g

Sugar: 4.9g

Salt: 0.31

Weight: 380g

Price: £3.00 at Sainsbury's

Verdict: With 22g of fibre, this cereal is great for a healthy gut. It's also low in sugar and will help to fill you up for the day!

Golden Nuggets

Best and worst cereals

Per 100g -

Cals: 379

Fat: 1.5g

Saturated fat: 0.3g

Sugar: 25g

Salt: 0.7g

Weight: 375g

Price: £2.08 at Tesco

Verdict: Kids love Golden Nuggets so if you want to give them a 'treat' cereal every now and then, this could be a good choice - and although the sugar content is quite high, the fat and saturated fats are low. Not a super healthy cereal, but not the worst.

Kelloggs Froot Loops

Kelloggs Froot Loops

Per 100g serving -

Cals: 385

Fat: 3g

Saturated fat: 0.9g

Sugar: 25g

Salt: 1.13g

Weight: 375g

Price: £3.00 at Sainsbury's

Verdict: This fruity cereal is loved by kids everywhere, and it's only 385 calories per serving. It contains 4.3g of fibre per 100g serving, and is a good choice if you want a treat cereal that's not too full of calories.

Deliciously Ella Original Granola

Deliciously Ella Original Granola

Per 100g serving -

Cals: 386

Fat: 2.5g

Saturated fat: 0.5g

Sugar: 7.2g

Salt: 0.04

Weight: 500g

Price: £3.99 at Holland and Barrett

Verdict: Deliciously Ella's original granola is high in fibre (opens in new tab) and packed with raisins, coconut and cinnamon. It's gluten free and vegan friendly too, so suitable fo