Honey Nut Cheerios & Health?

January 24, 2011

The other day, I was chatting with a former investment partner of mine. He’s a brilliant guy and works as a software engineer. He’s made a lot of money in his young life, and moved ahead in his career despite some odds against him.

Towards the end of our conversation, he said he wanted some advice on fitness. He said he wants to start running 3-5 miles a day to lose some weight and get in shape. I mentioned that it’s going to be more about diet & nutrition than how much exercise he can squeeze in.

So he says: “Well, I try to eat pretty healthy.”
I ask: “What kinds of things do you eat?”
And he replies: “I usually start out the day with a bowl of Honey-Nut Cheerios…do you think that’s good?”

Let’s look at why he would think this is a healthy way to eat. Here are the claims Cheerios makes on their site, and my debunking comments:

13 Vitamins & Minerals
Contains “good source” (at least 10% of the Daily Value per serving) of the number of vitamins & minerals indicated.

Wow! 10%! Seriously? I can’t even believe they are bragging about this!

Low fat
Contains 3 grams or less of fat per serving or per 50 grams if serving size is 30 grams or less.

Why is low fat a good thing? Oh, because this USRDA says so! Sorry, this is yet another strike against Cheerios.

Good source of calcium
Contains at least 10% of the Daily Value of calcium per serving.

Another whopping 10%. And why is getting this calcium good in the first place? We should be more focused on a balanced magnesium/calcium ratio instead of just looking at one side of the story.


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Made with whole grain
Contains at least 8 grams of whole grain per serving. U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend eating at least 48 grams of whole grain per day.

Oh boy, WHOLE grains! There’s that all-knowing USRDA again, giving out horrible advice that will go further in making us sick than healthy!

Helps reduce the risk of heart disease
Product may reduce the risk of heart disease as part of a heart-healthy diet.

The key where they cover their asses is that last part of the statement “..as part of a heart-healthy diet.” And it MAY help. No studies showing this to be true. Deceptive claim at the least!

Can help lower cholesterol*
Product can help lower cholesterol as part of a heart-healthy diet.

Same as above. Can it? Or not? And which kind of cholesterol is it lowering?

This commercial is part of the Honey Nut Cheerios propaganda that’s fooling millions of people.

Excellent source of iron
Contains at least 20% of the Daily Value of iron per serving.

Let’s see, where else can we get far more iron per serving. Meat! No need for processed crap if you are after iron.

Well I could go on and on, but the bottom line is, Cheerios are simply fake food, and not meant for human consumption. It’s too bad that so many people fall for this idea that because something has the American Heart Association’s stamp of approval and the full endorsement of the government that it must be good!

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13 comments on “Honey Nut Cheerios & Health?

  1. Angie Jan 27, 2011

    That’s like with the corn company saying how good corn syrup is for you.

  2. Great blog!! I found you through a comment you left on MDA’s post today. I was just thinking today about doing a blog post on honey nut cheerios and health since I stocked some today at Amway’s company store.

    Great run down! I will still be doing my own version but will surely link to this post this weekend or the next.

  3. My niece is getting these in daycare, even though my sister doesn’t want her to have them. They won’t let my sister bring in her own food (all day care centers in the area are this way). They start the kids on this stuff very young. Great blog and website!

  4. Welner Apr 25, 2011

    Cheerios my favorite too!…Lol j/p.

  5. Honey Nut Cheerios are awesome!…I mean, I’m in awe at their outlandish claims! It’s amazing, isn’t it. So sad that kids are being hooked on this stuff (I had a hard time avoiding their grasp years ago too). I’d say that any day care center which feeds kids this stuff borders on child abuse, and it’s really unfortunate that they don’t allow them to bring their own food.

    Keep spreading the anti-breakfast cereal memes, Primal Toad. :)

  6. Chill dude….freak

  7. Since we’re laughing at how Honey Nut Cheerios contains only 10% of vitamins, and not really healthy. What would be a better alternative?

  8. Here’s some ideas for breakfast:

    1. Good ol bacon & eggs.
    2. Smoothie with berries, coconut milk, egg protein.
    3. Take some flax seed meal, add a scoop of egg protein powder, slice a half a banana and pour some full fat coconut milk on it.

    Get creative, and you can make it healthy and tasty every morning!

  9. Why do you need to know? May 8, 2012


  10. Guest Jun 6, 2012

    nothing wrong with Honey Nut Cheerios, actually they get a A grade on the livestrong nutrition evaluator. Can you eat a healthier breakfast? Sure, but Honey Nut Cheerios is very good for a sweetened cereal with just 9g of Sugar, I use unsweetened Almond milk with it so that cuts out the 12g of lactose sugar I would’ve got.

    And your nutrition advise is terrible Kevin… Bacon? Coconut milk full of saturated fat? You do know Bacon is heavily loaded with carcinogenic nitrites right? I think it’s better you take down this site instead of trying to hurt people with your bad advice.

  11. Hey there Guest,

    Honey Nut Cheerios mostly consist of processed chemical-laden crap! (that’s a technical term). Just look at a few of the ingredients:

    “Whole Grain Oats (Includes the Oat Bran), Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Honey, Brown Sugar Syrup, Salt, Tripotassium Phosphate, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Natural Almond Flavor”

    Sugar is the second ingredient! And, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not put “modified corn starch” or “Tripotassium Phosphate” into my body. Also notice that they contain “natural almond flavor”- not actual almonds! We won’t even get into “whole grains” being not exactly what you want to be consuming for optimal health.

    As far as bacon, I only buy nitrate-free bacon. You can get that at most supermarkets.

    And lastly, your saturated fat claim that it is unhealthy. This is part of the mythology that was started in the 1970’s, but there’s no scientific backing to it. Please read this article on Mark Sisson’s site which thoroughly covers saturated fat, and why it’s not bad for you: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/saturated-fat-healthy/#axzz1x279mdzn


  12. Eric Draven Jun 4, 2013

    Kevin when you write an article shit talking a certain food but offer no explanation why you are trash talking it…

    Apparently you haven’t taken a long walk around the food chain stores… there is nothing good for you.. even the fruits and veg have chemicals sprayed on them.. unless you grow your food out of the ground yourself you don’t know what is on it or in it… so all your suggestions are equally as bad…

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