Are Grape Nuts Vegan?

Grape Nuts cereal has a special place in my heart. It’s such an unusual cereal. I remember the first time I had it, it felt like I was chewing rocks. Over time, I grew to love it. But could I keep eating it as a vegan? Are Grape Nuts vegan?

Grape Nuts cereal is considered vegan. It contains no animal products whatsoever. Grape Nuts Flakes, however, contain sugar and vitamin D3, which some vegans avoid.

Below, I’ll address all the specific ingredients of concern in Grape Nuts and Grape Nuts Flakes. Do you need to worried about “malted barley flour” or “dried yeast”? And what’s wrong with sugar and vitamin D3?

What Are Grape Nuts Made Out Of?

Grape Nuts are made primarily of whole grain wheat flour and malted barley flour.

Some people worry about ingredients containing the word “malted,” as they know that “malted milkshakes” are not vegan. But as I’ve covered in another post, malted barley is perfectly fine, just like most “malt” ingredients.

Other people get confused about whether wheat flour is vegan due to gluten. But veganism says nothing about avoiding gluten. The gluten-free craze is unrelated to being vegan.

Let’s look at the other ingredients to see if there are any other issues:

Grape Nuts Ingredients: “Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Salt, Dried Yeast. Vitamins & Minerals: Reduced Iron, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Zinc Oxide (Source Of Zinc), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid.” (source)

Some people may wonder about “Dried Yeast” since yeast is a living organism. However, it’s important to note that yeast is not an animal. Yeast is a fungus.

So really, the question of whether vegans eat yeast is similar to whether vegans eat mushrooms, which I have a whole separate post about.

Looking at the vitamins and minerals, I can tell you there are no other questionable ingredients in Grape Nuts cereal. Grape Nuts are easy to confirm as vegan.

Are Grape Nuts Flakes Vegan?

If original Grape Nuts cereal is too dense and crunchy for you, you might prefer Grape Nuts Flakes. But are they vegan?

Let’s look at what Grape Nuts Flakes are made out of. I’ve bolded in red the only two really questionable ingredients from a vegan perspective:

Grape Nuts Flakes Ingredients: “Whole Grain Wheat, Wheat Flour, Sugar, Malted Barley Flour, Canola Oil, Salt. Vitamins & Minerals: Reduced Iron, Zinc Oxide, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin A Palmitate, Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.” (source)

So, what’s the deal with these two ingredients?

  • Sugar: Sugar is often debated amongst vegans. Why is that? Well, non-organic cane sugar is often filtered with animal bone char to white it. So some vegans avoid it, but others don’t. (Personally, I don’t worry about avoiding sugar from a vegan standpoint.)
  • Vitamin D3: Vitamin D3 is typically taken from lanolin, which is a grease taken from sheep’s wool. This makes fortified vitamin D3 not vegan. However, as you can see, it is literally the last ingredient listed. Only a tiny amount is used. Therefore, many vegans let it slide. I wrote more about why I don’t worry about vitamin D3 here.

As you can see, whether you consider Grape Nuts Flakes vegan depends on your view of sugar and vitamin D. The strictest vegans would consider it non-vegan for these reasons. However, I and probably most vegans would say that Grape Nuts Flakes are vegan enough.

Curious about other cereals as a vegan? Check out my posts about:

Two More Recommendations for Your Plant-Based Journey

1. This is the best free video training I’ve found on plant-based nutrition. You’ll learn how to reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and obesity—all with plant-based food. Watch the free “Food for Health Masterclass” here.

2. This is the best vegan multivitamin I’ve found in my 14 years of being vegan. It has vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3—and nothing else. Translation: It only has the nutrients vegans are actually low in. Read my full review of Future Kind’s multivitamin here (with 10% discount).