Sodium in One Bowl of Ready-to-Eat Cereal Versus a Snack Bag of Chips

Quote of the Day

If you don't know where you are going, you might not get there.

— Yogi Berra

Figure 1: My Reference Bag of Potato Chips.

Figure 1: My Reference Bag of Potato Chips.

I have decided to start watching my sodium intake and this means that I now track the sodium content of all the food I eat. I was floored when I saw that my breakfast bowl of multi-grain cereal with milk has 448 mg of sodium, which has more sodium than a bag of potato chips (Ruffles, 1.5 oz bag, Figure 1) with 270 milligrams (mg) of sodium − and my cereal choice is far from the worst out there. I need to find a low-sodium, breakfast alternative.

To make this comparison, I chose not to use the manufacturer's serving size for cereal because they use serving sizes (about 30 grams) that are smaller than I use. I looked at my serving sizes and saw that I usually eat about 50 grams of Multi-Grain Cheerios cereal, which has 345 mg of sodium. The skim milk I use has 103 mg, which makes my morning consumption of sodium 448 mg and nearly 20% of the US government's Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of 2300 mg.

Figure 2 shows the nutrition label from the bag of potato chips shown in Figure 1.

Figure 2: Nutrition Label for Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips (1.5 oz).

Figure 2: Nutrition Label for Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips (1.5 oz).

To understand how pervasive the sodium issue is with breakfast cereal, I went out to this web site  and downloaded a table of cereal nutrition data. I then sorted this data in order of sodium content (highest to lowest) and put the top 65 into Table 1. There are some very popular cereals in this list.

The original table gave the sodium content per 100 grams of cereal. I then added a column that scaled this data to 50 grams. I have not added the sodium content of the milk that normally is included with ready-to-eat breakfast cereal.

 Table 1: High Sodium Content, Ready-to-Eat, Breakfast Cereals.
Manufacturer Cereal Name Sodium Per 100 gm Sodium Per 50 gm
 Quaker Instant Grits Product--Ham 'N' Cheese 1930 965
 Ralston Corn Biscuits 1070 535
 Malt-O-Meal Corn Flakes 1020 510
 Quaker Toasted Oats/Oatmmm'S 953 477
 Kraft Toasties Corn Flakes 949 475
 General Mills Corn Chex 933 467
 Malt-O-Meal Honey Graham Cereal 909 455
 Kellogg Rice Krispies 907 454
 General Mills Golden Grahams 900 450
 General Mills Country Corn Flakes 900 450
 Malt-O-Meal Crispy Rice 899 450
 General Mills Rice Chex 889 445
 Quaker Crunchy Bran 872 436
 Quaker Mother'S Groovy Grahams 869 435
 Quaker Honey Crisp Corn Flakes 869 435
 Quaker Frosted Oats 864 432
 Ralston Tasteeos 853 427
 Kellogg Tiger Power 843 422
 General Mills Wheat Chex 840 420
 Quaker King Vitaman 837 419
 Malt-O-Meal Honey Nut Toasty O'S Cereal 836 418
 Quaker Honey Graham Bagged Cereal 825 413
 Malt-O-Meal Berry Colossal Crunch 823 412
 Ralston Crispy Hexagons 816 408
 Ralston Enriched Bran Flakes 813 407
 Quaker Mother'S Peanut Butter Bumpers Cereal 806 403
 Quaker Honey Nut Oats 805 403
 Quaker Crispy Corn Puffs Cereal 801 401
 General Mills Cinnamon Grahams 789 395
 Quaker Cinnamon Crunch Bagged Cereal 777 389
 Kellogg Crispix 764 382
 Ralston Crispy Rice 763 382
 Quaker Cap'N Crunch 748 374
 Kraft Honeycomb Cereal 743 372
 Quaker Cap'N Crunch'S Peanut Butter Crunch 742 371
 Quaker Sweet Crunch/Quisp 740 370
 Malt-O-Meal Marshmallow Mateys 735 368
 General Mills Honey Nut Chex 733 367
 Kraft Bran Flakes 732 366
 Kellogg Berry Rice Krispies 726 363
 Kellogg Corn Flakes 723 362
 Kellogg Special K 721 361
 General Mills French Toast Crunch 719 360
 Kellogg All-Bran Complete Wheat Flakes 715 358
 General Mills Frosted Cheerios 714 357
 Malt-O-Meal Honey Buzzers 711 356
 Kraft Marshmallow Alpha-Bits Cereal 711 356
 Kellogg Special K Red Berries 710 355
 Ralston Corn Flakes 710 355
 Quaker Christmas Crunch 709 355
 Kellogg Scooby-Doo! Berry Bones 706 353
 General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch 701 351
 General Mills Wheaties 700 350
 Kellogg Honey Crunch Corn Flakes 700 350
 Kellogg Complete Oat Bran Flakes 699 350
 Quaker Cap'N Crunch With Crunchberries 699 350
 General Mills Total Corn Flakes 698 349
 General Mills Multi-Grain Cheerios 690 345
 Kellogg Product 19 690 345
 General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios 679 340
 General Mills Lucky Charms 679 340
 General Mills Team Cheerios 667 334
 General Mills Reese'S Puffs 667 334
 Kellogg Mini Swirlz Peanut Butter Cereal 667 334
 General Mills Kix 662 331

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3 Responses to Sodium in One Bowl of Ready-to-Eat Cereal Versus a Snack Bag of Chips

  1. CC says:

    Sodium is sneaky. So is sugar and fat, for that matter. All three are added in places you wouldn't expect.

  2. Pingback: Quick Look at Low Sodium Cereals | Math Encounters Blog

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