Are honey nut cheerios healthy for your diet?

Breakfast cereals are normally marketed as healthy foods, and most of them are targeted towards children. However, breakfast cereals can contain a high concentration of sugars, which could increase your risks of certain diseases like obesity (1). 

In this brief article, we will address the query “Are honey nut cheerios healthy for your diet?” Additionally, we will present relevant information like the impact of honey nut cheerios in your health, what other options you can consider for replacing honey nut cheerios, and how you can incorporate this cereal into a healthy diet.

Are honey nut cheerios healthy for your diet?

Honey nut cheerios are not the healthiest option for your diet. Honey nut cheerios are added with a high load of sugars to boost the product’s taste, but an excessive consumption of sugar could lead to a higher risk of being overweight, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes (1,2).

According to different studies, consuming a moderate amount (30 – 70 g) of honey nut cheerios (or similar) will not be harmful if you fulfill the following requirements (3,4):

  • You are non-smoker.
  • You are not sedentary.
  • You do not abuse alcohol consumption.
  • Your health status is good: you do not have diabetes, hypertension, or other chronic disease.
  • Your diet is complete, adjusted to your energy and micronutrients needs, and your fiber intake is > 16 g/day.

What are Healthy Aspects of Honey Nut Cheerios?

Of course there are some healthy aspects of honey nut cheerios. It is noteworthy that despite the high sugar content (32 g/100 g), honey nut cheerios are made with whole grains which provides you with good amounts of fiber (7 g/100g) (5).

Fiber is an excellent nutrient for improving your gastrointestinal health. When fiber reaches your gut, it promotes intestine motility, helping to alleviate constipation (6).

Furthermore, fiber is fermented by your microbiota (beneficial bacteria living in your gut) and can exert beneficial effects like improving nutrients’ metabolism, protect you against pathogenic bacteria, and it can help to prevent colon cancer (6). 

By international recommendations against malnutrition, most breakfast cereals (including honey nut cheerios) are supplemented with important micronutrients like B vitamins, and some minerals like calcium and iron (7,8).

B vitamins like B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, and B12 are required for a good metabolism of nutrients, which will promote correct growth and development. On the other hand, vitamins B9 and B12 are related to a good cognitive development and to prevent megaloblastic anemia (8).

Regarding minerals, cereals are added with calcium and iron. Calcium is related to good bone health and correct growth; meanwhile, iron is needed to prevent anemia, a very common disease (especially in children) that can affect cognitive performance, growth, and motor development (8).

Are there better options for replacing Honey Nut Cheerios?

Yes, all unsweetened cereals like Cheerios (original cheerios), corn-flakes, and special-k are some examples of healthier options than honey nut cheerios (3,4). 

The cereals of the above list contain <15 g of sugar each 100 g of cereal, which is really lower compared to the 32 g/100 g of sugar found in honey nut cheerios (5,9,10,11). 

Moreover, a moderate portion (30-70 g) of original cheerios contain around 3.6-9 g of protein and 3-7 g of fiber (10).

If you want to add a healthier and more natural option to your diet, you can consider quinoa. Quinoa is a good source of fiber and protein (up to 17 %). Check out our article on Quinoa, it presents the health benefits, advantages, and also recipes for quinoa. 

What is the Honey Nut Cheerios impact on your health?

The high content of sugar in honey nut cheerios could be a potential drawback for your weight management goals; besides, if you already have a disease like diabetes, honey nut cheerios could increase your glucose blood levels (9).

However, recent studies have shown that consuming a moderate quantity (30-70 g) of sweetened cereals has no negative impact on your health, body mass index, or obesity risk. In fact, oat (non-sweetened) breakfast cereal was associated with a reduced risk for obesity (3,4).

Is Honey Nut Cheerios suitable for weight management?

Honey nut cheerios could be suitable for weight management, but probably you will have to lower your intake of other high-sugar foods, like fruits. Because the high content of sugars in honey nut cheerios could increase your calorie intake (12).

Therefore, maybe the original cheerios could be a better option, as this cereal contains less sugar and more protein. The lower amount of sugar in original cheerios will allow you to incorporate nutritious sugar-rich foods like fruits (12).

Despite having sugar, fruits are a source of vitamin C, a lot of antioxidants, and soluble fiber. All these nutrients are very good for your body, because they are associated with a better immune system, obesity prevention, and better digestion (in the case of fiber) (12).

How can you incorporate Honey Nut Cheerios into a balanced meal plan?

You can incorporate honey nut cheerios into a balanced meal plan by adjusting your daily portion of this cereal to 30-70 g a day (maximum). Additionally, you should incorporate all food groups in the rest of your meal plan (3,4,12).

Remember that a complete and healthy diet will ensure your intake of all nutrients by considering all food groups: fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean meats, dairy products, and other cereals (for example: bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, whole-grains) (12).


In this brief article, we addressed the query “Are honey nut cheerios healthy for your diet?” Additionally, we presented relevant information like the impact of honey nut cheerios in your health, what other options you can consider for replacing honey nut cheerios, and how you can incorporate this cereal into a healthy diet.


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