10 cereals you should be eating and 10 you shouldn't

Breakfast can be a tricky meal to plan. Some cereals are quite healthy and are a great way to start your day, while others have more sugar and other not-so-healthy ingredients than you really need so early in the morning (or, in some cases, all day long). Knowing which cereals you should and shouldn't eat can help you make more informed choices while grocery shopping — and whenever hunger strikes.

Should: Erewhon Corn Flakes

Cynthia Sass, M.P.H., R.D., told Reader's Digest that she likes this two-ingredient cereal (the only ingredients are organic corn and sea salt) because it's organic, unsweetened, and gluten-free. Also, according to Sass, because it's low in fiber and so is easily digestible, it's good for a snack or for a quick pre-workout breakfast because it won't leave you feeling weighed down.

Should: Uncle Sam's Original

Uncle Sam Original definitely fits the bill for a healthy breakfast cereal. Dietitian Tamara Duker Freuman, M.S., R.D., told Reader's Digest it fits all the criteria for a "truly healthy cereal," like 100 percent whole grain, little added sugar, and a recognizable and short ingredient list.

Should: Cascadian Farm Hearty Morning Fiber

Like its name suggests, Cascadian Farm Hearty Morning Fiber is hearty enough to stay with you all morning long. According to Greatist, a serving of this cereal contains eight grams of fiber, making it a great choice for your morning meal.

Should: Purely Elizabeth Original

If you're looking for a healthy gluten-free breakfast cereal, Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola Cereal is one you should consider. Dietitian Joanna Li, R.D., told Reader's Digest that it's sweetened with coconut palm sugar instead of evaporated cane sugar and contains chia seeds for healthy omega-3's and coconut oil to help keep you full and feel satisfied.

Should: Kix

If you thought all children's cereals were verboten, here's some welcome news: Kix is a good choice for breakfast. According to Greatist, the cereal has a good amount of fiber, even though it's made from corn, and is also low in sugar and calories, so you don't have to worry about you — or your kids — overdoing it early in the day.

Should: Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal

Dietitian Joanna Li, R.D., told Reader's Digest that the reason why this cereal is such a good option is because it's made from sprouted grains. "Sprouting makes grains easier to digest and the nutrients more easily absorbed," she said. Not only that, but the relatively high fiber and protein content and the fact that it's sugar-free makes it even better.

Should: Total

Total is basic and versatile, and that's not even one of the best things about it. According to Greatist, it's a breakfast cereal you should be eating because it's full of vitamins and 100 percent whole grains. Add fruit, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a handful of nuts or seeds, or another healthy addition to make it more exciting if need be.

Should: Barbara's Original Puffins

If you regularly reach for Barbara's Original Puffins, you're already making a good choice. According to Greatist, because it's high in fiber and relatively low in sugar, this wheat-free and dairy-free cereal is one that you should be eating. Even better, it's a relatively blank canvas, so you can dress it up with different milks, fruit, spices like cinnamon or cardamom, and more.

Should: Kashi GoLean Crunch!

As Christopher Mohr, Ph.D., R.D. wrote in an article for Men's Health, Kashi's GoLean Crunch! in Honey Almond Flax is quite high in fiber and protein (a serving contains just under 10 grams of each), plus the cereal is chock-full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It's sweet, but it's sweetened with honey, which is a better option than sugar.

Should: Wheaties

Wheaties are an oldie, but a goodie, and if you're already eating Wheaties regularly, you're making a pretty good choice when it comes to breakfast cereals. According to Greatist, each serving of Wheaties contains three grams of fiber, which helps offset the (still relatively low) four grams of sugar.

Shouldn't: Reese's Puffs

You're probably not all that surprised that Reese's Puffs makes the list of cereals that you shouldn't be eating. It is, after all, named after a popular candy. According to Eat This, Not That, Reese's Puffs' calories are 33 percent from sugar. That's a hefty percentage.

Shouldn't: Froot Loops

Though you might have adored it as a kid, you probably shouldn't be eating Froot Loops on a regular basis. According to Cheat Sheet, half a cup of Froot Loops contains about 12 grams of sugar. That's an awful lot of sugar.

Shouldn't: Apple Jacks

According to Cheat Sheet, Apple Jacks cereal is also heavy on the sugar. Eating a bowl (or more) each morning can add a lot of extra, unnecessary sugar to your daily diet.Don't be fooled by the fruit in the name — every one-cup serving of Apple Jacks contains a whopping 12 grams of sugar. 

Shouldn't: Cinnamon Toast Crunch

It's probably not shocking that Cinnamon Toast Crunch isn't all that great for you. Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., C.D.N., told Eat This, Not That that BHT, a preservative that might be lurking in your Cinnamon Toast Crunch, "is still highly controversial and limited research exists on whether it is harmful to the body or carcinogenic." Plus, a concern for Cinnamon Toast Crunch, like many other cereals, is its sugar content. It also contains about 12 grams of sugar per cup, which you definitely want to know before indulging.

Shouldn't: Golden Crisp

Golden Crisp is, to put it plainly, super-sweet. As Mohr wrote in his article for Men's Health, the first ingredient is sugar and one serving of the cereal — which is supposed to be breakfast and not dessert — contains 14 grams of sugar and only one measly gram of fiber. It's just not your best bet.

Shouldn't: Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cereal

Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cereal, made by Kellogg, might be the least-surprising cereal on this list. According to Eat This, Not That, 40 percent of the cereal's calories come from sugar. The two grams of fat and 12 grams of sugar, plus the potential for artificial ingredients and all kinds of preservatives, mean it's not a good breakfast choice and you probably shouldn't be eating it very often.

Shouldn't: Honey Smacks

Honey Smacks used to be Sugar Smacks, so, again, you're probably not surprised that they contain quite a bit of sugar. According to Mohr's article for Men's Health, three of the first four ingredients are some form of sugar, adding up to 15 grams of sugar (and just one gram of fiber) per serving.

Shouldn't: Trix

While General Mills has already removed artificial colors (and flavors) fromTrix, they'll be coming backdue to public outcry. According to Men's Health, Trix, like quite a few other cereals that you shouldn't eat, is high in sugar and low in fiber. It just won't keep you full.

Shouldn't: Cap'n Crunch's OOPS! All Berries

None of the Cap'n Crunch cereals are particularly great breakfast cereal choices, but OOPS! All Berries is particularly bad. According to a report from CBS News, OOPS! Crunch Berries is 46.9 percent sugar, which is way more sugar than you need to eat for breakfast.

Shouldn't: Frosted Flakes

Since they're called "frosted," it's probably not surprising that Frosted Flakes really aren't the best choice you can make when it comes to breakfast cereal. According to Rodale's Organic Life, the full-sugar Frosted Flakes has 11 grams of sugar per serving, while the reduced-sugar version still has eight. That's still more sugar than you want in a breakfast cereal.