Cheerios vs. Oatmeal (Taste, Cost, Nutrition & Health Benefits)

“Bee Happy, Bee Healthy” Everyone knows that Cheerios market themselves as a heart-healthy choice for your daily bowl of cereal – but is this actually true? Are Cheerios actually healthy?

The real fact of the matter is that Cheerios are a lot less healthy than you might think. Plain oatmeal cooked from oats can be a much healthier choice.

Cheerios are a very sugary cereal and contain more sugar and carbs than oatmeal does. Oatmeal has much more nutritional value than Cheerios and is much healthier than Cheerios. Plain oats are also much cheaper than cheerios, making it a cheap and healthy breakfast option!

Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional profiles of these two breakfast options and see which one comes out on top.

Cheerios vs. Oatmeal: What’s the Difference?

Oatmeal is made with oat groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) that have either been cut into pieces or steel-cut.

The oats are then typically steamed and pressed flat into flakes, which can be eaten as is or turned into a hot cereal by boiling them in water or milk.

Cheerios, on the other hand, is a cold cereal made from oats. The oat pieces in Cheerios have been rolled into flattened circles and baked until crispy.

When it comes down to which is healthier, oatmeal win hands down. Cheerios are high in sugar, and oatmeal provides much more nutritional value than cereal.

Oatmeal is a great source of vitamins and minerals, has more fiber, and provides 4 grams of protein per cup compared to the 3 grams in Cheerios.


Which Tastes Better?

You might think that Cheerios taste better than oatmeal because of the sugar, but oatmeal can taste delicious as well!

What Does Oatmeal Taste Like?

On its own, oatmeal can be pretty bland. Some people say that it has some slightly earthy notes to it.

Because of its blandness, however, oatmeal is really good at taking on the flavor of other things.

Mixing in things like fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup is incredibly common and a great way to improve the flavor!

The texture of oatmeal is a lot different from Cheerios. Most people have had it prepared in a way that makes it mushy, but when prepared well oatmeal is soft and chewy, whereas Cheerios are crispy and crunchy.

Raw oats have a paper-like texture that turns crispy and crunchy when baked.

How Do You Make Oatmeal Taste Good?

There are several great ways to make oatmeal taste better than what you remember from being a kid!

Here are a few tips to make oatmeal taste better:

  • Mix in your favorite fruit
  • Add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin spice to add some flavor
  • Swirl in peanut butter or almond butter for extra protein and healthy fats
  • Top it off with nuts or seeds to give it an extra crunchy texture

What Do Cheerios Taste Like?

Cheerios have a light and crisp flavor that makes them easy to eat for cereal lovers of all ages.

You can even find Organic Cheerios that are made with whole grain oats and contain no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Cheerios come in a variety of flavors including Original, Honey nut, Apple Cinnamon, and Multigrain.


Cheerios vs. Oatmeal: Which is Healthier?

Both Cheerios and oatmeal have great health benefits, but oats are a better choice as they can lower cholesterol and help with weight loss.

Oats also contain more fiber than cheerios which can be beneficial for digestive health and proper bowel function.

If you’re trying to eat healthily, opt for plain cooked oatmeal (rather than instant oatmeal).

Oatmeal is full of fiber and nutrients while Cheerios are high in sugar (especially the flavored kinds like honey nut cheerios).

Oatmeal (both plain cooked from oats and instant oatmeal) also has more protein than Cheerios which makes it the healthier choice between these two breakfast items.

Beware of instant oatmeal, however, as this often has many more calories and carbohydrates than plain oatmeal cooked from oats.

Per 1 cupOriginal CheeriosPlain Cooked OatmealQuaker Instant Oatmeal Plain
Total Fat1.9 g3.6 g4 g
Total Carbohydrates21 g28 g36 g
Dietary Fibre2.6 g4 g6 g
Sugars1.2 g0.6 g0 g
Protein3.4 g5.9 g8 g

Are Cheerios as Healthy as Oatmeal?

Although Cheerios have been shown to have health benefits they aren’t as healthy as oatmeal.

Cheerios don’t contain as much fiber and protein, which is beneficial for your overall health.

Oatmeal also has been proven to be more effective in lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease when compared to Cheerios.

If you’re trying to eat healthily, opt for plain oatmeal cooked from oats. Oatmeal is full of fiber and nutrients while Cheerios are high in sugar.

While oatmeal has slightly more calories than Cheerios, the rest of the health benefits outweigh this.

What are the Health Benefits of Oatmeal?

