Low-fat cereals usually contain less fat and calories per serving than standard versions. These cereals often have less than 5 grams of fat per serving and may have less calories per serving than regular cereal. Some of them possess other health benefits, such as high protein and fiber, and can be marketed in traditional loose cereal or snack-bar form. Many come in the same flavors and combinations as regular cereals, including granola and wheat bran.
As more people become concerned with their dietary intake of fat and calories, low-fat meal choices are sought after as a way to control and reduce weight. Cereals are a popular breakfast meal choice due to their ease of preparation and nutritional value. Those concerned with maintaining a healthy lifestyle also find that low-fat meal choices can help them replace rich tasting foods that may not provide enough nutrients.
Some low-fat cereals are advertised as diet and low-calorie alternatives to other brands of cereal. In a few cases, a low-fat version may be marketed along with a full-calorie version. Granola cereals are a prime example of this tactic, as many manufacturers offer low-fat and full-calorie versions of the same line. Quite a few manufacturers create low-fat cereals that are unique enough to carry their own brand identity.
For example, some brands of cereal are targeted exclusively towards female consumers who may be looking to quickly lose a slight amount of weight. These brands offer a variety of flavors based on a main ingredient that provides a majority of the cereal's nutrition. Some of these brands have become popular enough to branch off into snack varieties of the cereal as well as other diet products.
Health food enthusiasts and dieters may also be concerned about protein and carbohydrate levels in cereals. There are some low-fat cereals that attempt to address these concerns by increasing the amount of protein in the product. These products may be marketed as high-protein and typically reduce the percentage of carbohydrates relative to the percentage of protein. It is important to keep in mind that the reduced calorie and fat content in low-fat cereals does not include calorie and fat counts for additional ingredients, such as milk or fruit.
Not all low-fat cereals are heavily advertised as diet or low-calorie food. Some traditional choices, such as raisin bran and corn flakes are naturally low in fat and calories. Granola cereals are known for their health benefits, yet are traditionally higher in fat content than some consumers are comfortable with. Low-fat versions maintain the same composition and taste, while reducing the amount of fat and calories per serving.