8 High-Protein Cereals Dietitians Love

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Skipping sugary cereal for one of these boxes can help you feel full all morning.
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Cereal is a breakfast food staple. About 56 percent of people start their day with cereal, per a September 2021 OnePoll report. Sure, breakfast cereals are convenient, but many also get a bad rap for having added sugars. While that sugar high may give you energy at first, the buzz won't last.


"When I'm looking for a cereal, I like to aim for options that have around 10 grams or less of added sugar, 3 grams or more for fiber and 8 grams or more for protein," says Monica Nedeff, RDN, a clinical outpatient dietitian and owner of The Traveling Dietitian.

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"The fiber and protein keeps you fuller longer and helps support your blood sugar so that you don't get a spike in your blood sugar or energy. It'll help fuel you better in the morning," Nedeff says.

Choosing a high-protein breakfast cereal is also more likely to lead to longer-lasting fullness. Protein helps you feel fuller than carbohydrates and fat do, per a July 2017 issue in‌ Food Hydrocolloids‌. Translation: Eating a high-protein breakfast may make you less likely to overeat, which may benefit your weight.

Breakfast is a common meal lacking in protein. That's why fueling up with a healthy, high-protein cereal is a smart choice.


Quick Picks

  • Highest Protein Content‌: Premier Protein Chocolate Almond ($19.44, Amazon)
  • Best Value‌: Kellogg Special K Protein ($35.25 for a pack of 4, Amazon)
  • Best Ingredients‌: Food For Life Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal ($7.91, Amazon)
  • Best Variety‌: Magic Spoon Peanut Butter ($39 for a pack of 4, Magic Spoon)
  • Best Gluten-Free‌: Three Wishes Cinnamon ($37.75 for a pack of 6, Amazon)
  • Best Vegan‌: Catalina Crunch Maple Waffle ($13.97, Amazon)
  • Best for Fiber‌: Kashi GO Honey Almond Flax Crunch ($20.86 for a pack of 4, Amazon)
  • Best for Athletes‌: Guud Muesli Cereal ($48.03 for pack of 6, Amazon)

How We Chose

There are a lot of choices when it comes to cereal brands. Cereal is notorious for often being loaded with less-nutritious ingredients like added sugars. After chatting with other registered dietitians in combination with our own research, we chose the healthiest high-protein breakfast cereals based on the following criteria:

  • Protein content
  • Ingredient list
  • Taste


1. Premier Protein Chocolate Almond


  • High protein amount (20 grams per serving)
  • Flavors include chocolate and mixed berry
  • Limited ingredients
  • Low in sugar and carbs


  • Contains added sugar (4 grams)
  • Contains allergens including nuts and gluten

Nutritional info per serving (1 cup): 180 calories, 5 total fat (1 g saturated fat), 14 g carbs (2 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 20 g protein

Premier Protein is one of the highest-protein cereals with 20 grams of protein per serving. The protein comes primarily from wheat gluten, wheat protein isolate and pea protein.


It contains real almonds and only a handful of other ingredients. It's naturally flavored and sweetened with a combination of sugar and stevia, making it very low in added sugar. With only 14 grams of carbs per serving, it is also suitable for people following a low-carb diet.


2. Kellogg's Special K Protein


  • Best Value: $0.71 per ounce
  • Contains vitamins, minerals and iron
  • Low in sugar (8 grams)
  • High in fiber (5 grams)


  • Contains added sugar
  • Limited flavors
  • Higher carbohydrate content

Nutritional infoper serving (1 ⅓ cup): 210 calories, 1.5g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 39 g carbs (5 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 15 g protein


Kellogg's Special K Protein cereal is one of the highest protein breakfast cereals on the market, with 15 grams of protein per serving. This cereal is fortified with many B vitamins, vitamin D and provides 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for iron for most people.

"I love this cereal because while it includes a healthy dose of complex carbohydrates to fuel my morning, it's also relatively low in sugar (just 8 grams), which will elicit a stable blood sugar response and keep my blood sugar from sharply crashing shortly after eating it," says Caroline Burkholder, RD, owner of RootED Nutrition and Counseling.


"The complex carbs paired with 15 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber is the perfect combination to provide energy and to keep me full and alert so I can focus on all that the morning throws at me between breakfast and lunch."

3. Food For Life Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal


  • All natural ingredients
  • No added sugar
  • Vegan
  • Organic


  • More expensive
  • Contains gluten

Nutritional info‌ ‌per serving (1/2 cup): 190 calories, 1 g total fat, 40 g carbs (6 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 8 g protein


If you're looking for an all natural, nutrient-dense cereal to start your day, this one could be for you. The Food For Life Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal is made of organic whole grains and legumes including wheat, lentils, millet, sprouts, barley and soybeans. There's no added sugar and it's totally vegan.

4. Magic Spoon Cereal


  • Variety of flavors
  • No added sugar
  • Grain and gluten-free
  • Keto and low-carb


  • Contains

Nutritional infoper serving (1 cup): 170 calories, 9 total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 10 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 14 g protein


Magic Spoon's mission is to take you back to your childhood days. They've redesigned flavors you love with "grown-up" ingredients. Because it's grain- and gluten-free, this cereal is suitable for many different types of dietary needs and preferences.

