2. Keep it under 5 grams of sugar per serving.
The label may say “sugar,” but keep an eye out for corn syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, crystallized cane juice, and other sweeteners — all of which can tank a healthy cereal. One way to enjoy sweet cereal without overdoing it would be to buy a plain cereal and customize it with your own mix-ins so you can control the level of sweetness. For example, buy generic bran flakes and add raisins instead of buying the name-brand stuff. You’ll save money and grams of unnecessary sugar.
3. Low-calorie does not necessarily mean better.
Less may not be better. Many low-calorie cereals may also be low in fiber, leaving you hungry an hour later (especially if you’re eating it with almond milk, which provides very little protein). A low sugar, high-fiber cereal that happens to have 200 calories per cup versus 100 will more likely register as a meal to your body and keep you satisfied until lunch.
4. Consider gluten-free options.
Most gluten-free brands now trumpet their status on the label, but another place to look is the ingredients list. Rice, corn, quinoa, and millet are all naturally gluten-free. Though oats are technically gluten-free, they’re often cross-contaminated with wheat, so check to make sure the oats in the product are listed as gluten-free.