The Lowest Calorie Cereals

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Kellogg's Corn Flakes is the lowest calorie cereal per cup.
Image Credit: seksan Mongkhonkhamsao/Moment/GettyImages

The lowest calorie foods aren't always the most nutritious — take diet soda for example. But this isn't the case with low-calorie cereals. Most are fortified with a plethora of essential vitamins and minerals, packing a powerful punch of nutrition in each serving.

Best Cereals for Weight Loss

According to a September 2014 review published in the journal Advances in Nutrition, breakfast cereal consumption is associated with a slew of health benefits. For one, cereal consumers are more likely to meet their recommended nutrient needs.

Breakfast cereal consumption is also associated with lower risk of being overweight or obese according to the same review. As such, this list of the lowest calorie cereals per cup might help you reach both your nutrition and weight-loss goals.

General Mills Cheerios

One cup of Original Cheerios contains only 100 calories. This same serving also provides 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and only 1 gram of sugar. Like all cereals on this list, Original Cheerios are fortified with vitamins and minerals to up the product's nutritional profile.

One cup of Original Cheerios supplies:

  • Iron: 45 percent of your daily value (DV)
  • Folic acid: 50 percent of DV
  • Thiamine: 25 percent of DV
  • Niacin: 25 percent of DV
  • Vitamin B6: 25 percent of DV
  • Zinc: 25 percent of DV
  • Vitamins A, C and D: 10 percent of DV

Read more: Healthy Cereals With No Sugar

General Mills also offers a multigrain option in their Cheerios line. Multigrain Cheerios contain 110 calories per cup. Besides whole-grain corn, this product is also made with whole-grain oats, rice, sorghum and millet. Like Original Cheerios, the multigrain variety is also gluten-free.

Multigrain Cheerios are very high in nutrients. Just one cup of this breakfast cereal contains 100 percent of the daily value for iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid and zinc. The same serving also contains 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of sugar.

Read more: Top 10 Healthiest Cereals

Kellogg's Corn and All-Bran Flakes

Along with General Mills Original Cheerios, Kellogg's Corn Flakes is the lowest calorie cereal per cup on this list. One cup contains 100 calories and zero fat and cholesterol. That same serving also contains 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of protein and 3 grams of sugar.

Kellogg's Corn Flakes cereal has nearly the same vitamin and mineral content as General Mills Original Cheerios. The main difference is that Corn Flakes contain no zinc and only 25 percent of your daily value of folic acid.

Read more: 4 Cereals That Are Terrible for You (and 5 Better Options)

A high-fiber cereal ⁠— Kellogg's All-Bran Complete Wheat Flakes — contains 120 calories per cup. However, the suggested serving size is three fourths of a cup and contains 90 calories. That same serving also contains 5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein.

Keep in mind, even though most Americans do not get the recommended daily allowance of fiber according to the FDA, you can have too much. A September 2012 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that decreasing or stopping fiber consumption increased frequency of bowel movements in people with chronic constipation.

You might experience gas, bloating or constipation after adding All-Bran Flakes or General Mills Fiber One to your diet. If that happens, try slowly decreasing the total amount of fiber you are consuming until your symptoms go away.

General Mills Chex

Unlike Cheerios, which are made from whole-grain oats and corn starch, and Corn Flakes, which are made from milled corn, General Mills Rice Chex is made from whole-grain rice. It also has slightly more calories per cup ⁠— 110. All three cereals are also gluten-free, so they might be good breakfast food options for individuals with celiac disease or other forms of gluten intolerance.

One cup of Rice Chex also contains:

  • 0.5 grams of fat
  • 1 gram of fiber
  • 2 grams of sugar
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 50 percent DV of folic acid and iron
  • 25 percent DV of zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine
  • 10 percent DV of vitamins A, C and D and calcium

General Mills Corn Chex is also one of the lowest calorie cereals per cup. One serving contains 120 calories, as well as 2 grams of protein and fiber and 3 grams of sugar. Like several of the cereals included on this list, Corn Chex is gluten-free.

One serving of Corn Chex also contains:

  • 50 percent DV of folic acid
  • 45 percent DV of iron
  • 25 percent DV of zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine
  • 10 percent DV of vitamins A, C and D and calcium
  • 4 percent DV of phosphorous

Read more: Top 10 Healthiest Cereals

General Mills Fiber One

One cup of Fiber One Original Bran cereal has 120 calories. Though that's the case, the suggested serving size is half a cup and only 60 calories. This one small serving supplies 14 grams of fiber, which is 55 percent of your recommended daily value. The FDA recommends eating 25 grams of fiber per day based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

A half-cup serving of this high-fiber cereal also contains:

  • 2 grams of protein
  • 0 grams of sugar
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 25 percent DV of folic acid, niacin, riboflavin and iron
  • 10 percent DV of vitamin C and calcium
  • 6 percent DV of phosphorous
  • 4 percent DV of magnesium

Read more: The Best Cereals for Lowering Cholesterol

When eating Fiber One and the rest of these low-calorie cereals, be mindful of portion size. Though low in calories, the serving sizes depicted on cereal boxes are often exaggerated, according to a February 2017 study published in the journal BMC Public Health. The study found that these larger portion sizes may promote overserving and overeating.

If you are aiming to lose weight and are counting calories, play it safe. Measure out each serving of cereal you consume with a measuring cup or weigh it on a food scale. After repetition of measuring out a cup of cereal, you might learn to intuitively pour out the correct serving size.

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