Cereal has gotten a bad rap, and for the most part, for good reason. The typical American cereal is sugar-heavy and nutrient-light, a combination that may give you an initial boost of energy but will be followed by a crash, accompanied by an empty stomach.
And I'm not just talking about the obvious sweet cereals like Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms. Seemingly healthy alternatives can have a high-glycemic index, which can lead to diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, and a host of other health issues.
A good breakfast, and therefore a good breakfast cereal, should contain a good balance of complex carbs from whole grains, protein, fiber, and healthy fat. This combination will give your brain the morning boost it needs, give your body energy to get you going, and keep you full and satisfied without resulting in a midmorning crash. Plus, from personal experience, if I start off the morning with a sweet breakfast, my sugar cravings for the rest of the day go through the roof.
For these reasons, when I'm eating cereal for breakfast, I either go for oatmeal (OK, that's not exactly a cereal but it's close)—and not the pre-flavored kind that are full of sugar—or some type of granola.
You have to be careful with granolas as well because many of them are full of sugar. But there are a few that are good and not too sweet. Below are my favorite granolas and cereals to munch on with some dairy-free milk or coconut yogurt. All of them also happen to be gluten-free and vegan (except No. 4, which contains honey).