Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Adult Rated Cereal

Have you looked at the cereal aisle in your grocery store lately? It is huge. Absolutely humongous. And although there are many, many cereals to choose from, one of the most frequently asked questions I get when a friend or acquaintance learns that I work for NuVal is, "What about Kashi?"

Great question. I admit, I had a Kashi addiction circa 1996. I loved Good Friends. Loved it. It was life B.C. (Before Children). I was getting ready to be a bride, counted Weight Watchers Points obsessively, only had my own health and nutrition to worry about, had time and stamina for twice-daily workouts. When Weight Watchers added fiber to its little Points system slide rule (B.C. indeed!), I found that I could eat a really big bowl of Good Friends for breakfast. And I did - like, every day. My fiance (now dear husband) had many affectionate terms for the different Kashi cereal products, including Sticks, Twigs, and my all-time favorite, Compost. As life got much busier with two small children, I no longer had time for all that crunching, and we moved on to smaller bowls of something else.

So, when I'm asked about Kashi, my answer is that there are some Kashi cereal products that score really well and some that do not. Check out these scores:

Kashi 7 Whole Grain Cereal Puffs 91

Kashi GoLean High Protein and High Fiber Cereal 47

Kashi Go Lean Crunch 33

Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes 29

Kashi Good Friends 26

Kashi Strawberry Fields 11

Good or bad? Well the median NuVal score for cereal is 25 and scores range from 4 - 100. Cheerios get a 34. You think you're doing a really healthy thing by eating Kashi Go Lean Crunch, but you could be just as healthy eating Cheerios.

If you didn't know the NuVal scores, you might think you're doing a really healthy thing by eating Kashi Strawberry Fields, which scores an 11. Just know you're in the Capn' Crunch range. It gets a 10.

My DH and I have a marathoner friend who has become a huge fan of NuVal and is living it. He's a great athlete who posts Lance-Armstrong-like times, including 3:02 in Boston this year, when he runs. He chooses the best scoring products in each category whenever he can. These days he's eating Post Shredded Wheat which scores a 91. He gets up really early to run and then chew through that.

As for what the adults in our household are crunching through these days: Kellogg's Special K Protein Plus which scores a 60. That is much higher than regular Special K, which scores a 20. And it goes down easy.

Yes, there are a lot of sticks, twigs, composts and cereals. And a lot more stories to post, including those about kids' cereals. Stay tuned.

For these and other cereal scores, check out http://www.nuval.com/Pages/ScoreCereal.aspx.

And check out this great interview with our own Dr. David Katz, the visionary behind the NuVal system, at http://bigthink.com/davidkatz/david-l-katz-a-food-system-for-dummies


  1. That is very shocking about the Go Lean and the Good Friends. That's a bummer but good to know. I'll have to try Kashi GoLean High Protein and High Fiber Cereal...

  2. Hah, When looking at the scoring system i found that Egg Beaters 100% Liquid Egg Whites are on the bottom on the score chain?

    They score lower that regular eggs, yet contain protein and no cholesterol.
    Very strange..

  3. Wow! I'd have never guessed Kashi would score so low on the NuVal scoring system. Great post and information, thank you!


  4. Thanks for this great information. My daughter loves Kashi. I'll have to see which ones we have.

  5. So interesting, I can sigh in relief because I never really liked the Kashi cereal and always felt guilty about it- like a good RD would just have to LOVE Kashi. Now I can eat my Cheerios with a clear conscience :)