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Your ‘protein’ cereal may not be as healthy as you think it is

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Photo: Pixabay/Ponce_Photography

Sure, food manufacturers sometimes try to convince you to buy things they say are healthier than they really are. But a group of consumers says General Mills has taken it too far with Cheerios Protein—and its whopping 17 grams of added sugar. And a judge agrees with them.

Last week a U.S. District judge ruled they may file class action lawsuit, which claims General Mills misled consumers to believe that Cheerios Protein is a high-protein alternative to regular Cheerios, Reuters reports. And the judge left intact the suit’s claim that the “misbranded” packaging would fool reasonable shoppers.

What’s the conflict all about? General Mills launched Cheerios Protein last year, capitalizing on the buzzy nutrient. And though the cereal does pack more protein than original Cheerios, it also has 17 times more sugar per serving. Um yikes.

Ready for a side by side comparison? Regular Cheerios has 3 grams of protein per serving and 1 gram of sugar. Cheerios Protein has 7 grams of protein her serving and 17 grams of sugar per serving. Even shadier: the serving sizes aren’t the same. The Cheerios Protein serving is double the size as the original cereal’s—so of course it had more protein. So really, Cheerios Protein only has an additional one gram of protein per serving than regular old Cheerios.

So yeah, it’s safe to say it’s not worth it. And it sounds like the new FDA rules for calling out sugar amounts on food labels can’t go into effect soon enough.

So how can you get your protein in the a.m. without eating eggs every day? All 10 of the breakfasts on this list are high in protein (and low in sugar). And FYI, Cheerios Protein isn’t the only “healthy” breakfast that, well, isn’t.