The Top 10 Sugar-Free Cereal Options of 2020 – Healthline

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Breakfast cereals are a popular, convenient meal or snack for adults and kids alike.

Yet, many cereals are far from nutritious, as they’re not only low in protein and fiber but also high in added sugar.

Notably, high added sugar intake is linked to an increased risk of several chronic illnesses, including heart disease, obesity, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (1, 2, 3, 4).

Additionally, eating high sugar cereals can lead to increased blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Over time, these elevated levels may allow the disease to progress, as well as increase your risk of complications like heart disease (5, 6, 7).

Nonetheless, numerous sugar-free breakfast cereals are available. Some are simply unsweetened, while others may contain sugar substitutes like stevia, erythritol, or monk fruit.

They may be good options for the low carb, high fat keto diet — though it’s important to note that you should keep a careful eye on the carb count, as some sugar-free cereals are still high in carbs.

Healthline evaluated sugar-free cereals based on the following criteria:

  • taste
  • ingredient quality
  • the presence of artificial additives and preservatives
  • nutrient content
  • their suitability for diabetes or the keto diet

Here are the 10 best sugar-free breakfast cereals.

A note on price

General price ranges are indicated below with dollar signs ($ to $$$). One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $0.19–$1.47 per ounce, or $4.19–$44.48 per package, though this may vary depending on where you shop and whether you buy in bulk.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $0.50 per ounce
  • $$ = $0.50–$1.00 per ounce
  • $$$ = over $1.00 per ounce
Healthline
Three Wishes Grain-Free Unsweetened Cereal

Price: $$$

Three Wishes is a cereal company started by a couple looking for a healthy cereal option for their family.

Its Grain-Free Unsweetened Cereal is the best overall option due to its limited number of ingredients, pleasant toasted flavor, and nutrient content.

This grain-free cereal contains just four quality ingredients — chickpeas, tapioca, pea protein, and salt. As a result, it’s vegan, completely sugar-free, and free of all major allergens. It’s also certified gluten-free.

Moreover, it’s high in protein and fiber, both of which are linked to benefits for blood sugar control, appetite regulation, and weight loss (8, 9. 10, 11).

Just 1 cup (47 gram) provides (12):

  • Calories: 146
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Carbs: 20 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 11 grams

Three Wishes offers 3 flavored options as well, each of which contains just 4 grams of sugar per cup (47 grams).

Shop for Three Wishes Grain-Free Unsweetened Cereal here.

Barbara’s Shredded Wheat Cereal

Price: $

Shredded wheat is a classic breakfast cereal made of crunchy wheat biscuits. While many brands are coated in added sugar, Barbara’s Shredded Wheat contains just one ingredient — whole grain wheat.

Certified by the Whole Grain Council and non-GMO verified, Barbara’s Shredded Wheat is the best whole wheat option thanks to its simple ingredient list and high fiber content.

Regular intake of whole grains is associated with a reduced risk of several diseases, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers like colorectal cancer (13, 14, 15, 16).

Furthermore, consumers note that these biscuits don’t get soggy too quickly with milk.

A single two-biscuit (51-gram) serving provides (17):

  • Calories: 170
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 41 grams
  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams

Due to its relatively high carb count, this cereal is not keto-friendly and may be unsafe for people with diabetes, especially when combined with milk.

Shop for Barbara’s Shredded Wheat Cereal online.

Price: $$$

HighKey makes keto-friendly breakfast cereals, snacks, and baking mixes.

The keto diet is a very low carb, high fat eating pattern originally developed to treat seizures in children. It causes the body to burn fat in the form of ketones.

The standard version of this diet limits carbs to 20–50 grams per day to sustain ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbs (18).

HighKey Protein cereal comes in four flavors — cinnamon, cocoa, frosted, and fruity. Each product contains less than 1 gram of sugar per serving, has a limited ingredient list, and is sweetened with natural sweeteners like erythritol, monk fruit extract, and allulose syrup.

Allulose is a very low calorie, low carb sugar substitute that’s found naturally in a few fruits and whole grains but often manufactured in a lab. It’s generally recognized as safe and isn’t linked to any serious side effects (19, 20, 21, 22).

