There are two kinds of people in the world: those whose parents let them eat sugary cereals growing up, and those for whom Loops were forbidden Froot. I am the latter. However, this restriction didn’t give me a bran-centric palate. Instead, well into adulthood, I covet sugar cereals more than ever, lusting over Lucky Charms and Cocoa Krispies and Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs with every grocery excursion. That affinity might end today. In recognition of National Cereal Day on Saturday, CNN ranked popular cereals from least to most sugar content. And honestly, it’s a shocker that any of us are still here.
The list ranks 13 cereals from the ’90s/’00s; according to the Child and Adult Care Program, if any cereal has .21 grams of sugar or less per dry ounce, it’s officially Healthy. Only two cereals evaluated made that cut: Cheerios (.04 grams) and Rice Krispies (.1 grams). After that, well, yikes. Here are the rest, with some ties in there:
11. Cinnamon Toast Crunch (.29 grams)
8. Froot Loops, Reese’s Puffs, Trix (.31 grams)
4. Apple Jacks, Cocoa Puffs, Cookie Crisp, Fruity Pebbles (.33 grams)
3. Frosted Flakes (.36 grams)
2. Lucky Charms (.37 grams)
1. Cap’n Crunch (.45 grams)
That’s right, Cap’n Crunch has more than double the suggested sugar intake per dry ounce. It’s wild that Cinnamon Toast Crunch—so unabashedly smothered in sugar that its slogan was “The Taste You Can See!”—is relatively healthy in the realm of unhealthy cereals. Also, the fact that there are cereals worse for you than Cookie Crisp, which is literally just small cookies, is terrifying. And while the tiny, milk-soaked marshmallows of Lucky Charms are totally worth the glucose bomb, I can’t say the same for the taste of Cap’n Crunch. (Also, it’s worth noting that this list only looks at the basic version of each cereal, in case you’re wondering how Birthday Confetti Frosted Flakes didn’t make the cut.)
Moral of the story here: don’t kid yourself, this stuff is basically dessert.