No Cereals Are Safe For Us?

I love cereal but I have never found one that does not raise my blood sugar very high. I have to take too much insulin to compensate and doing that frequently will lead to weight gain. The more insulin I take, the more weight I gain.

A low glycemic value is almost nonexistant among cereals. Here is the site from you can get the glycemic value of most cereals.


I found that Glucerna Crunchy Flakes and Almonds with soy milk was a good option for me. Hope this helps!

I find that the regular Kashi GoLean cereal (not the crunch!) is pretty good; also, oat bran (I get Trader Joe’s, which “cooks up” with just boiling water, and I usually add in 1Tbsp ground flax seed).

I found that low-sugar cereals, like plain old Cheerios, doesn’t raise my blood sugar very much. of course, I don’t tend to check that soon after I eat so I never really know what my post-prandials are. I’m almost always back down by the next meal, so who knows? But I do know that eating a cup of cereal that only has 20 g of carbs (which is like eating one piece of bread) is better than a lot of the heavier cereals, which can have 40 g for one cup. Just sprinkle on a little Splenda.

Cheerios are the worst for me… I spike to about 20mmol/l (360mg/dl) after 2 hours and then half an hour later I’m down to about 3mmol/l (54mg/dl). Makes me feel crap for the rest of the day. Most cereals spike me pretty high 2 hours later but not quite as bad as that. Shame, I love cheerios.

There’s now a bunch or cereals that aren’t to terrible on the carb count, Glucerna makes some, South beach now has cereals and Fiber one (they’re a little higher on the carb count but the amount of fiber makes up for it).

I keep hearing about steel cut oats. Have you tried them? Do they taste like oatmeal? No spike after eating them? I have no idea where to find them. I an ordinary supermarket? Thanks!


Steel cut oats are oats’ equivalent of cracked wheat. You usually need to get them from a health food store, but I think Old Wessex brand may have a version that would be available in gourmet/specialty grocery stores.

Steel cut oats are more of a whole grain but just as high in carbs. I can’t eat them, but I can eat sprouted whole oats, barley, rye, etc.

Some people are better able to handle whole grains, or cracked/steel-cut grains (one or two passes through the seed coat), than flours, because it’s harder to get to the “meat” of the cotyledon (dang, regression through high school biology!) through the bran. The sprouted grains may be lower in carbs because the germ has used the starch in the cotyledon to feed its growth.

Hi Richard,
Depending on what your carb goal per meal is (mine is 50-60gr.) the dietician has recommended Kashi Go Lean. I love cereal too and grains and all that fibre is great for us!! I have found that oatmeal makes my bs climb.

Have you ever tried quinoa flakes? It is a bit like a good hot bowl of oatmeal:) I take one serving and add a whey protein ( vanilla flavored and a sprinkly of cinnamon, I really like the taste of cinn.! ) It’s pretty good; though I dont know the glycemic value of it. It doesnt mess with my numbers at all. I’ve also tried puffed whole wheat and puffed millet from Arrowroot with good success. ( the carb count for 1 cup was like around 11 carbs:) Very doable for me! I do know how frustrating cereals can be!
Take care:)

That sounds interesting, Meadow… What company puts out quinoa flakes?

Here’s a direct link to their site:)
I got it a WholeFoods Store. sigh…I’m out and need to find a way to make the trip 45 minutes away to buy some more:) An excuse??? I do really like it!
Oh and here is the Nutrition on it… I really dont know if 35 is a good glycemic number…

I don’t think cereals are unsafe. I do think finding that balance between serving size, insulin/carb ratio, basal rate, exercise etc. can be challenging!

I find steel cut oats work well, but part of the trick is to eat the oats with fat. I cook them in a slow cooker overnight. My recipe is:

One cup Steel-cut oats
4 cups water
1/2 cup half & half cream/milk
1 cup dried fruit (optional)

I add a dollop of yogurt to a serving in the morning. Leftovers are saved and nuked for another day’s breakfast.

I found that a serving size of oatmeal works best for me in the morning. Lately, I’ve only had to take my long lasting in the morning, and I find I end up going low a few hours later with just the oatmeal and milk.
Bran flakes and Cheerios are also ones that I’ve tried, just the serving size, and I seem to do ok with those too.
I think someone already said this a lot of it is finding that right balance of carb/insulin intake that works for you.