Oatmeal has numerous health benefits which can include:

  • Oats fill you up and keep you satisfied, making it easier to control your weight. They also provide a slow release of energy that aids in preventing insulin spikes and the storage of fat.
  • Oats contain beta-glucans, soluble fiber compounds found in oats. They have been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Oats can help keep blood sugar levels steady by slowing down stomach emptying, which helps to prevent rapid rises in blood sugar after a meal. This ultimately prevents insulin spikes that could lead to diabetes.
  • Oatmeal is also known as a digestive aid that helps to promote regular bowel movements. It can be very beneficial for those with IBS, Crohn’s disease, and other gastrointestinal disorders because oatmeal is high in fiber.
  • Oatmeal is also high in Vitamin B which helps to release energy, boost the immune system, and prevent depression.

How Can Oatmeal be Bad for You?

Although oatmeal has many health benefits it should not be eaten every day. The fiber content of oats can cause digestive distress if they are consumed too frequently without enough water.

Oats also contain phytic acid, which can disrupt the absorption of nutrients such as calcium and magnesium.

Plain Cooked Oatmeal vs. Instant Oatmeal

Both plain oatmeal and instant oatmeal have numerous health benefits.

Oatmeal is high in fiber, has low glycemic index values, and is less refined than most other breakfast cereal grains.

The nutritional content of instant oatmeal packets varies depending on the brand you purchase.

They can contain more sugar than plain oats which should be considered if you’re trying to eat healthily.

Plain Cooked Oatmeal Nutrition Information

Per 1 cup

Total Fat3.6 g
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium9.4 g
Potassium164 mg
Total Carbohydrates28 g
Dietary Fiber4 g
Sugars0.6 g
Protein5.9 g
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C0%
Calcium1.6 %
Iron12 %

Instant Oatmeal Nutrition Information

Per 1 packet, cooked

Nutrition InfoQuaker Instant Oatmeal PlainQuaker Instant Oatmeal Cinnamon and SpiceNature’s Path Organic Original Instant Oatmeal
Total Fat2 g2.5 g3 g
Cholesterol0 mg0 mg0 mg
Sodium75 mg200 mg0 mg
Total Carbohydrates18 g32 g34 g
Dietary Fiber3 g3 g6 g
Sugars0 g10 g1 g
Protein4 g4 g8 g

Are Cheerios as healthy as oatmeal?

Cheerios are a popular cereal made from oats, but they’re not as healthy as oatmeal.

Cheerios aren’t whole-grain and contain high amounts of sugar, which means they have a greater impact on blood sugar levels.

One cup of cheerios contains 2.7 grams of fiber while one cup of plain oatmeal has 4 grams.

Cheerios are also fortified with vitamins and minerals which can be beneficial, but it contains little protein compared to oatmeal which contains 5.9 grams per cup.

What are the health benefits of Cheerios?

Cheerios have been shown to have several health benefits which include:

  • Cheerios have been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk for heart disease approximately as much as oatmeal.
  • They also provide a slow release of energy that aids in preventing insulin spikes and the storage of fat. The fiber content can be beneficial for those suffering from constipation or irregular bowel movements.

Can Cheerios be bad for you?

Although Cheerios have been shown to have health benefits they aren’t as healthy as oatmeal.

Cheerios don’t contain as much fiber and protein, which is beneficial for your overall health.

They are fortified with vitamins and minerals but contain high levels of sugar that can contribute to weight gain over time if eaten every day.

Cheerios Varieties

Cheerios come in several flavors, including:

  • original
  • honey nut
  • multigrain
  • apple cinnamon

The main difference between these Cheerio varieties is that honey nut and apple cinnamon have a more sugary coating.

Multigrain Cheerios are made of multiple grains instead of just oats.

The nutritional value of each variety is different as well. Here is the nutrition information for each kind:

Per 1 cup

Nutrition InformationOriginal CheeriosHoney Nut CheeriosMultigrain CheeriosApple Cinnamon Cheerios
Total Fat1.9 g2 g1.2 g2.4 g
Cholesterol0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg
Sodium139 mg213.3 mg116 mg156 mg
Potassium179 mg153.3 mg140 mg99 mg
Total Carbohydrates21 g29.3 g24 g32 g
Dietary Fiber2.6 g2.7 g2.5 g2.9 g
Sugars1.2 g12 g6.1 g14 g
Protein3.4 g2.7 g2.4 g3.3 g
Vitamin A18%13.3%10%13%
Vitamin C10%13.3%10%13%

Which Has Less Sugar: Cheerios or Oatmeal?

