T Nation

How Do We Feel About Cheerios?


Hey guys,

I think the Tip of the Day a while back was that all cereals are bad for bodybuilders except for Fiber One [which, I don't think is even availible in Canada. However, I took a look at the nutritional info on Cheerios and I Can't find anything wrong with them.

It says "100% Whole Grain Oats and has

per 1 cup [30 g]

Fat 1.5 g
Protein 3 g
Carbs 21 g
Fibre 3 g

Isn't that just as good as Oatmeal? Better in fact, since oatmeal isn't even whole grain? [bran is removed?]

Can anyone think of a reason why cheerios and skim milk shouldn't be a dietary staple?




I mix some in with cottage cheese when I need to crunch something.


Here, btw, is the nutritionals on Oatmeal

per 30g

Carb 20.1 g
Fat 1.89
Sugars .43
Protein 4.8

So yes, it is true I suppose that Oatmeal has an extra 1.8 g of protein per serving. But is this minuscule amount worth the crappy taste and goopy flavour Especially if you have 22g of Grow! right after?] I can't see why. Am I Missing something?


No. Oatmeal is much better.

Cheerios and milk might be okay as a protein/carb meal following training, but I wouln't recommend it at other times unless you're a hardgainer who needs calories in any form you can get.


Well, I don't know anything about Cheerios per se, but what is the GI or II of the product? Because it is heavily processed into cereal it may be quickly absorbed.

Other than that, in one sense, unless you are trying to stay incredibly lean, go ahead and eat it if it isn't counter to your goals!

By the way, pouring milk directly on rolled oats or steel cut oats (not the quick cook junk) along with a scoop of Grow! doesn't have that goopy texture. You don't actually have to cook it and dirty up extra dishes in order to eat it.


Feel free to give your reasoning behind your statement that oatmeal is much better.


Ah Vroom, I didn't think to consider GI. Ur right, Cheerios GI is 74 and oatmeal is 42. crap, I really thought I'd found an easy way out.



[p.s. it intuitively makes sense that low GI foods would be better for leanness but what is the reasoning for that?]


Low GI means less insulin release, which in turn means less energy storage. Low GI food usually has a high fiber content; also a key BF maintainence/decreasing factor.


If you read the ingredients on the label instead of just the propaganda on the front of the box you will see the ingredient right after oats is sugar and if you keep reading there are loads of ingredients to keep it fresh and make it taste good that would not be found in oatmeal. Yes, there are oats in it but it is so processed that it now longer compares to oatmeal.

I have used it as a postworkout carbohydrate source but even at that I wouldn't make it a staple.


I recently read an article in some health thing that my parents subscribe to. In it they did a test and found that Cheerios really are not as healthy for you as many people would think. While not bad for you, their whole deal on reducing cholesterol is rather misleading. I believe it is actually supposed to reduce the good cholesterol levels in the body rather then the bad. You would be far better off eating some form of whole rolled oatmeal. But if you like the cold cereals then some of the other ones that made the list were Total and my personal favorite Basic 4


No it doesn't (necessarily). Compare a lot of foods on the charts. You'll be surprised.



That's not actually true. Its corn starch. The nutritionals say only 1g of sugar. And I haven't seen anything to suggest that preservatives will negatively impact my fitness goals.


But isn't insulin generally anabolic. [I think it has somthing to do with making insulin-like growth hormone]. Wouldn't you want to spike it from time to time for muscle anabolism? Isn't the whole basis for Berardi's Massive Eating to have insulin spikes but to have them at times that your blood is Free Fatty Acid Free?


I don't think you have to worry about the Gi too much. A mixed meal is going to have a lower GI than a single food. Cheerios are fine in moderation. If you don't like oatmeal and you find something else you like that fits within your diet, then by all means, go for it.



The problem with insulin is that while it can spur on anabolic activity, if you are prone to it then it will also happily drive your body to store fat.

This is especially true in individuals who are either insulin resistant or who have eaten more carbs than their muscles are able to readily absorb.

Generally, the dogma is that you want to ramp up insulin after a workout, to stop catabolism and spur anabolism.

For many, especially those trying to lose fat, insulin stops the release of fat from storage -- making it very very hard to lean out. Controlling the amount of insulin released during the day by keeping the GI/II low can help allow fat loss.

I'm probably butchering the concept, but this is the gist of it.


Am I the only one who finds they need four bowls of cheerios to be satisfied (and even then I suspect it's only the milk), while just one bowl of oatmeal gets it done?


I'm the same way.

It takes an entire box of processed cerial to make me feel like I've eaten anything, but a good bowl of oatmeal (w/Grow!) does the job.


one serving of cheerios with one serving of fiber one works well for me.