What happens if you take a healthy, whole-grain cereal, and then you add a bunch of sugar to it? Well, of course—you get Frosted Mini-Wheats! This cereal is basically a frosted version of shredded wheat, and today, we’re going to answer: Is it healthy?
Frosted Mini-Wheats are made with healthy whole-grain wheat, which provides a great 6g of fiber per serving. However, this cereal also has 12g of added sugar per serving, which is six times as much as Cheerios. Because of the added sugar, Frosted Mini-Wheats are not the healthiest option.
Below, I’ll compare the sugar and fiber content of Frosted Mini-Wheats to other popular cereals, and I’ll answer whether it’s a good choice for weight loss. Then I’ll do extended comparisons with Cheerios and Raisin Bran, to show which is healthiest!
Are Frosted Mini-Wheats Good for You?
Here are the 8 questions I’ll be answering about Frosted Mini-Wheats nutrition. Click any of them to skip ahead to that section—or just keep scrolling to read them all:
- What Are the Ingredients in Frosted Mini-Wheats?
- Do Frosted Mini-Wheats Have Added Sugar?
- Are Frosted Mini-Wheats a Good Source of Fiber?
- Do Frosted Mini-Wheats Have Protein?
- Are Frosted Mini-Wheats Processed?
- Will Frosted Mini-Wheats Help You Lose Weight?
- Are Frosted Mini-Wheats Healthier Than Cheerios?
- Are Frosted Mini-Wheats Healthier Than Raisin Bran?
1. What Are the Ingredients in Frosted Mini-Wheats?
Let’s start by discussing what Frosted Mini-Wheats are actually made of. I’ll share my analysis below:
Frosted Mini-Wheats Ingredients: Whole grain wheat, sugar, contains 2% or less of brown rice syrup, gelatin, BHT for freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Reduced iron, folic acid.
Here’s what I notice from these ingredients:
- Frosted Mini-Wheats have whole grain wheat. Whole grains provide fiber, which has many health benefits. It also helps keep you full longer than refined grains.
- Frosted Mini-Wheats have added sugar. Actually, they have “sugar” and a little bit of “brown rice syrup,” which is also basically sugar. Together, it adds up to 12 grams of sugar per serving! More on how this sugar content compares to other cereal brands below.
- Frosted Mini-Wheats have added iron and folic acid. Actually one serving has 100% of the “daily value” of these nutrients. So, that’s a little bonus.
- Frosted Mini-Wheats are not strictly vegan. They contain gelatin, which is made from animal fat. Kelloggs has stated that, in the United States, the gelatin in Frosted Mini-Wheats is beef-derived (not pork-derived).
Overall, it’s great that Frosted Mini-Wheats have real whole wheat. But all the added sugar is a bit concerning to me. In the next section, let’s take a closer look at the sugar content of this cereal.
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2. Do Frosted Mini-Wheats Have Added Sugar?
Frosted Mini-Wheats have quite a lot of added sugar, with 12 grams per serving (25 biscuits or 60g). That is the same amount of sugar in a serving of Frosted Flakes or Froot Loops. It’s about six times the sugar found in a serving of Cheerios.
The frosting on these Mini-Wheats is certainly delicious—but it comes at a cost. The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 25g of sugar per day for women and 36g per day for men.
But keep in mind: No added sugar is needed for human health. Really, the healthiest diet would likely just have natural sugar from fruit and whole foods. So for me personally, any amount of “added sugar” is a negative.
Here’s a table comparing the sugar content of many popular cereals, including Frosted Mini-Wheats (bolded):
|Cereal||Serving Size||Total Sugars||Added Sugar|
|Cheerios||1 1/2 cup (39g)||2g||2g|
|Corn Flakes||1 1/2 cup (42g)||4g||4g|
|Froot Loops||1 1/3 cup (39g)||12g||12g|
|Frosted Flakes||1 cup (37g)||12g||12g|
|Frosted Mini-Wheats||25 biscuits (60g)||12g||12g|
|Grape Nuts||1/2 cup (58g)||5g||0g|
|Multi-Grain Cheerios||1 1/3 cup (39g)||8g||8g|
|Raisin Bran||1 cup (59g)||17g||9g|
|Rice Krispies||1 1/2 cup (40g)||4g||4g|
|Shredded Wheat||1 1/3 cup (60g)||0g||0g|
|Special K||1 1/4 cup (39g)||5g||4g|
As you can see, Frosted Mini-Wheats are not quite the highest-sugar cereal here. Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, and Raisin Bran all have more total sugar by mass.
But you can also see, there are cereals with much lower sugar, if that’s a priority of yours. (Meanwhile, if you’d like a “lower sugar” version of Mini-Wheats, you could always mix your Frosted Mini-Wheats in with some plain Shredded Wheat!)
3. Are Frosted Mini-Wheats a Good Source of Fiber?
Frosted Mini-Wheats are high in fiber, with 6 grams of fiber per serving (60g), or 10 grams of fiber per 100g. This is about the same fiber content as Cheerios or Weetabix (per 100g). It is more than four times the fiber in Corn Flakes, and ten times the fiber in Rice Krispies.
Here is a table showing exactly how Frosted Mini-Wheats compare to several other popular cereals for fiber content:
|Cereal||Fiber per 100g|
As you can see, Frosted Mini-Wheats are by no means the highest-fiber cereal… But it’s a relatively high-fiber choice, thanks to being made with whole grain wheat.
