Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources


Is Breakfast Cereal Smart?


Is breakfast cereal OK to eat if you have diabetes? Get the facts here.

Serving size: 3/4 cup (30 g)

Carbs: 12-26 g

Calories: 95-120

Glycemic index: 33-93, low-high

Glycemic load: 4-23, low-high


Breakfast cereal is an easy standby that can be a healthy start to the day, providing nutritious whole grains and a bunch of vitamins. But the hundreds of cereals that line the store shelves aren’t created equally. Some skimp on added sugars; others are loaded with them. Some have lots of good-for-you fiber; others have hardly any.

To make the best choice, read the nutrition facts label. Start with the serving size: choose one with a serving around 30 grams (some have almost twice that, which means twice the calories and carbohydrates, too). Then, look for a cereal made with whole grains, like whole wheat, oats or corn, that delivers at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and has hardly any sugar — aim for 7 grams or less (you can find grams of sugar listed under “Carbohydrates”).

Quick tip: Measure a serving and place it in your cereal bowl — over time you’ll be able to eyeball a serving.


Published on August 10, 2016.


— Compiled by Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD

Reviewed by Toby Smithson, MS, RD, LDN, CDE on June 20, 2016.
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