Cheerios vs. Oatmeal


Food Fight

It’s breakfast time and you need something quick and healthy.  Cheerios are a convenient choice; easy to pour into a bowl or a to-go bag.  Oatmeal requires cooking. They are both made out of oats so which one is the better choice?

OATS GALORE:  Cheerios are made from whole grain oats; however, because they are processed in our bodies can digest them faster.  While they are low in sugar, are a good source of iron, B vitamins, zinc, and vitamin A, they contain 21 grams of carbohydrates and only 3 grams of fiber per 1 cup serving.  Even though they are low in sugar, individuals struggling with blood glucose control should be aware of the carbohydrate content in this cereal. 

Oatmeal, unprocessed whole oats, take longer for the body to digest.  There are 4 grams of fiber per ¾ cup of oatmeal.  Oats are a great source of B vitamins, iron, zinc, and selenium.  These vitamins and minerals help our cells function properly and help fight disease.  If you are purchasing whole grain oatmeal you will find only one ingredient: oats.  There are no additives.  However instant packets that are usually flavored, will have several ingredients and usually contain 10-15 grams of sugar per packet.

Who wins? Oatmeal. Maybe next time Cherrios. 

TIP:  If Cheerios are your breakfast go to, add fruit, low fat milk, or yogurt to increase the nutritional value of your breakfast.  You can add milk, fruit, nuts, and protein powder to oatmeal as well to add different textures and even more nutrition.

Julia E. Salomón, MS, RDN, CD; Community Health Improvement Leader, Affinity Health System 
Taylor Gawlik, Dietetic Intern, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay