Don't Be Fooled, Cheerios Protein Is More About Hype Than Health

Yet another reason to check nutrition labels before buying.

Trying new ways to get more protein in your diet is admirable, but if you're planning on getting it from Cheerios Protein, you might want to reconsider: Compared with regular Cheerios, Cheerios Protein only offers 4 more grams of protein — and a whopping 16 more grams of sugar.

Now that the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has filed a class-action lawsuit against General Mills alleging the product hit shelves last year under false pretenses, everyone's starting to think twice about what they're putting into their breakfast bowls. Let's break it down by serving:

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Regular Cheerios

  • 1 cup at 100 calories
  • 15 calories from fat
  • 140 mg sodium
  • 3 g protein (without milk)
  • 1 g  sugar

Cheerios Protein

  • 1¼ cup at 210 calories
  • 25 calories from fat
  • 280 mg sodium
  • 7 g protein (without milk)
  • 17 g sugar

You may have noticed the difference in serving size — yep, that's problematic, too. In fact, the larger serving size is the only way Cheerios Protein can appear to contain more protein. If you make things equal and compare 200-calorie servings of both cereals, you'll find that Cheerios Protein only has 0.7 gram more protein. Yes, less than a single gram. Wow. So you're not only eating more and getting an almost negligible protein boost, but you're also taking in 17 times (!!!) more sugar than you would if you ate plain Cheerios. 

So if you're going to have Cheerios, stick with the plain ones.

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