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Low Sodium Cereal

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Are you looking for a low sodium cereal that is satisfying, quick and easy? Searching for a breakfast full of nutrition to give you energy for the day? Maybe you just need something to eat in order to take your morning medications or a little something before you head out the door.

Then cereal may be a great option for you! But you may be wondering what is the best low sodium cereal. 

Table of Contents

Who Needs Low Sodium Cereal?

Eating too much sodium in the diet increases blood pressure, causes fluid retention, and increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. 

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, the average American consumes 3,393mg of sodium per day. 

Consuming too much sodium in your diet increases your blood pressure and causes fluid to accumulate in the body which results in swelling. 

A low sodium diet has less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. The American Heart Association recommends even lower for those that are at risk for other complications to 1,500 mg per day especially for those that have high blood pressure.

How to Find Sodium on the Food Label?

It is important to know what to look for on the food label to help you decide if a particular cereal is low in sodium. Sodium is required to be listed on the food label.

Sodium

A low sodium food item will have 140 mg of sodium in one serving. Many quick cooking/instant flavored cereals will be higher in sodium than cereals that do not have any flavors added. This is particularly important with hot cereals

A low sodium meal will have 500-700 mg of sodium total if we are aiming for no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day and are eating 3 meals a day. 

This leaves room for 1-2 low sodium snacks ranging from 150-200 mg.

Sodium on Cereal Food Label

Other Things To Look For On The Food Label

Serving Size

Serving size is important because it determines how much nutrients you will consume in that particular portion. If you have more than the suggested serving size, then you will have more of the listed nutrients, including sodium, provided on the food label. 

Serving sizes for cereal can vary greatly depending on the type of cereal and if it needs to be cooked or ready to eat. 

I recommend measuring out the suggested serving size a couple of times in the same bowl. Then eventually you will be able to eye-ball it and have an idea what the serving size actually looks like in your cereal bowl. 

You may need to go back and measure again after a while to check and make sure you are in the serving size ball park. 

Fiber

Most Americans do not consume enough fiber.(1) Fiber helps feed the good bacteria in the gut, helps with gut transit time, and keeps you feeling full and satisfied after eating a meal. 

For men the recommendation is 38 grams per day and for women the recommendation is 25 grams per day. If you are looking for the best cereal for kidney disease, you want to choose one that has at least 2 grams or more of fiber per serving. 

Sugar

Many cereals are loaded with sugar. It’s important to make note of how much sugar is added to a food item. Although sugar makes foods taste good, added sugar doesn’t provide nutrients, only extra unwanted calories. If you have diabetes, it’s important to limit sugar as best you can to avoid spikes in your blood sugar. 

When looking at the label you will see the total sugars and below that, the added sugar. You want to make sure the added sugar is as low as possible, less than 12 grams per serving. 

What types of cereal are low in sodium?

Hot Cereal

Be sure that the hot cereal you choose is unflavored as the flavored hot cereals tend to be higher in sodium content.

  • Grits
  • Oatmeal
  • Cream of wheat
  • Quinoa

Cold Cereal

  • Wheat 
  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Oats
  • Bran

Sodium in Milk

You can’t forget the milk especially when adding it to cold cereal. With hot cereal, water will do for cooking. But keep in mind that milk also has sodium!

Generally, milk has about 140 mg of sodium per 1 cup serving. In addition, milk has naturally occurring potassium and phosphorus. Plant milks are also a great option but be sure to check the list of ingredients to avoid added phosphorus. 

I like Silk Almond milk which doesn’t have any added phosphorus and has 130 mg of sodium per serving. Be sure to check the food label for any added potassium or phosphorus if you need to monitor this in your diet as well. This will vary depending on the brand and type of milk. Protein content is another thing that will vary depending on the type of milk.

Best Low Sodium Cereal

Keeping in mind that a low sodium meal will be between 500-700 mg, we will use the following criteria to determine the best low sodium cereal. This will also give us room to add milk which will also contains sodium.

Low Sodium Cereal Criteria

Sodium: 250mg or less, Fiber: 2 grams or more, Added sugars: 12 grams or less 

Low Sodium Hot Cereal

  • Unflavored Oats (old fashioned, steel cut, quick cooking)
  • Unflavored Grits
  • Bob’s Red Mill Oat Bran
  • Nature’s Path Organic Instant Oatmeal (Blueberry Cinnamon Flax and Brown Sugar Maple)
  • Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Hot Cereal

Low Sodium Cold Cereal

  • Cascadian Farms Organic Hearty Morning Fiber
  • Total with Whole Grain Flakes
  • Kashi (Strawberry Fields, Island Vanilla, Cinnamon Harvest, Honey Toasted, Warm Cinnamon)
  • Honey Bunches of Oats
  • Kix
  • Oatmeal Squares
  • Fiber One
  • Nature’s Path Organic Heritage Flakes
  • Wheaties
  • Kellogg’s (Red Berries, Fruit and Yogurt, Vanilla Almond)

I hope these will give you plenty of options to choose from so you can feel confident in choosing the best cereal for your kidney health!

Need a quick and easy breakfast? Check out this yummy Strawberry Peanut Oatmeal Bowl recipe.