HighKey also offers some of the highest protein cereals on the market. Because their protein comes from milk protein isolate, their products aren’t dairy-free or vegan. However, they’re gluten- and grain-free.

One cup (56 grams) provides (23):

  • Calories: 180
  • Fat: 10 grams
    • Saturated fat: 8–10 grams
  • Carbs: 11 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugar: less than 1 gram
  • Erythritol: 12 grams
  • Allulose syrup: 4 grams
  • Protein: 20 grams

Shop for HighKey Protein Cereal online.

Price: $$

Kashi is renowned for its whole grain breakfast cereals, as well as other health-conscious foods.

Its 7 Whole Grain Puffs is one of the best sugar-free breakfast cereals for people with diabetes, as it’s low in carbs and calories but still provides ample fiber and protein.

This cereal is free of additives and preservatives. It’s made from a blend of whole grains and seeds, including sesame seeds, brown rice, rye, oats, buckwheat, triticale, barley, and red wheat.

Due to their high fiber content, whole grains are linked to diabetes benefits, such as improvements in blood sugar control, weight, inflammation, and total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels (24).

Only 1 cup (27 grams) provides (25):

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 21 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams

While this cereal doesn’t offer much flavor on its own, you can add dairy or nondairy milk to bolster the taste.

Shop for Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs online.

Price: $

Puffed rice has been exposed to heat and steam to create a puffy, light texture and mild flavor. It’s commonly used not only in breakfast cereals but also dessert and snack bars for added crunch.

What’s more, puffed rice is often very low in calories.

Nature’s Path Rice Puffs Cereal is one of the best low calorie, sugar-free options because it’s certified organic and made only with brown rice.

Since this cereal is produced in a facility that processes wheat, it may be cross-contaminated with gluten and isn’t the best choice for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Just 1 cup (16 grams) contains (26):

  • Calories: 60
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbs: 13 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram

While low in calories, this cereal is also low in fiber and protein. Thus, it isn’t very filling on its own — though milk, soy milk, or Greek yogurt can help in this regard. You can also combine it with one of the higher protein options on this list.

Shop for Nature’s Path Rice Puffs Cereal online.

Price: $$$

Available in four flavors, Magic Spoon provides a sugar-free, low carb spin on kids’ cereals.

Made without artificial ingredients, its products are also gluten-, grain-, and soy-free. While they aren’t vegan or dairy-free due to their milk protein, they’re loaded with healthy protein.

Although many kid-friendly cereals contain artificial food dyes, all of Magic Spoon’s products use natural colorings like vegetable juice and turmeric.

They’re sweetened with a blend of sugar substitutes, including monk fruit, stevia, and allulose.

One cup (37 grams) of Magic Spoon’s cereals provides (27):

  • Calories: 147
  • Fat: 5 grams
    • Saturated fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 13 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Allulose: 8 grams
  • Protein: 15 grams

Magic Spoon is likewise keto-friendly. Each cup (37 grams) provides just 4 grams of net carbs — the number of digestible carbs calculated by subtracting the grams of fiber and allulose from the total number of carbs.

Shop for Magic Spoon Grain-Free Cereal online.

Hot cereals like oatmeal and cream of wheat are popular options, but many premade versions have added sugars.

As such, it’s best to make your own from ingredients that are free of added sugars and additives, as well as high in protein and fiber.

7. Nature’s Path Old Fashioned Original Rolled Oats

Price: $

Oatmeal is a classic hot breakfast cereal that’s rich in important nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, and several essential minerals (28, 29).

It’s also an excellent source of beta glucan, a type of fiber linked to various health benefits, including improved gut bacteria, lower blood sugar levels, and reduced LDL (bad) and total cholesterol (30, 31, 32).

While many brands exist, Nature’s Path is one of the best because its rolled oats are certified organic and non-GMO verified. Best of all, their oats cook up into a creamy texture with a strong oat flavor.

In addition to their Old Fashioned Original Rolled Oats, Nature’s Path offers quick-cooking and steel-cut oats — all of which contain oats as the only ingredient.

One cup (230 grams) of cooked rolled oats provides (33):

  • Calories: 150
  • Fat: 3 grams
    • Saturated fat: 0.5 grams
  • Carbs: 27 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram
  • Protein: 5 grams

To make the amount above, use 1/2 cup (40 grams) of dry rolled oats and 1 cup (237 mL) of water.

