Can Diabetics Eat Honey Nut Cheerios – Are There Added Sugar?

When you are in a morning rush or looking for a quick afternoon snack, it’s the easiest to eat a bowl of cereals, right?

But many brands of breakfast cereals are loaded with fast-digesting carbohydrates, sugar, etc. They have a high glycemic index and will raise your blood sugar level rapidly. If you are diabetic, that can be dangerous.

And then you discovered cereals with honey which should be a version ideal for diabetics. But is it really? So, can diabetics eat Honey Nut Cheerios? Let’s find out!

What Exactly Is Honey Nut Cheerios?

Cheerios is a brand of cereal manufactured by General Mills located in the United States. Honey Nut Cheerios is a variation of Cheerios breakfast cereal and they are the best-selling cereal in the USA.

Now, many brands produce similar cereals, so you can find them anywhere.

honey nut product

Cheerios contain many important nutrients and they are primarily made from whole grain oats. But there are many other ingredients contained in that cereals. Let’s check them to see if they are good for diabetics.

Honey Nut Cheerios Ingredients

One cup (37 g) without milk contains:

  • Calories – 140
  • Fat – 2 grams
  • Carbs – 30 grams
  • Fiber – 4 grams
  • Sugar – 12 grams
  • Protein – 3 grams
  • Calcium – 10% of the DV
  • Iron – 20% of the DV
  • Zinc – 20% of the DV
  • Vitamin A – 10% of the DV
  • Vitamin C – 10% of the DV
  • Vitamin D – 10% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12 – 20% of the DV

As you can see, Cheerios are very low in calories and lack protein and fat. Meaning, that they don’t provide a balanced meal on their own.

Also, there are several varieties of Cheerios – plain, honey nut, chocolate, apple cinnamon, frosted, multigrain, and ancient grains. Honey Nut cereals are sweetened with sugar and honey, plus almond flavor.

bowl with honey nut

So, Can Diabetics Eat Them?

Probably, you’ve noticed that the Honey Nut variant contains added sugar. If you are trying to reduce your sugar intake, it’s best to opt for the plain variety.

They’re very low in protein (which is a crucial part of a healthy diet) and this is processed food (they are packed with unhealthy ingredients like corn syrup and preservatives), which isn’t good for diabetics.

Some research shows that eating Honey Nut Cheerios resulted in a much larger blood sugar and insulin response. Cheerios are processed grain products, high in added sugar, making them not the best idea for diabetics.

Are They Healthy?

On the cheerios package, you can find that they “can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease“. These cheerios are indeed low in saturated fat. And that’s good for everybody’s health including diabetics.

However, because of the high amount of sugar, all these benefits are greatly reduced. That sugar content will spike your blood sugar level and increase cholesterol levels. In the video below, you can more about the sugar content in these cereals.

What Will Happen If Diabetics Eat Them?

If you start your day with Honey Nut Cheerios, that kind of breakfast will increase your blood sugar and insulin levels because of added sugar. This will complicate your diabetes condition.

After a few hours, your blood sugar levels will drop, and you will become hungry again. If you don’t grab anything when your blood sugar level is low, you can experience diabetic hypoglycemia. It is very uncomfortable and can be frightening. You may even lose your consciousness.

eating honey nut cereal

If you grab another snack or high-carb meal, this will lead to a vicious cycle, where you’ll start overeating which will result in obesity. Obesity will complicate your diabetes condition and increase the risk of heart disease. That doesn’t sound good, right?

Can a Type 1 or 2 Diabetic Still Eat Honey Nut Cheerios?

Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 and type 2. No matter what type of diabetes you have, too much sugar in your blood can cause some serious health issues (heart disease, vision loss, kidney disease).


As we mentioned above, these cereals increase blood sugar levels, so they aren’t a good choice for your diet no matter about type diabetic. Always check how much sugar is in the cereal box (look for less than 6 grams of sugar per serving).

What Cheerios Are Good For Diabetics?

There are different types of Cheerios, and there are some that are harmless for diabetics. Plain cheerios are the best choice for them. You should stick with the whole grain, the plain-flavored version that won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar. Choose multi-grain cheerios that contain five different whole grains.

What Else To Eat Instead Of Honey Nut Cheerios?

If you have diabetes, one of your aims while choosing either a snack or meal is to maintain a healthy blood glucose level.

healthy woman

Instead of a morning bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, try some other snack ideas that will provide you with important nutrients and keep you fueled.

  • Bowl of rolled oats topped with berries
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Yogurt with berries
  • Handful of almonds
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Avocado
  • Sliced apples with peanut butter
  • Beef sticks
  • Cottage cheese
  • Chia seed pudding

There are plenty of healthy snacks you can choose from if you have diabetes. Choose food that is high in protein, fiber and healthy fats. This kind of food will maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

To Wrap It Up

Although occasionally enjoying Honey Nut Cheerios won’t cause some health issues, opting for the plain variety is your best bet to keep your sugar intake at the normal level and your condition under control.

Ivana is always desirable for adventures so she was working in restaurants on the Croatian coast, participated in Caffe barista tournaments, led a gardening business, and more. She is a healthy food enthusiast, prefers vegetarianism, and practices yoga. In her free time, she likes to study ancient Buddhist scriptures as well as psychology.