Frosted Flakes. Take 2. Healthy?

Tony the Tiger is one those childhood icons, alongside Ronald McDonald and Big Bird. But as we all know, Frosted Flakes is a sugar-fest disguised as breakfast cereal.

Kellogg’s has now introduced a new version of the cereal, “with Fiber, Less Sugar.”

How well does it fare? We took a deep nutritional look…

What you need to know:

The cereal indeed is lower in sugar than the original frosted flakes. But it still has 8 grams, which is 2 teaspoons, and appears as the second ingredient in the list below. The 3 grams of fiber (10% of DV) is added not through the use of whole grains, but by using “functional fiber” ingredients.

See these FIBERS ingredient list:

MILLED CORN, SUGAR, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, MALT FLAVORING, SALT, OAT FIBER, CELLULOSE, IRON, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), NIACINAMIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), VITAMIN A PALMITATE, FOLIC ACID, BHT (PRESERVATIVE), VITAMIN D, VITAMIN B12.

The rest of the vitamins and minerals are standard additions to breakfast cereals. Don’t count on them as your source of nutrition.

BHT – Butylated hydroxytoluene – is an antioxidant preservative that can lengthen the shelf life of a product. There is some controversy around its safety, with reports of hyperactivity and carcinogenic properties. Unfortunately, almost all cereals use BHT as a preservative.

To sum it up, Kellogg’s took a step in the right direction with the sugar decrease, but the added fiber and vitamins speak to the inherently low nutritional value of this product.

What to do at the supermarket:

If you are going to make the effort to eat healthy cereal, choose one that gets its fiber from whole grains, not additional fiber ingredients. Choose less than 6 grams of sugar (1.5 tsp), and don’t get blinded by all the added vitamins and minerals.

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  • Janinestein

    Thanks for helping me in the cereal aisle at the supermarket faced with all the sugary choices. Good to hear a different message other than Kellogg’s. http://thelondonmom1.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

     You can also make your own cereal pretty cheaply with some oats, flax, nuts, seeds and maple syrup.

  • Mark Haub

    Nice that Kellogg’s and others are trying improve their offerings.  Small changes.  Is it better to eat this type of cereal (w/ milk) than to skip breakfast? Is this a better option than what was previously sold? 

    I guess I am not sure what to say as people complained about the prior version and I see this as an improvement.  It makes me wonder if people are resistant to what’s on the box or what’s in the box.

    • Anonymous

      As far as I understand, small amount of sugar from the cereal in the morning goes towards restoring depleted stores of glycogen in your body (following hours of sleep). If you exercise regularly (especially doing any sort of intense training) this is even more relevant. 

      And of course, you’ll get more benefit from consuming minimally processed, whole grain cereal rather than highly-processed one; it will keep hunger at bay longer, provide nice and steady release of energy, and a bonus point — result in higher metabolic rate :)

      • April Moreno

        I eat cereal in place of fatty things. I exercise everyday, and I cycle 10 miles every evening. It works for me, and I have lost 25 pounds.

  • http://twitter.com/andreat76 Andrea T

    More health-washing. What a surprise.

    • HealthNut

      What a surprise?! Shouldn’t be a surprise at all! You are what you eat and a health conscious people care about what they put into their bodies! ; )

  • http://twitter.com/maddiemudster Maddie Mudster

    I originally loved fooducate, but you guys are really not coming up with that great of articles… anyone that reads fooducate would automatically know this about FROSTED flakes.

  • Seemichellecook

     Having two teenage girls that love cereal, I’m happy to see any healthy changes.   I’d much rather they grab a bowl of this with milk then nothing at all.  

  • Seemichellecook

     Having two teenage girls that love cereal, I’m happy to see any healthy changes.   I’d much rather they grab a bowl of this with milk then nothing at all.