Note that the small amount of sugar is naturally occurring.

Shop for Nature’s Path Original Rolled Oats online.

8. Purely Elizabeth Original Ancient Grain Oatmeal & Hot Cereal

Price: $$

In addition to organic gluten-free oats, Purely Elizabeth Original Ancient Grain Oatmeal & Hot Cereal contains a handful of organic, nutrient-rich ingredients, including quinoa flakes and puffed amaranth, as well as flax, hemp, and chia seeds (34).

These seeds are often deemed “super seeds” because they’re rich in fiber, plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, and several essential vitamins and minerals (35, 36).

Ready in just 2 minutes, this hot cereal has a slight nutty flavor and creamy texture with a pleasant crunch.

Just 1 cup (230 grams) cooked provides (37):

  • Calories: 160
  • Fat: 4 grams
  • Carbs: 25 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams

This hot cereal is certified organic and gluten-free, as well as non-GMO verified.

Shop for Purely Elizabeth Original Ancient Grain Oatmeal & Hot Cereal online.

Granola is a common breakfast food that’s made from oats, nuts, seeds, oil, and a sweetener like brown sugar or maple syrup. It’s usually baked until crispy and may feature dried fruit as well.

Although most granolas aren’t great for those trying to limit their sugar intake, a few brands use alternative sweeteners to create a sugar-free product.

Still, as granola can be high in calories, you should be mindful of your portions, especially if you’re watching your weight.

9. Low Karb Keto Cacao Nut Granola

Price: $$$

Low Karb makes keto-friendly granolas and baking mixes using high quality ingredients.

Its Keto Cacao Nut Granola is a delicious, sugar-free option with a flavor that resembles a nuttier Cocoa Krispies.

This granola has a limited ingredient list that contains mostly whole foods, including almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, coconut chips, and butter. It’s flavored with erythritol, monk fruit extract, and cacao powder instead of sugar.

A 1-cup (105-gram) serving provides (38):

  • Calories: 570
  • Fat: 51 grams
    • Saturated fat: 18 grams
  • Carbs: 36 grams
  • Fiber: 12 grams
  • Sugar: less than 3 grams
  • Protein: 15 grams

Note that the sugars are naturally occurring.

You can pair one serving of this sugar-free granola with unsweetened almond milk or eat it on its own as a snack.

Shop for Low Karb Keto Cacao Nut Granola online.

10. Snaxly Keto Cinnamon Crunch Nut Granola

Price: $$$

Snaxly is another keto-friendly granola brand that prioritizes simple, high quality ingredients.

Grain- and sugar-free, Snaxly’s Cinnamon Crunch Nut Granola is made with almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, pecans, erythritol, monk fruit extract, butter, and cinnamon.

Just 1 cup (105 grams) provides (39):

  • Calories: 570
  • Fat: 54 grams
    • Saturated fat: 18 grams
  • Carbs: 30 grams
  • Fiber: 12 grams
  • Sugar: less than 3 grams
  • Sugar alcohols: 12 grams
  • Protein: 15 grams

This cinnamon-flavored granola gets great reviews for its delicious taste and crunchy texture.

Shop for Snaxly Keto Cinnamon Crunch Nut Granola online.

A note on availability

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Healthline

When shopping for sugar-free cereal, look for products with short ingredient lists that contain mostly whole foods and are free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

To help you stay full for longer, try to choose a cereal with at least 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per 1-cup serving.

It’s also important to pay attention to the serving size, as you may find that you consume more than one serving in a typical meal.

Finally, if you have diabetes, remember that just because a cereal is sugar-free doesn’t mean that it’s also low in carbs. If you eat cereal with dairy or nondairy milk, both of which likewise contain carbs, make sure that the total carb count fits your allocations for a meal or snack.

Summary

When shopping for sugar-free cereals, you should choose products made from quality ingredients that are high in fiber and protein.

Many breakfast cereals are high in sugar. Thus, finding sugar-free options can be especially important for individuals with diabetes or those on a low carb diet.

Today, several healthy options are on the market.

In addition to choosing a sugar-free product, look for cereals that are a good source of filling fiber and protein.