New Jersey Bariatric Center
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Healthy or Not: Special K Cereal

By NJBC Registered Dietitians | January 18, 2022


Kellogg’s Special K Protein is one of the cereals that patients ask about when looking for healthy options. Although this cereal is higher in protein than the average cereal, which is good to help maintain body mass, it is still fairly high in carbohydrates.

The Upside

Special K Protein Cereal has a few flavors that include Honey Almond Ancient Grain, Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crunch, and the standard Special K flavor. Each of these cereals contain at least 9 grams of protein, with the Cinnamon Brown Sugar and Honey Almond containing 15 grams. This is much higher than their standard cereal, which contains around 3 grams. As a bariatric patient, you should be aiming to consume at least 20 grams of protein at breakfast to meet your goal of 60-80 grams of protein per day. So yes, these protein cereals can help you reach that goal, especially if you have them with cow’s milk, and maybe add nuts or seeds to the bowl for additional protein.

The Downside

The downside is these cereals are high in carbohydrates, providing up to 39 grams of carbohydrates per serving.  This is more than double the amount of carbohydrates you are looking to have from a serving of food. When you’re looking at the label of foods like cereal, it is suggested to find products with under 15 grams of total carbohydrates, and little to no added sugar.

An Alternative

A great alternative cereal that is lower in carbohydrates with no added sugar and high in protein is the Magic Spoon Cereal. To compare, these cereals provide 13 grams of protein, and between 10-15 grams of carbohydrates. Check out the comparison chart below to see how it stacks up against the Special K Protein. They come in various flavors such as peanut butter, fruity, cocoa, cookies and cream.

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