Is Cream of Wheat Good for You? Uncovering the Health Benefits

Cream of Wheat has likely been a staple in your pantry for years, stirring memories of warm, nutritious breakfasts. With changing times and the abundance of breakfast options available, you might wonder if Cream of Wheat is still a healthy choice for you.

This age-old breakfast dish is low in calories and offers many essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin B, iron, and more. In addition, it provides a wholesome source of carbohydrates made from the endosperm, which helps fuel your body throughout the day.

As you review your breakfast options, consider the various health benefits Cream of Wheat can bring to your diet.

What is Cream of Wheat?

Is Cream of Wheat Good for You

Cream of Wheat, also known as farina, is a type of hot cereal made from ground wheat kernels. It is made from the endosperm, the center of the kernel, which would fuel the growing grain if it were planted.

This cereal is often enjoyed as a warm, comforting breakfast and can be topped with various ingredients such as fruits, nuts, and spices to suit your taste preferences.

When cooked, Cream of Wheat has a smooth, creamy texture, and its mild flavor makes it a versatile base for adding different toppings. If you’re interested in making it at home, it’s quite simple.

Just mix the farina with water or milk and then cook it on the stovetop, stirring continuously to achieve the desired consistency. You can also make it in the microwave for a quicker option.


The exact ingredients in Cream of Wheat can vary depending on the specific product and flavor. However, here are the typical ingredients found in a plain Cream of Wheat cereal:

  • Wheat farina. This is the main ingredient in Cream of Wheat and is made from the endosperm of the wheat kernel that has been milled into a fine granular texture.
  • Salt. Used to enhance the flavor of the cereal.
  • Calcium carbonate. Added as a source of calcium, which is an important mineral for bone health.
  • Ferric phosphate. Added as a source of iron, which is an important mineral for red blood cell production.
  • Niacin. Also known as vitamin B3.
  • Thiamine mononitrate. Also known as vitamin B1.
  • Riboflavin. Also known as vitamin B2.
  • Folic acid. Also known as vitamin B9.

Some flavored varieties of Cream of Wheat may also include additional ingredients, such as sugar, dried fruit, or flavorings. It’s always a good idea to check the ingredient list on the package to see exactly what’s in the product you’re interested in.

Fruit toppings play a significant role in enhancing the taste and nutritional value of Cream of Wheat. Fruit, such as berries, bananas, or apples, can add vitamins, minerals, and natural sweetness to your breakfast. 

Nuts are another excellent addition to your Cream of Wheat. They provide healthy fats, protein, and essential nutrients that can help support your overall well-being. Almonds, walnuts, and pecans are popular choices that can be sprinkled on top for some crunch and extra flavor.

Nutrition Facts

The weight of a serving of Cream of Wheat can vary depending on the serving size. A typical serving size of Cream of Wheat is 1/4 cup of dry farina, which weighs about 28 grams. When prepared with water according to the instructions on the package, this serving size typically yields about 1 cup of cooked cereal.

The nutritional content of Cream of Wheat may vary slightly depending on the specific product and serving size, but here is a general overview of the nutritional information for a typical serving of Cream of Wheat made with water:

  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 200mg
  • Carbohydrates: 23g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 3g

In addition, Cream of Wheat is often enriched with vitamins and minerals, such as iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid, to help provide important nutrients to your diet. However, the exact levels of these micronutrients may vary depending on the specific product and formulation.

Health Benefits of Cream of Wheat

Good source of energy: Cream of Wheat is a carbohydrate-rich food that provides energy to the body. It is a good breakfast option for people who need a quick and easy source of energy in the morning.

  • Rich in iron. Cream of Wheat is enriched with iron, which is an essential mineral that helps the body produce red blood cells. This can help prevent anemia and keep the body healthy.
  • Provides essential vitamins and minerals. Cream of Wheat is often enriched with several important vitamins and minerals, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid. These micronutrients are essential for overall health and well-being.
  • Versatile. Cream of Wheat is a versatile food that can be customized with a variety of toppings and flavors to suit individual tastes and preferences. It can be served hot or cold and can be used as a base for sweet or savory dishes.

