Cereal is rarely thought of as a healthy food. It has a reputation for being overly sweet and artificial, and looking at the supermarket shelves, it's not hard to see why. Big-name cereal brands contain refined sugars, carbohydrates, salt and unsustainable ingredients, like palm oil. What's more, the boxes commonly boast health claims that have little backing, but heavily influence your shopping habits.

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However, there are plenty of brands out there making healthy cereal that's good for you, tastes great and comes with impressive nutritional benefits, whether that's because it's made with wholesome grains, natural sweeteners or nutritious ingredients, like nuts, seeds and spices. We've tasted more than 30 varieties of healthy cereal and chosen our favourites, so you'll know what to look for when you're shopping for a healthier cereal.

Check out our top picks below, then have a look at our healthy porridge recipes and healthy breakfast recipes, and read our guide on the health benefits of porridge.

For more unbiased expert buyer’s guides, visit our reviews section to find over 200 round-ups, including best gluten-free bread and high-protein snacks.

Best healthy cereals at a glance

  • Best fruity muesli: Dorset Cereals luscious berry & cherry muesli (£3.70)
  • Best porridge: Moma cacao & hazelnut jumbo oat porridge (£1.15)
  • Best granola: Rollagranola organic & nutty granola (£5.10)
  • Best low-carb cereal: The Paleo Foods Co berry & almond grain-free granola (£4)
  • Best nutty muesli: Dorset Cereals marvellous pecan & almond muesli crunch (£3.70)
  • Best chocolate cereal: Doves Farm organic wholegrain cocoa rice pops (£2.85)
  • Best cornflakes: Whole Earth corn flakes (£1.75)
  • Best bran flakes: Freee ancient grain breakfast flakes (£3.49)
  • Best cereal for gut health: Bio & Me apple & cinnamon gut-loving granola (£3.70)
  • Best cereal hoops: Freee supergrain hoops (£3)
  • Best organic cereal: Alara Organic fruits & seeds muesli (£2.70)
  • Best high-protein cereal: Super Zeros low-carb cereal (£6.99)

The best healthy cereal 2022

Dorset Cereals luscious berry & cherry muesli

Dorset Cereals Luscious Berry and Cherry Muesli

Best fruity muesli

When it comes to making top-quality muesli, the people at Dorset Cereal know their stuff. We tried each one of its products and were suitably impressed, but it was the combination of freeze-dried sour cherries and nutty, toasted wholegrain wheat, oat and barley flakes in this cereal that we found most delicious. Unlike other mueslis that go soggy in the bowl, this retains a crisp crunch, even when enjoyed with milk. If you're a big fan of muesli and looking to broaden your breakfast horizons, this would be a great choice.

There's no added sugar in this cereal, but there is a fair amount of dried fruit. Just be aware that will add to your daily sugar intake.

Available from:
Tesco (£3.70, 600g)
Amazon (£7.99, 700g)
Waitrose (£3, 600g)

Moma cacao & hazelnut jumbo oat porridge

Moma Cacao and Hazelnut Jumbo Oat Porridge

Best porridge

We felt suitably full and energised after enjoying this gluten-free porridge pot for breakfast. Made with chunky British oats, ground hazelnuts, cacao, milk powder and dates, it has a similar flavour to our favourite chocolate spread. Once mixed with water, it becomes a thick, hearty porridge. However, we had to leave it for a few minutes longer than suggested to give the oats enough time to cook through. This would be a perfect post-workout breakfast, and can be easily taken to eat at work.

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Available from:
Ocado (£1.15, 65g pot)
Amazon (£15.42, 12 x 65g pots)

Rollagranola organic & nutty granola

Rollagranola organic and nutty granola

Best granola

This super-crunchy, seriously nutty granola is a cut above the rest. Every ingredient is organic, from the pumpkin seeds to the raisins, and it shows in the taste. Gluten-free oats are lightly sweetened with coconut sugar and mixed with whole cashews, almonds and brazil nuts for texture and nutritional benefits. The calorie content in a bowl of Rollagranola is high due to the generous amount of nuts and raisins. However, you could eat small amounts with fresh fruit and yogurt, or as a breakfast treat on the weekends.

If you're looking to eat more organic produce and focus on the nutritional benefit of your meals rather than the calories, then this would be a good cereal for you.

Available from:
Amazon (£3.17)
Ocado (£5.10)

The Paleo Foods Co berry & almond grain-free granola

The Paleo Foods Co. Berry and Almond Grain-Free Granola

Best low-carb cereal

As the name suggests, all products from The Paleo Foods Co are naturally low in carbohydrates and made without gluten, refined sugar or oil. This crunchy combination of almonds, coconut, cashews and seeds is lightly sweetened with coconut syrup, making it keto-friendly as well as gluten-free.

Thanks to the addition of freeze-dried berries, the granola looks beautiful in the bowl. As well as lending a pretty pink hue, they add a slightly tart flavour, which you'll love if you usually avoid overly sweet granolas. Eat with your milk of choice, swirl through yogurt or sprinkle over a smoothie bowl.

Available from:
Sainsbury's (£4.30, 285g)
Amazon (£15, 3 x 285g)

Dorset Cereals pecan & almond muesli crunch

Dorset Cereals Marvellous Pecan and Almond Muesli Crunch

Best nutty muesli

If you enjoy a bowl of muesli in the morning and are looking for an upgraded crunch, this is the cereal for you. Dorset Cereals has taken its signature recipe and added granola clusters, whole roasted hazelnuts, almonds and maple-coated caramelised pecans. The result is somewhere between muesli and granola, and tastes wonderful. Try it with chopped apple or pear, and milk or yogurt.

