Are Cheerios Complex Carbs?

Complex carbs and simple carbs have been the buzzword in the fitness community for quite some time. Almost every newbie goes through a phase where they run from simple carbs like the plague itself. The …

Complex carbs and simple carbs have been the buzzword in the fitness community for quite some time. Almost every newbie goes through a phase where they run from simple carbs like the plague itself. The problem with this approach, however, is that most people aren’t able to differentiate between simple and complex carbs. 

Even those who’re more seasoned and experienced in watching their calories will make mistakes from time to time. Some complex carbs are just so tasty that people get confused if they’re even complex at all. Since complex carbs have been associated with bland taste and coarse texture, people are confused when they read that Cheerios are complex in nature. 

In this article, we’re going to take a look at concrete facts to determine whether Cheerios are complex or simple in nature. Once you’re done with this article, you’ll be able to decide whether Cheerios should be a part of your diet or not. So without further ado, let’s get started and find out if Cheerios are a complex carbohydrate.

Complex vs Simple Carbs

complex vs simple carbs
complex vs simple carbs

The debate between simple carbs and complex carbs has been raging for as long as we’ve known about the different types of carbohydrates. The traditional belief is that all forms of simple carbs will make you fat, and the complex carbs will keep you lean. There’s some truth to this perception since complex carbs are generally healthier than simple ones.

You have to keep in mind that there’ll always be exceptions depending on the circumstances. If your energy requirements are different than the average sedentary person's, you might need to dig a little deeper. Simple carbs provide an instant rush of energy and are a very useful tool in the arsenal of any sprinter. On the other hand, complex carbs will provide a steady release of energy throughout the day, making them more suited to endurance athletes.

Complex carbs break down slowly in the stomach and this means that you’ll feel satiated for far longer after eating those as compared to eating simple carbs like sugar. This proves that it’s not the simple carbs that are inherently bad, it’s the way you use them that makes them bad.

Why Avoid Simple Carbs?

complex and simple carbohydrates
complex and simple carbohydrates

As we’ve already seen above, simple carbs will be always digested faster than complex carbs. If you’re someone who needs to maintain their calorie intake at a certain threshold then simple carbs will only make it more difficult for you. Sure, you can lose a significant amount of weight by eating candy, however, you’ll be deficient in essential micronutrients. 

Simple carbs aren’t inherently bad, our bodies can make good use of the instant burst of energy at certain times. Simple carbs get a bad reputation because the people who consume them do so indiscriminately without any regard for their caloric intake. These people can even misuse protein by overfeeding on it and putting an unnecessary load on their digestive system. 

When we eat complex carbs like oats, wheat, and rice, our body takes time to break them down into simpler compounds. This breakdown requires energy as well as time which is why we feel full for much longer after eating a bowl of oats as compared to eating a bowl of candy. Since simple carbs don’t offer much satiety and a normal person’s lifestyle doesn’t demand instant bursts of energy, it’s best to avoid them as much as possible.

Can I Eat Loads of Complex Carbs?

After reading the previous paragraph, many people might be prompted to think that complex carbs are the gold mine they were looking for. These people are the ones who misuse simple carbs and give them a bad name. If you’re one of them then it’s important to understand that anything in excess can be detrimental to your health. 

Sure, you can and you should eat complex carbs so that you have a well-rounded diet. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to watch what you eat or how much you eat. Even while consuming complex carbs, you have to focus on how much food you actually need rather than how tasty it feels.

If you eat loads of complex carbs then all the benefits will start diminishing. Don’t think that you can stuff your stomach on complex carbs like oatmeal or barley just because they’re natural. Start counting your calories and don’t eat anything that doesn’t fit into your daily intake. 

Are Cheerios Complex Carbs?


At long last, the answer that you’ve been waiting for. It was important to describe the importance of both simple and complex carbs so that you don’t develop a phobia of simple carbs. Even though the influencers and fitness magazines might want you to think otherwise, simple carbs are just as important as complex carbs.

Coming to the question of Cheerios being complex or simple carbs, the answer is going to make you very happy

Cheerios are in fact, complex carbohydrates since they’re made out of oats. 

Every single cup of Cheerios being served contains around 20 grams of carbohydrates and 100 calories. This means that Cheerios might be more healthy than you thought and all the drama surrounding them is unnecessary.

You have to remember that the nutritional value of a cup of Cheerios can change drastically depending on what you put into it. If you add extra sugar to make your cereal sweeter then you already know what you’re doing wrong. If you can manage your diet properly then Cheerios is a great option to spice up your mornings, however, any attempt to overeat or oversweeten them will result in undesirable weight gain.