Cheerios: When More Protein is Not Necessarily a Good Thing

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DALLAS — Cheerios cereal already has a good reputation when it comes to health. Yeah, it’s right there on the box, “can help lower cholesterol!”

So, when they came out with Cheerios Protein, you might have thought, “What could be better than a heart-healthy cereal with more protein?”

“Protein’s a good source of what your body needs, and Cheerios (cereal) is good, period,” Benjamin Breaux told NewsFix.

Not so good, if you ask the folks at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

They filed a class action lawsuit claiming “General Mills falsely and misleadingly markets Cheerios Protein… as a high protein, healthful alternative to Cheerios.”

So, why’s it misleading?

Look on the side of the Cheerios boxes:

  • Regular Cheerios have 3 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar.
  • Cheerios Protein has more than twice as much protein: 7 grams. And 16 or 17 grams of sugar for every serving–depending on which variety you get! (The serving sizes are somewhat larger than for regular Cheerios, too.)

General Mills is standing by the product for now, saying Cheerios Protein meets the FDA requirement for a good source of protein.

And apparently it’s a great source of sugar, too.