Pros and Cons of Eating Cream of Wheat

Here are some potential pros and cons of eating Cream of Wheat:


  • Provides essential nutrients. Cream of Wheat is often enriched with several important vitamins and minerals, including iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid. These micronutrients are essential for overall health and well-being.
  • Versatile. Cream of Wheat is a versatile food that can be customized with a variety of toppings and flavors to suit individual tastes and preferences. It can be served hot or cold and can be used as a base for sweet or savory dishes.


  • May be high in sodium. Some brands of Cream of Wheat can be high in sodium, which can be a concern for people who need to limit their sodium intake.
  • May be high in sugar. Flavored varieties of Cream of Wheat can be high in added sugars, which can contribute to excess calorie intake and lead to health problems like obesity and type 2 diabetes.
  • May contain gluten. Cream of Wheat is made from wheat and is not suitable for people with gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy, or celiac disease.
  • May not be filling for everyone. While Cream of Wheat can be a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, some people may not find it as filling or satisfying as other breakfast options.

What Do Health Experts Say About Cream of Wheat?

Cream of Wheat is generally considered to be a healthy food choice by health experts, as long as it is consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Cream of Wheat as a heart-healthy choice for breakfast. It recommends choosing a variety that is low in sugar and sodium, and adding fresh fruit or nuts for extra flavor and nutrition.

This can be a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It recommends choosing a variety that is enriched with important nutrients like iron, thiamin, and folic acid.

Furthermore, wheat as a good option for people with diabetes, as long as it is consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced meal. It notes that choosing a low-sugar variety and adding protein and healthy fats can help balance blood sugar levels.

Who Should Avoid It?

While Cream of Wheat can offer some health benefits, there are certain individuals who should avoid consuming it. If you fall into one of these categories, it’s important to consider alternatives or seek advice from a healthcare professional.

Firstly, if you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, Cream of Wheat is not suitable for you as it contains gluten, which can cause side effects and digestive issues such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloating.

People with a wheat allergy should also avoid Cream of Wheat, as it is made from wheat and can trigger allergy symptoms like itching, hives, and even anaphylaxis in severe cases.

Additionally, Cream of Wheat can be relatively high in sodium. If you’re watching your sodium intake, it’s crucial to pay close attention to the sodium content listed on the product label or opt for a lower-sodium alternative.

Alternatives to Cream of Wheat

If you’re looking for healthier alternatives to Cream of Wheat, there are several options to consider. One popular choice is oatmeal, which offers a similar consistency while being rich in fiber and whole grains.

You can easily customize oatmeal with a variety of toppings such as maple syrup, cinnamon, banana, walnuts, almonds, and other spices to enhance its flavor and nutritional value.

Another alternative is grits, a Southern staple made from ground corn. While grits have a slightly different texture than Cream of Wheat, they still provide a hearty and satisfying hot cereal option. To make your grits healthier, try adding flavorful, nutrient-dense ingredients like spices, cheese, or vegetables.

In addition to traditional dairy milk, consider using alternative milk options such as almond milk or soy milk when preparing your hot cereal. Both of these alternatives can add a unique flavor and additional nutrients to your meal without the potential drawbacks of dairy.


To sum up, the basic ingredients in Cream of Wheat are wheat and water. You can customize the dish with additional flavors, such as sugar or natural sweeteners, and nutritious toppings like fruit and nuts. By choosing the right ingredients and toppings, you can enjoy a delicious and nourishing meal. Enjoy experimenting to find your perfect combination!

When choosing a healthy alternative to Cream of Wheat, keep in mind the importance of including whole grains, fiber, and nutrient-rich toppings in your meal.

By experimenting with various hot cereal options and customizing your bowl with nutritious additions, you’re sure to find a satisfying and delicious breakfast option that meets your dietary needs and preferences.

However, it is essential to consider individual dietary needs and preferences. If you have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, Cream of Wheat may not be suitable due to its gluten content. In such cases, opt for gluten-free alternatives like oatmeal.


Is Cream of Wheat a good source of vitamins?

Yes, Cream of Wheat is a good source of vitamins, particularly the B vitamin family. It can help you consume more thiamine (vitamin B1) and folate (vitamin B9).

