Not all cereal is created the same

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Hit the cereal aisle in the grocery store and you're faced with endless choices.  Focus in on just the Cheerios and your decision doesn't get any easier.

General Mills has released eleven varieties.  Along with regular, honey-nut, multi grain and apple cinnamon, there are now caramel, chocolate, banana nut, cinnamon burst, peanut butter, frosted, and fruity Cheerios.

We asked LiveWell Carolinas dietician and nutritionist Lauren Hatcher to put the Cheerios in order -based simply on their sugar content.

The sugar is measured in grams but how much is a gram?

"Four grams is a teaspoon.  If you think about it, a packet of sugar is also a teaspoon," Hatcher said.

On average Americans take in 22 teaspoons of sugar every day. Hatcher says we really should be between 6 and 9 teaspoons for the whole day.

She warns us not to be fooled by something as simple as fruit in the name.  Think of the exterior of the box as advertising.  It's what's in the nutrition facts and the ingredient label that counts.

For the record, aside from the healthiest plain Cheerios, the Multi Grain and the Caramel flavored Cheerios had the least sugar per serving.

All of the other varieties hovered around 9 grams of sugar per serving except for the Apple-Cinnamon which clocked in with the most sugar at 10 grams per serving.

Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.