When it comes down to the sugar in Cheerios vs oatmeal, oatmeal wins again. The sugar content in oats is much less than the sugar content in Cheerios.

A single serving of oats has about half the amount of sugar as Honey Nut Cheerios do.

Honey Nut Cheerios have 12 grams of sugar per cup, while oatmeal has only 0.6 grams of sugar per cup.

Which is Less Fattening: Cheerios or Oatmeal?

Plain oatmeal is a very low-fat food, but Cheerios are not.

Cheerios have 3 grams of fat per ounce while plain oatmeal has only 1 gram of fat per ounce.

Cheerios also have more sodium than oats do. A single serving of oats has about 9.4 mg while Cheerios contain 213 mg per serving.

Which is More Nutritious: Cheerios or Oatmeal?

Oats have a small amount of protein, but they have a lot of dietary fiber. They also have lots of magnesium and iron.

In fact, oats contain the 8 essential amino acids your body needs to function properly!

A single serving of plain oatmeal has 25% of the daily value for dietary fiber.

Cheerios, on the other hand, have no dietary fiber and very little protein. They do contain some vitamins and minerals like vitamin E and iron but not nearly as much as oats.

Which Has More Antioxidants: Cheerios or Oatmeal?

Oats contain a lot of Vitamin C while Cheerios do not. Oats also have a lot of Vitamin B1 and phosphorus, while Cheerios contain very few of these nutrients.

In fact, oats contain nearly double the antioxidants that Cheerios do!

While oats and Cheerios are both kinds of cereal that can be eaten for breakfast, oats seem to be much more beneficial for you than Cheerios are.

Oats have more dietary fiber, less sodium, less fat and sugar, and more antioxidants than Cheerios do.

When it comes down to Cheerios vs oatmeal, oats are the clear winner. Oats have more dietary fiber, less sugar and fat, and more antioxidants than Cheerios do.

For all these reasons and many others, it’s clear why oats win again in the battle of Cheerios vs oatmeal!

What are Cheerios?

Cheerios is a cereal that contains oats and was first introduced to the public in 1941 by General Mills. 

The cereal began as a health food and was advertised in magazines with the slogan “Eat Cheerios for Health.”

Cheerios is one of America’s favorite cereals. Introduced in 1941, Cheerios are made from whole grain oats and are cholesterol-free with no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Because of their unique shape-they tend to stay crunchy longer than other types of cereal.

What is Oatmeal?

Oatmeal is a cereal food prepared by boiling or steaming oats. It can be eaten as a hot cereal with milk and sugar or used in a number of recipes such as oatmeal cookies.

Oats are whole-grained and naturally rich in vitamins, fiber, and essential minerals which makes them particularly good for the heart.

The nutritional value of oatmeal is not only significant but is also convenient. It can be cooked in milk or water and takes less than 5 minutes to make.

Cheerios vs. Oatmeal: Which is Cheaper?

Oatmeal is cheaper than Cheerios because it’s less processed.

Cheerios contain added sugar and artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives which can bump up the price.

It may take longer to cook oatmeal than it does to eat Cheerios, but you can purchase a large bag of rolled oats that will last longer.

One 42 oz canister of oats costs $2.58 while an 8.9 oz box of Cheerios costs $3.28. One box of 12 packets of plain instant oatmeal (11.85 oz total) costs $1.57.

 OatsInstant OatmealCheerios
Price per ounce$0.06$0.13$0.37

Final Considerations

Oatmeal is more nutritious than Cheerios, has a lower sugar content, and contains more dietary fiber.

Cheerios have been shown to have some health benefits, but oatmeal wins again in this battle!

Cheerios can be bad for you if they’re eaten every day because of the high amount of sugar that contributes to weight gain and insulin spikes.

Both kinds of cereal contain some vitamins and minerals, but oatmeal contains much higher amounts than Cheerios do!

Oats are a low-fat food that can prevent weight gain and promote healthy blood sugar levels. Cheerios are not. Oats also have fewer calories, less sodium, and less sugar than Cheerios do.

Cheerios will probably continue to be the favorite cereal for many people. This is because it’s a very sweet and satisfying breakfast food that can fill you up and give you energy. Oats can also do this, but they’re not as sweet as Cheerios are.

Oatmeal continues to gain in popularity though, and it’s clear why. Oats have more dietary fiber, less sugar, and fat than Cheerios do.

For all these reasons and many others oatmeal wins in the battle of Cheerios vs oatmeal!

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