Does Cream of Wheat contain fiber?

While Cream of Wheat contains fewer grams of fiber when compared to whole grains, it still provides some fiber that can aid digestion and promote satiety.

Can eating Cream of Wheat help me lose weight?

Including Cream of Wheat in your diet can be a healthy option for weight loss. As long as you consume it in moderation and maintain your daily calorie goals, it should not lead to weight gain. Additionally, Cream of Wheat is more nutritious than many processed and sugary breakfast cereals.

Remember to make informed decisions about your diet and always consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice.


  1. Abbaspour, Nazanin, et al. “Review on Iron and Its Importance for Human Health.” Journal of Research in Medical Sciences : The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, vol. 19, no. 2, Feb. 2014, pp. 164–74,
  2. Barbaro, Maria Raffaella, et al. “Recent Advances in Understanding Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.” F1000Research, vol. 7, 11 Oct. 2018, p. 1631,
  3. Cianferoni, Antonella. “Wheat Allergy: Diagnosis and Management.” Journal of Asthma and Allergy, Jan. 2016, p. 13,
  4. Fritz, Kristina, et al. “Calcium Carbonate.” PubMed, StatPearls Publishing, 2023, Accessed 8 May 2023.
  5. Institute of Medicine (US) Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes and its Panel on Folate, Other B Vitamins, and Choline. “Niacin.”, National Academies Press (US), 2019,
  6. “Iron in Enriched Wheat Flour, Farina, Bread, Buns, and Rolls.” JAMA, vol. 220, no. 6, 8 May 1972, pp. 855–859, Accessed 8 May 2023.
  7. Macek, T. J., et al. “Pharmaceutical Studies with Thiamine Mononitrate.” Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association. American Pharmaceutical Association, vol. 39, no. 7, 1 July 1950, pp. 365–369,, Accessed 8 May 2023.
  8. Mente, Andrew, et al. “Sodium Intake and Health: What Should We Recommend Based on the Current Evidence?” Nutrients, vol. 13, no. 9, 1 Sept. 2021, p. 3232,,
  9. Merrell, Brigham J., and John P. McMurry. “Folic Acid.” PubMed, StatPearls Publishing, 2023,
  10. Parzanese, Ilaria, et al. “Celiac Disease: From Pathophysiology to Treatment.” World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology, vol. 8, no. 2, 15 May 2017, pp. 27–38,,
  11. Peechakara, Basil V, and Mohit Gupta. “Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin).”, StatPearls Publishing, Oct. 2019,
  12. Rippe, James, and Theodore Angelopoulos. “Relationship between Added Sugars Consumption and Chronic Disease Risk Factors: Current Understanding.” Nutrients, vol. 8, no. 11, 4 Nov. 2016, p. 697,,
  13. Roper, Stephen D. “The Taste of Table Salt.” Pflugers Archiv : European Journal of Physiology, vol. 467, no. 3, 1 Mar. 2015, pp. 457–463,, Accessed 8 May 2023.
  14. von Moos, Lea M., et al. “Iron Phosphate Nanoparticles for Food Fortification: Biological Effects in Rats and Human Cell Lines.” Nanotoxicology, vol. 11, no. 4, 1 May 2017, pp. 496–506,, Accessed 8 May 2023.

Next, check out some recent reviews you might find useful:

Is Sprite Bad For You?

Is Ensure Good For You?

Is Ginger Beer good for you?

Is Instant Coffee Bad For You?


  • Marixie Manarang, MT, undergrad MD

    Marixie Manarang is licensed Medical Laboratory Scientist and an undergraduate of Doctor of Medicine (MD). For one year, she completed her internship training in a government hospital, primarily catering to retired veterans and their dependents. Through her preceptorships in medical school, she gained exposure to patients from various medical departments. Marixie’s passion for writing stems from her excellent medical background, being a mother, and a strong desire to assist the elderly and others in need. Education: Our Lady of Fatima University Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Medicine (2012-2015), Angeles University Foundation Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Medicine (2009-2011), Angeles University Foundation Bachelors, Medical Technology (2004-2009)






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *