October 23, 2010

Cinnabon Cereal sugar high

Forgive me if I jump around in today's review, foodies. I just downed a bowl of Kellogg's Cinnabon Cereal, and the sugar content is making me jumpy.

Speaking of which, today's review is actually looking at Kellogg's Cinnabon Cereal. I picked up a box on sale for $2 Sunday, and it's been more or less fueling my workweek -- although I had to pair it with yogurt and a sliced banana every morning to prevent hunger from paralyzing me before lunch.

As you can tell -- and would have guessed without my breakfast menu -- Cinnabon Cereal is less than substantial. Though the box says multi-grain, each piece melts in your mouth without much help from your molars. They aren't newspaper-in-a-puddle limpid, and they keep their crunch in a bowl of milk, but you won't confuse them with a filling cereal like Wheaties Fuel.

Within a few minutes of eating you'll also be noticing a massive sugar rush. Cinnabon Cereal packs a walloping 12 grams of sugar into a 1-cup serving. That's roughly on par with Lucky Charms, which have 11 grams of sugar in a 1-cup serving.

Those of you who don't like numbers: skip the following paragraph. I'm going to do some quick arithmetic to properly compare Cinnabon Cereal and Lucky Charms, and I'd hate to bore you with the details that my math-teacher paternal heritage forces me to find ever-so-interesting.

We'll use Cinnabon Cereal's 12 grams of sugar per 30 gram (1 cup) serving size as the beginning ratio -- a sugar to weight ratio of 12/30. Lucky Charms have 11 grams of sugar for every 27 grams of weight -- a ratio of 11/27. We need a common denominator, which is most easily found by multiplying the serving sizes by one another -- giving us 810 (30 x 27). We also need to multiply the numerator of each fraction by the same number that we used on their respective denominators (11 x 30 and 12 x 27). In the end we find that Cinnabon Cereal has a sugar-to-weight ratio of 324/810 (we can write it as 324:810 for those of you who like your ratios with colons) and Lucky Charms have a sugar-to-weight ratio of 330/810 (or 330:810).

In other words, the cereals' sugar contents remain virtually identical when you run the math to compare the same portion size. But Cinnabon Cereal doesn't have pure-sugar marshmallows upping it's sugar factor -- every miniature Cinnabon is just loaded with the sweet stuff.

The cereal carries a few vitamins, so I guess technically it can be part of a healthy breakfast. If you balance it out with six bowls of oatmeal, 12 grapefruits, a half-gallon of skim milk and a fiber supplement, that is.

Let me add a quick disclaimer before we move on: Middle schoolers with upcoming fraction tests in math class cannot use this review's "math paragraph" as a means to cheat. Don't leave a printout of this blog on your desk when you take your quiz in an attempt to fool your teacher into thinking it's harmless after-I-finish reading material in an unrelated subject. Your teacher will catch you, then we'll both be in trouble.

Back to Cinnabon Cereal: Now that we have the nutritional info out of the way, let's talk about taste. The minute I spooned some of these mini-Cinnabons into my mouth, I had the feeling I'd eaten them before. They taste almost identical to Post Waffle Crisp. The consistency is the same, and the flavor is similar, only with more cinnamon. It's kind of like Waffle Crisp and Cinnamon Toast Crunch had a child.

The resulting offspring is a reasonable approximation of the flavor of a Cinnabon, although you're not going to confuse it for the real thing. Personally, I'd like to see some kind of frosting on the top, which would add an air of authenticity to the cereal. That would probably break the sugar bank and send breakfasters into diabetic shock, though.

Let's sum it all up. Cinnabon Cereal tastes similar to a Cinnabon, packs enough sugar to send a sweet tooth to the dentist and will leave you hungry a few hours after breakfast. But it does stay crunchy in milk.

Once you add the pros and cons, I'd say that works out to 2 sporks out of five. If I were you, I'd run from those numbers.

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