Some good news for cereal lovers: Many cereals have gotten a little healthier, according to a new study published in Procedia Food Science. It compared the nutrient profiles of 83 cereals in 2005 to those in 2011 and found that sugar fell by 8 percent and sodium by 11 percent, while fiber increased by 13 percent.
Overall, though, the improvements were small, and some cereals didn’t change—or changed slightly for the worse. The study was done by researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture (USFA) and at Kellogg’s and General Mills and included only cereals from those manufacturers.
When you're shopping, look for cereals that are 100 percent whole grain (or at least have a “whole” grain at the top of the ingredients list) and have no more than 8 grams of sugar (more than 8 grams is okay if the cereal contains dried fruit), no more than 180 milligrams of sodium and at least 5 grams of fiber, per serving.