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[Part 1] The Cereal Fatness Index — The 50 Most Fattening Cereals

Lucky Charms, lucky charms cereal

The 50 Most Fattening Cereals is part 1 of 3 in our Lean It UP Cereal Fatness Index series, which scores and ranks 275 brands of cereal based on their propensity to MAKE YOU FAT!

 

Cereal is kiddy crack. Well, maybe adult crack also. Colorful rainbows, sugar, fun animals, sugar, mazes and puzzles, sugar…toys. DAMN YOU Kellogg’s!

It’s undeniably delicious, incredible, and nostalgic. Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Trix, Lucky Charms — ahhhhh the good old days when our metabolisms ran at the speed of 28 Usain Bolts.

But somehow, someway, there’s a sweeping perception that cereal is actually a health food. Maybe it’s the fact that cereal is fortified with vitamins and minerals. Maybe it’s bran. Maybe it’s Kashi. In large, I disagree with this perception. Without doing any detailed analysis, I can tell you for a fact that the aforementioned CTC, Trix, and Lucky Charms ARE fattening and will plaster blubber over your midsection. They’re a sugar-oozing bogeyman. Finish a box of Fruity Pebbles and dump out the remnants — sugar crystals, Crayola colored particles, and god knows what else lace the bottom.

Given that over 250 different cereals exist — many of which SEEM healthy, but in fact are complete garbage — and the cereal-scape is crowded and confusing, I developed The Lean It UP Cereal Fatness Index; a ranking of 275 brands of cereal based on their propensity to MAKE YOU FAT (or, for that matter, get you lean and ripped)!

Using a proprietary, specifically designed formula, I entered the macronutritional information for every single cereal brand and arrived at a LeanFACTOR Score — ranging from 100 to -100, with lower numbers being incrementally more fattening — based on 3 main criteria:12

  1. Calories — Cereals with higher calorie counts scored lower.
  2. Protein — Cereals with more protein scored higher. Protein reduces hunger levels, promotes lean muscle growth, increases metabolism, and has a thermogenic effect, which burns upwards of 33% of its calories during digestion/metabolism. Cereals with less protein were penalized.
  3. Fiber-to-Sugar Balance Calculated by subtracting the sugar content from fiber content in a given cereal. Cereals with a high fiber-to-sugar balance scored higher. Sugar spikes blood sugar and insulin, which signals the body to store fat, and increases hunger levels. Fiber decreases hunger and helps control blood sugar and insulin, which prevents fat storage. Fiber is also indigestible, so in effect it counts as 0 calories.

 

*Note — all nutrition facts are based on 1 standard NLEA serving of cereal.

Taking all 275 LeanFACTOR Scores, cereals were then ranked from high-to-low to develop the full Lean It Up Cereal Fatness Index.

In order to make this as objective and evenly weighted as possible, all subjective factors, including my personal opinion, weren’t included as inputs. Things like HFCS, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, carbohydrate sources (e.g. corn, wheat, oats), etc. were excluded, as there a) isn’t conclusive evidence to suggest that any of these things directly contribute to weight-gain and obesity, and b) is no way to consistently measure these items across the board when labels don’t include measurements (e.g. Cereal X has 6 grams of HFCS).

The Lean It Up Cereal Fatness Index series will run in three parts over the next few days, kicking off the with The 50 Most Fattening Cereals  —

  • [Part 1] The 50 Most Fattening Cereals
  • [Part 2] The 50 Healthiest Cereals
  • [Part 3] All 276, The Full Cereal Fatness Index

 


[Part 1] The Cereal Fatness Index — The 50 Most Fattening Cereals

 

50. Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, General Mills

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Nutrition Info —
LeanFACTOR Score: – 64
Calories: 120
Fiber-to-Sugar Balance: – 12
Sugar: 13g
Fiber: 1g
Protein: 2g

 

 

49. Fruitangy Oh’s, Quaker

 

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Nutrition Info —
LeanFACTOR Score: – 64.40
Calories: 122
Fiber-to-Sugar Balance: – 12
Sugar: 13g
Fiber: 1g
Protein: 2g

 

 

48. Treasure Hunt Instant Oatmeal, Quaker

 

Quaker Treasure Hunt Instant Oatmeal, Quaker Treasure Hunt Instant Oatmeal calories, Quaker Treasure Hunt Instant Oatmeal nutrition, Quaker Treasure Hunt Instant Oatmeal nutritional information, Quaker Treasure Hunt Instant Oatmeal nutrition info

 

Nutrition Info —
LeanFACTOR Score: – 64.60
Calories: 173
Fiber-to-Sugar Balance: – 14
Sugar: 17g
Fiber: 3g
Protein: 4g

 

 

47. Raisin Spice Instant Oatmeal, Quaker

 

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Nutrition Info —
LeanFACTOR Score: – 66.00
Calories: 155
Fiber-to-Sugar Balance: – 13
Sugar: 16g
Fiber: 3g
Protein: 3g

 

 

47. Peanut Butter Cookie Crisp, General Mills

 

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Nutrition Info —
LeanFACTOR Score: – 66.00
Calories: 130
Fiber-to-Sugar Balance: – 12
Sugar: 13g
Fiber: 1g
Protein: 2g

 

 

47. Peanut Butter Toast Crunch, General Mills

 

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Nutrition Info —
LeanFACTOR Score: – 66.00
Calories: 130
Fiber-to-Sugar Balance: – 12
Sugar: 13g
Fiber: 1g
Protein: 2g

 

 

47. Tony’s Cinnamon Crunchers, Kellogg’s

 

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Nutrition Info —
LeanFACTOR Score: – 66.00
Calories: 130
Fiber-to-Sugar Balance: – 10
Sugar: 10g
Fiber: 0g
Protein: 1g

 

 

 

47. Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries, Quaker

 

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Nutrition Info —
LeanFACTOR Score: – 66.00
Calories: 105
Fiber-to-Sugar Balance: – 11
Sugar: 12g
Fiber: 1g
Protein: 1g

 

 

47. Multigrain Raisin Spice Hot Oatmeal, Nature’s Path

 

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Nutrition Info —
LeanFACTOR Score: – 66.00
Calories: 180
Fiber-to-Sugar Balance: – 14
Sugar: 18g
Fiber: 4g
Protein: 4g

 

 

41. Count Chocula, General Mills

 

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Nutrition Info —
LeanFACTOR Score: – 66.60
Calories: 108
Fiber-to-Sugar Balance: – 11
Sugar: 12g
Fiber: 1g
Protein: 1g

 



Pages: 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

 

 
 

References, Notes, Links

  1. All nutritional information was pulled from NutritionData.com []
  2. Images sourced from Shopwell.com []

 

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto

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  • heyshawntae

    @LeanItUP can’t remember the last time I ate cereal…