A bowl of Grape Nuts with berries
Photo: Post Consumer Brands

If the Grape Nuts shortage during the past few months meant your mornings were a little less bright, good news. Shipping is back at full capacity, the parent company Post Consumer Brands announced Wednesday.

The cereal has long had a reputation as a health food. It was made famous in the 1970s thanks to TV commercials starring the forager Euell Gibbons, who put it in the same category as things he called “natural foods” like pine trees, goldenrod, and cattails. But how good for you is it really?

More on Healthy Eating

The answer: “Pretty good!” says Amy Keating, RD, a nutritionist at CR.

Made from whole wheat and malted barley flours, the cereal is an excellent source of whole grains with 7 grams of fiber—about 25 percent of your daily need—per half-cup. Most of the fiber is insoluble, which is the type that’s key for preventing constipation. Plus you get 6 grams of protein (about the same amount as in a large egg), and the cereal has no added sugars. In a 2013 review of high-fiber cereals, CR gave Grape Nuts top ratings for nutrition and taste. 

Two things to keep in mind, though. The sodium count is on the high side, with 280 mg per serving. “Given that you should be getting less than 2,300 mg a day and the small serving size, that’s more than I’d like to see in a cereal,” Keating says.

And a half-cup is really not all that much cereal. “Chances are, you’re pouring a lot more into your bowl,” Keating says, “so you should realize that means you’re taking in more calories and sodium along with the good stuff.” 

In a test a few years ago, CR’s nutrition experts asked 124 consumers to pour themselves the amount of cereal they’d usually eat. Nearly everyone’s bowl contained more cereal that the serving size listed on the label. For dense cereals (we used granola, but Grape Nuts is also very dense), if the participants in our test actually ate what they poured, they would have taken in two to four times the amount listed as a serving on the label.