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4. Do Frosted Mini-Wheats Have Protein?
Frosted Mini-Wheats have 5 grams of protein per serving (60g or 25 biscuits). However, if you’re eating Frosted Mini-Wheats with milk of some sort, it could have 11 grams or more of protein per serving. This is moderate protein content.
None of the ingredients in Mini-Wheats are super high in protein, but there’s still a bit of protein from the wheat. About 10% of Frosted Mini-Wheats’ calories come from protein.
Obviously, your selection of milk can impact how much protein is in your cereal, too. If you’re choosing a plant-based milk, then soy milk or pea milk will likely have the most. Almond milk and rice milk are usually low in protein.
As someone who does a bit of bodybuilding and who loves cereal, I have a bonus cereal protein tip. Here it is: Mix protein powder into your milk before you pour it on your cereal. This simple change can turn cereal into a decently high-protein meal—while keeping it easy, quick, and delicious.
5. Are Frosted Mini-Wheats Processed?
Frosted Mini-Wheats contain both whole wheat and processed sugar. In each serving, most of the carbs come from whole grains, but about 20% or 25% of the carbs come from added sugar. Although this cereal is high in fiber, Frosted Mini-Wheats are still processed food.
Frosted Mini-Wheats are one of the many food products today that contain both healthy and unhealthy ingredients. Despite the healthy aspects that come from the whole wheat, it is still a processed food that contains refined sugar.
6. Will Frosted Mini-Wheats Help You Lose Weight?
Frosted Mini-Wheats are an okay food to include in a weight-loss diet, but they’re not completely ideal. Compared to other cereals, they have a lot of fiber to help fill you up—but they also have empty calories, with 12g of added sugar per serving.
By itself, a few servings of Frosted Mini-Wheats will not make or break your weight loss diet. Weight loss depends on your overall diet and lifestyle.
Choosing whole grain foods like Frosted Mini-Wheats can help you feel satisfied on fewer calories, making it easier to lose weight. But ideally, you’d also focus on lower-sugar options.
For that reason, an even better weight-loss cereal is plain shredded wheat—without frosting. Eating that cereal, you’d likely feel fuller for longer, on fewer calories. If it’s too bland, you can add some fruit or other sources of healthy sweetness (like fruit).
You can also aid your weight loss journey with your choice of milk. Did you know that unsweetened almond milk is only about 30 calories per cup? That’s only ~25% of the calories of 2% cow’s milk!
In the end, as long as you’re burning more calories than you’re eating each day/week overall, you should be able to lose weight—whether those calories include Frosted Mini-Wheats or not. But sure, this cereal could fit into a smart weight-loss plan.
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7. Are Frosted Mini-Wheats Healthier Than Cheerios?
Cheerios would generally be considered healthier than Frosted Mini-Wheats due to the sugar content. Frosted Mini-Wheats have 12g of sugar per serving, while Cheerios only have 2g per serving. However, Cheerios do have more sodium than Frosted Mini-Wheats.
Due to the different serving sizes, it can be a little tricky to compare Mini-Wheats and Cheerios side by side. But let’s do our best to assess which is the healthier cereal:
- Fiber: ~Tie. Both of these cereals are above-average when it comes to fiber, as they are both made with whole grains. Mini-Wheats have more fiber per serving, but if you look at fiber per 100g of cereal, they’re about equal.
- Sugar: Cheerios Win. This is one of the biggest nutritional differences between Frosted Mini-Wheats and Cheerios. Cheerios are relatively low-sugar, with just 2g of sugar per serving. Meanwhile, Mini-Wheats have 12g, which is pretty high.
- Sodium: Frosted Mini-Wheats Win. Frosted Mini-Wheats are very low in sodium, with only 10mg per serving. Cheerios have a higher amount for cereal, with 190mg per serving. If you’re on a low-sodium diet, that might tip the balance toward Mini-Wheats.
Both cereals have relatively simple ingredients. If you’re vegan or gluten-free, then Mini-Wheats are a no-go, and Cheerios is the default winner for you. But otherwise, the ingredients are basically fine for either of these cereals.
Again, the most important difference is probably the sugar content, making Cheerios healthier. But if you’re on a very low-sodium diet, you may want to consider the higher sodium content of Cheerios.
8. Are Frosted Mini-Wheats Healthier Than Raisin Bran?
Now let’s compare Mini-Wheats with Raisin Bran. This comparison is a little trickier:
- Fiber: ~Tie. Both of these cereals are great when it comes to fiber. Raisin Bran actually has slightly more fiber per serving, but it’s close (7g vs 6g), so we’ll call it a tie.
- Sugar: It’s Complicated. Raisin Bran has more total sugar than Frosted Mini-Wheats (17g vs 12g)—but around half of the sugar in Raisin Bran is actually natural sugar from raisins. So, which is worse? Honestly, it’s up to you. Both are too high in sugar for me.
- Sodium: Frosted Mini-Wheats Win. Again, Frosted Mini-Wheats are very low in sodium, with only 10mg per serving. Raisin Bran has 200mg per serving, so about 20x as much.
Again, both cereals have relatively simple ingredients—both are made with whole wheat. Raisin Bran is a vegan option, but neither cereal is gluten-free.
It’s really hard to say which of these cereals is healthier. If you have blood-sugar issues, you should probably avoid both—but especially, I could see Raisin Bran giving you trouble. The “total sugar” is quite high at 17g per serving.
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