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You Ask, I Answer: Cereal

I have a cereal question for you.

I’m thinking about switching from Cheerios to Kashi Heart to Heart, but am wondering what’s “best.”

Basically, I can eat close to twice the amount of Cheerios for the same amount of calories in Heart to Heart.

I understand the fiber amount is different, but Heart to Heart also has more sugar.

If I’m doubling the serving of fiber in cheerios, that’s pretty darn close to the single serving of Heart to Heart, right?

I’m thinking in terms of volume here… getting more bang for my buck…does this make sense? So what’s the dealbreaker here?

Do you think it boils down to personal preference or is there an actual more healthful choice in this situation?

– Ali
Hillsboro, OR

Your question demonstrates why food label comparisons are not always as equal as we might think.

If you look at the label on a box of Cheerios, you will read that one serving provides 75 calories, whereas one serving of Kashi Heart to Heart contains 110 calories.

“Easy,” you might think. “The Cheerios are way lower in calories than Heart to Heart.”

Not so fast.

A serving of Cheerios (3/4 of a cup) weigh 0.7 ounces, whereas a serving of Kashi Heart to Heart (also ¾ of a cup) register as 1.2 ounces on the scale.

In other words, Heart to Heart is a denser cereal than Cheerios.

So, to truly determine how they compare, we need to look at what happens on an ounce by ounce basis.

Do that, and the results are quite different.

An ounce of Cheerios (1 cup) provides 100 calories, 2 grams of fat, 190 milligrams of sodium, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, 100 milligrams of calcium (that’s 10 percent of a day’s worth before you pour any milk!), and 170 milligrams of potassium.

An ounce of Kashi Heart to Heart (approximately 3/5 of a cup) clocks in at 95 calories, 1.3 grams of fat, 77 milligrams of sodium, 4.3 grams of fiber, 4.3 grams of sugar, 0 milligrams of calcium, and 86.1 milligrams of potassium.

So, yes, you can eat “twice the amount” of Cheerios in terms of cups (a cup and a half of Cheerios adds up to 150 calories, while that same amount of Kashi Heart to Heart clocks in at 220 calories), but ounce by ounce, the difference is minimal.

Bottom line: if you like the taste of Cheerios, you’re not missing out on anything by sticking with them.


One Comment

  1. ali said on March 14th, 2008

    thanks! you rock!

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