Magic Spoon cereal provides an "excellent source of high-quality milk protein," says Noah Quezada, RDN and CEO of Noah's Nutrition. It has a heaping 14 grams of protein per serving — that's about six times more protein than other popular cereal brands — and zero grams of sugar per serving.

Magic Spoon uses a natural blend of monk fruit and allulose for sweetness. Allulose is a unique sugar found in figs and maple syrup. It tastes like regular table sugar but has almost zero calories and doesn't affect your blood sugar, per a March 2010 study in Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry.

5. Three Wishes Cinnamon


  • Limited ingredients
  • Gluten-free
  • Low in sugar (3 grams)
  • Vegan


  • Contains added sugar

Nutritional infoper serving ( ¾ cup): 120 calories, 2 total fat (0 g saturated fat), 18 g carbs (3 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 8 g protein

"Three Wishes cereal is very low in added sugar, is high in protein and has a decent amount of fiber," Nedeff says.

"It's a great option for those that need a gluten-free or vegan option or for those with food allergies to corn, soy or peanuts as their flavors don't contain those ingredients. Their flavors are delicious and the cereal has a good texture. You don't get a chalky aftertaste that often comes with high-protein products."

Three Wishes is sweetened with a little bit of cane sugar and monk fruit, a natural plant sugar that has no calories or added sugar.

6. Catalina Crunch Maple Waffle


  • High in fiber (9 grams per serving)
  • Vegan
  • No added sugar
  • Gluten and grain-free


  • Only available for online purchase

Nutritional infoper serving (½ cup): 110 calories, 5 total fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 14 g carbs (9 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 11 g protein


Catalina Crunch is a brand that claims to offer "a better snack for every kind of craving," according to their website. Their cereals are keto-friendly and provide 9 grams of fiber per serving.

The Maple Waffle flavor has zero grams of added sugar and 11 grams of plant-based protein per serving. It's also non-GMO and provides eight percent of the daily value for iron. This pick will satisfy your tastebuds while keeping you full and your blood sugar stable for hours.

7. Kashi GO Honey Almond Flax Crunch


  • High in protein (9 grams per serving)
  • High in fiber (8 grams per serving)
  • Variety of flavors


  • Contains wheat and nut allergens
  • Contains added sugar

Nutritional infoper serving (¾ cup): 200 calories, 5 total fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 35 g carbs (8 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 9 g protein

"Kashi GO Honey Almond Flax Crunch provides 9 grams of protein and a whopping 8 grams of fiber per serving," Burkholder says. "For an added benefit, Kashi GO Crunch also has 4.5 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fats. I love this cereal because you can get it at any grocery store rather than needing to order it."

"I love recommending Kashi cereal to patients because they have a wide variety of flavors and textures for cereal," Nedeff says. While the sugar content is a bit higher than some of the other comparable high-protein cereals, the balance of protein and fiber will help keep blood sugar levels from rising too much.

8. Guud


  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Vegan
  • High in protein (8 grams per serving)


  • Available online only
  • Some blends are not organic

Nutritional info‌ ‌per serving (½ cup): 240 calories, 7 total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 39 g carbs (6 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 8 g protein

Every athlete needs a cereal that can support their performance during and after training. GUUD museli cereal is made with plant protein, fiber and vitamins. Plus, it's naturally low in sugar, so you'll have sustained energy without crashing. If you've never heard of muesli, it's a combination of whole grains, nuts, fruits and seeds. Think oatmeal, but with even more nutrient-dense ingredients.


GUUD has a variety of flavors and blends that cater to your needs, including a digestive health blend, antioxidant blend and active life blend.

How to Choose Healthy Cereal

When selecting from the many different cereal options out there, it's best to choose brands that meet the following criteria:

1. Low in Sugar

Often breakfast cereal contains too much sugar, which can spike your blood sugar and lead to energy crashes not long after eating it.

Try to choose cereals with 10 grams or less of added sugar per serving to help keep energy levels stable, and to support your overall health. Added sugar should be limited to between 6 to 9 teaspoons of sugar per day, according to the American Heart Association.

2. High in Fiber

Foods high in fiber can support gut health, promote normal bowel movements, balance blood sugar, help manage weight and more.

Nedeff recommends aiming for cereals that contain at least 3 or more grams of fiber per serving to help meet your daily needs. If your cereal doesn't contain enough fiber, try sprinkling chia seeds, hemp seeds or ground flax onto your bowl.

3. High in Protein

A cereal is considered high in protein if it has at least 8 grams of protein per serving, per Nedeff. Protein will help fill you up, keeping you feeling satiated while also helping stabilize blood sugar levels.

4. Easy-to-Read Ingredients List

A long list of ingredients that are hard to pronounce is an immediate red flag. Look for cereals that contain mostly recognizable, whole-food ingredients. Avoid cereals with a long list of preservatives and artificial ingredients.


Even regular cereals that are not particularly high in protein can still serve as a great breakfast. Try pairing your cereal with wholesome additions like flax or chia seeds, nuts and naturally high-protein milk, such as cow, soy or pea protein milk. This can easily help to boost the protein content of your breakfast or snack.




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