Serving size can certainly be an issue. One of the things that sprung to mind this morning is the question of whether you (any “you” reading this post!) have a linear or nonlinear glycemic response to a particular grain: that is to say, if you have exchanges of bread instead of one, will you run twice as high and come back down in the same amount of time, or the same upward jump and twice as long a fallback, or will the combination of degree of rise in blood glucose and time spent elevated be greater than twice that of one exchange? (In more technical terms, does the area under the elevation-time curve increase in proportions greater than 1:1 for one or more additional exchanges of a given reference food, eaten at the same time?)

The “reference food” on which to gauge a potential reaction to a particular breakfast cereal is likely to be the grain on which the cereal is based – a slice of bread or 1/3 cup cooked spaghetti equals 1 wheat exchange for a wheat-based cereal, a cup of unsalted, unbuttered popcorn as 1 corn exchange for a corn-based cereal, 1/3 cup of cooked, unsalted rice for a rice-based cereal, etc.

Note that the quantity of reference food one 15-carb-gram exchange. This is usually about 20 grams of uncooked grain or pasta, or ~40 g cooked. Note that the serving sizes listed on the packages are usually between 30 and 40 g carbohydrate – two to three starch units!

If you can normally tolerate a full package serving of pasta with tomato sauce, without meat, then you may be able to tolerate a full package serving of unsweetened wheat-based cereal (e.g., Shredded Wheat, Wheatena, or Cream of Wheat) with a half-cup of milk. If you can only tolerate that amount of grain product with meat, then you may need to eat the cereal alongside something like a serving of breakfast sausage or eggs – or have the protein as the main part of your meal, with a partial serving, like 1/4 cup of a puffed cereal, or 1/4 c cooked cereal, as a condiment or “dessert” to your breakfast.

Tmana:) I cannot eat processed bread; but I can eat sprouted whole grain bread!
yes, If I balance very carefully my protein with whatever carbs I eat, then I can enjoy the carb. sigh… I have to almost double or sometimes tripple my protein to enjoy certain carbacious yummies… like a dinner roll or processed bread in a sub. (just doesnot happen very often.)

I find that my bgls raise the same amount and fall the same speed to normal or near normal regardless of how many carbs I eat. I just carb count rather than do exchanges, and increase or decrease the insulin bolus to cover the carbs. What can make a difference is the amount of fat and/or protein in a meal, as a mixed meal can cause a slower release of sugar from the carbs. I use a dual-wave bolus, which covers lower gi foods and mixed meals more effectively.

For me, it’s not a case of how many carbs I can tolerate. I focus rather on ensuring regardless of the amount of carbs I eat that I cover those carbs with insulin or a combination of insulin and physical activity (ex-carbs as per John Walsh’s books).

That’s a linear response, (because?) you are adjusting the insulin linearly with the number of carbs and rising and falling the same degree in the same period of time.
Exchanges are serving sizes that work out to rough numbers of carbohydrate grams. (In the case of starches, 1 exchange is roughly equal to 15 g carb, 3 g protein, and 80 calories.) In theory, they should be used to ensure that one is getting a balanced diet and appropriate caloric intake. Of course, I’ve seen people “work the system” by exchanging out three five-gram veggie exchanges for one fifteen-gram starch exchange.

Some of us (particularly those not on insulin or who are insulin resistant) have a nonlinear response to specific types of carbohydrate, or to specific carbohydrate-bearing foods.

Someone with a nonlinear response to starches might be able to handle one slice of bread (15 g carb) OK, but remain elevated after two slices of bread (30 g carb) – however, if he had two fruit exchanges (e.g., a large banana, 30 g carb), he would fall back to normal within guidelines.

Someone with a nonlinear response to wheat might, again, remain elevated after two ounces (30 g carb) of whole wheat bread or 2/3 cup whole wheat spaghetti, but be able to handle 2/3 cup brown rice (or possibly even white rice) without incident.

And then there appear to be people who can spike and stay elevated on, say, 1 gram whole wheat berries but who could eat an entire box of raisins without incident (other than consuming way too many calories at one time!)…