The array of cereal choices on supermarket shelves is huge, which can lead to confusion about health claims. Many cereals are so sweet that if you ate a serving every day for a year, you'd consume more than 10 pounds of sugar, according to a new study.

The experts at the University of California, Berkeley, Wellness Letter tell you how to choose the healthiest cereals for your family.

  • Keep sugar low Choose cereals with no more than 4 to 6 grams of sugar per serving.
  • Go for the grains Look for cereals with "100 percent whole grain" on the box. Don't be fooled by "made with whole grains," which could mean any amount—often, very little. Whole grain should be listed as the first ingredient.
  • Get your fiber Pick varieties that have at least 3 to 5 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Keep salt in check Choose cereals with a sodium content of 180 milligrams or less per serving.
  • Add your own fruit The fruit in cereals is often sugar-coated. Buy plain cereal instead, and add unsweetened fruits at home.

Portion size also is important. The average American eats 30 percent more cereal than the listed serving size. Check the label before serving yourself a bowl.

Adapted from our sister publication REMEDY's Healthy Living (Winter 2013, Summer 2015); Updated by Remedy Health Media

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 09 Oct 2013

Last Modified: 14 May 2015