The added nuts in this muesli mean it is considerably high in fat, at 9.1g per 45g serving. However, nuts are a rich source of fibre and they have plenty of other nutritional benefits.

Available from:
Tesco (£3.70)
Amazon (£18.95, 5 packs x 500g)

Doves Farm organic wholegrain cocoa rice pops

Dove's Farm Wholegrain Cocoa Pops

Best chocolate cereal

These cocoa rice pops tick all the breakfast boxes: great 'popping' noise when the milk is poured in, generous chocolatey flavour and rich, chocolate-flavoured milk at the end. The children testing these had no idea that they contained an extra fibre hit from the wholegrain rice, or that the cocoa was vegan.

Available from:
Welleasy (£2.85)

Whole Earth corn flakes

Whole Earth cornflakes

Best cornflakes

In a blind tasting, we would struggle to tell these gluten-free flakes apart from big-brand cornflakes. However, one look at the ingredients on the box shows they're considerably healthier. Made with organic corn and raw cane sugar, there's no added flavours or preservatives, just pure, wholesome goodness.

To start the day without a sugar rush, switch up your family's breakfast and serve these lightly toasted flakes with the cold milk of your choice.

Available from:
Ocado (£1.75)
Amazon (£1.75)
Amazon (£17.53, 5 x 375g)

Freee cereal flakes

Freee cereal flakes

Best bran flakes

Bran flakes are a popular choice for those looking to eat more fibre. However, they're usually made with wheat bran or flakes, which means they're not an option for anyone with a gluten intolerance. Doves Farm created this cereal using a naturally gluten-free blend of rice, buckwheat, maize and rice bran, plus a touch of rice syrup for sweetness. Now, everyone can enjoy a bowlful of bran flakes in the morning.

If you usually start your day with bran flakes, give this healthy alternative a try with sliced bananas and milk.

Available from:
Ethical Superstore (£3.49, 375g)
Amazon (£21.85, 5 x 375g)

Bio & Me apple & cinnamon gut-loving granola

Bio & Me Gut-Loving Granola

Best cereal for gut health

Good gut health starts with your biome, and in order to support it, you should eat a wide variety of plant-based foods – it's believed the optimum number is 30 a week. Impressively, this granola gets you a lot closer to hitting that goal, as it's packed with 15 different types of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, legumes and spices.

The granola has a pleasant chew and the flavour is similar to apple and cinnamon flapjacks, but less sweet and noticeably healthier. In fact, there's no added sugar here, so if you prefer a sweet breakfast, you may want to add a drizzle of honey.

Available from:
Sainsbury's (£3.70)
Amazon (£19.49, 6 x 400g)

Alara Organic fruits & seeds muesli

Alara gluten-free fruits and seeds muesli

Best organic cereal

For those mornings when you want to feel virtuously healthy, there's this wholesome muesli from Alara Organic. Wholegrain oats, barley and rye flakes make up the base, and a generous helping of seeds (linseeds, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame) provides plenty of health benefits, texture and flavour. There's only a small amount of dried fruit added, keeping the sugar content down to a minimum.

While there's no denying this is a healthy cereal, we enjoyed the simple but delicious taste, especially when eaten with fresh raspberries and oat milk.

Available from:
Ocado (£2.70)
Sainsbury's (£2.75)

Freee supergrain hoops

Doves Farm Ancient Grain Cereal Hoops

Best cereal hoops

Swap the sugary hoops you're used to for these healthier ones made with organic buckwheat, oats, teff and quinoa. Baked for extra crunch and toasty flavour, this cereal is a good source of fibre and has a more toothsome texture than most regular cereals.

They are slightly sweet thanks to the date and rice syrup – hopefully this means they'll be well received by any children at the breakfast table.

Available from:
Sainsbury's (£3)
Ocado (£3.25)

Super Zeros low-carb cereal

Best high-protein cereal- Super Zeroes Low Carb Cereal

Best high-protein cereal

These super-crunchy balls have a lovely, rich chocolate flavour, but they're not overly sweet – our tasters thought they were like kids' cereal for grown-ups. There's 10g of protein per 30g serving, and 0g sugar, making this a great choice for fitness foodies. The round protein balls retain their crunch, even when soaked in milk for several minutes – no soggy cereal in sight.

Available from:
Well Easy (£6.99)

What we looked for

Nutritional benefits: these may come from ingredients that have been left out (such as sugar or dairy), added (like nuts, seeds and spices) or are naturally healthy (like nourishing wholegrains and organic oats). We only tried products that are healthier than regular cereals. We also included special diets (like gluten-free and low carb) in our considerations.

Taste: we looked for healthy cereals that tasted genuinely delicious. It was important that any flavours mentioned on the pack were clear in the tasting. If any products tasted undeniably healthy, then we've mentioned this in our review.

Texture: we made sure all products were an enjoyable texture – not too chewy, dry or dusty.

Hungry for more? Try these:

Best healthy chocolate
Best gluten-free bread
Best high-protein snacks
Best protein bars
Keto breakfast recipes
Mood-boosting breakfat recipes

This review was last updated in September 2022. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

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Do you have a favourite high-protein snack that hasn't been mentioned? Please let us know in the comments below.

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