At first glance, the answer appears relatively simple: raisins are obviously vegan, and so is bran, right? Well, we have to disappoint you. If you dig deeper, you’ll find more than one questionable ingredient in this product.
Although they may seem vegan, raisin bran cereal coming from most brands, including Kellogg’s, is not easy to classify.
So, let’s see what exactly you should pay attention to if you want to stick to 100% cruelty-free products in your vegan diet.
What’s Inside Raisin Bran?
Could it be that this seemingly vegan product made of bran flakes and raisins hides some dirty little secrets? To answer this question, our team had to dive deep into our morning bowls of raisin bran cereal crunchy goodness, and here’s what we found:
Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Ingredients List
- Whole grain wheat - not only is it vegan, but it’s also good for your heart because it can help reduce cholesterol levels .
- Raisins - added for natural sweetness and full of vitamins, minerals, and packed with energy to kick start your day.
- Wheat bran - it’s rich in non caloric nutrients, but it can also be an allergy culprit, just like whole grain wheat .
- Sugar - It may come as a surprise, but not all sugars are vegan. In obtaining sugar from cane, animal bone char is sometimes used to whiten cane sugar, which can be a deal-breaker for some vegans.
- Brown sugar syrup - The origin of brown sugar syrup is actually white sugar. Brown sugar is made of refined sugar with molasses added in. As we mentioned above, the process sometimes involves animal bones (bone char), therefore, brown sugar syrup can be considered non-vegan.
- Malt flavor - sometimes referred to as malt syrup, malt flavor is a plant-based ingredient mostly used in brewing and it’s 100% vegan-friendly
- Salt - a common ingredient in most cereals that you may want to avoid if you're being careful about your daily sodium intake
- Niacinamide - Also known as Vitamin B3. Just like the other B vitamins, niacin helps to turn the foods you eat into energy .
- Vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12 - most breakfast cereal are fortified with these vitamins but the amount may vary between brands.
- Folic acid - another component that makes cereal more nutritious. ‘’Cereal-grain products with added folic acid led to a significant improvement of blood folate status of the overall adult, non-supplement using, US population’’ .
- Vitamin D3 - There are two types of vitamin D that are often added to food - vitamin D2, which is usually plant-based, but most cereals contain vitamin D3 which is the ingredient most vegans are worried about.
'’Different brands of raisin bran have similar macronutrient profiles but can vary substantially in their added vitamin and mineral contents.’’ - Lauren Panoff, healthline.com
Related: Can Vegans Eat Donuts?
Why Vitamin D3 Almost Always Isn't Vegan?
The issue with Vitamin 3D is that it’s mostly derived from lanolin, a substance obtained from sheep’s wool. Most lanolin comes from mass-produced wool, which is anything but cruelty-free.
Although some vegans argue that the amount of vitamin D3 present in cereal is minimal and, therefore, they have no problem consuming it, others tend to stay away from food that includes vitamin D3, like Reese's Puffs cereals.
It’s important to note, though, that some vitamin D3 may also come from plants (such as lichen), so if the source is not indicated on the label, your best bet would be to call or email the company and ask what exactly is in your morning cereal bowl.
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What Kellogg’s Cereals Are Vegan?
Some of your favorite Kellogg’s cereals such as Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, contain questionable ingredients and are considered non-vegan, but since July 2020, there has been a campaign urging Kellogg’s to start using fully plant-based ingredients in their products in the US and UK.
In New Zealand and Australia, Kellogg's already has some delicious vegan cereals such as :
All Bran Buds, Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Mini Wheats Unfrosted, just to name a few, are all free from honey, carmine, vitamin D3, and gelatin. There’s also a gluten-free version of their Corn Flakes.
Are there Vegan Cereal Brands?
You bet. Actually, you may experience the agony of choice when browsing through grocery store shelves on a quest to your next favorite vegan cereal brand. Nowadays it’s easy to find a replacement that fits your vegan standards.
You’ll find a variety of vegan-certified brands and ‘’accidentally vegan’’ cereals from Evoke Organic Muesli Cereal, gluten-free Seven Sundays cereal, Kashi Go and their delicious peanut butter cereal, to Uncle Sam Toasted Wheat Berry Flakes,or zero-sugar Post Shredded Wheat.
Is It OK To Eat Raisin Bran Every Day?
Unless you don’t mind adding loads of sugar and refined carbs to your vegan diet, you should avoid indulging in raisin bran cereal every single day.
On the other hand, what makes raisin bran healthy is high fiber content and added micronutrients, like folic acid and iron, which makes it a great occasional treat rather than regular breakfast.
So, next time you hit the store don’t forget to browse through the whole foods section for a healthier raisin bran substitute, like vegan low-sugar cereal options.
So, Is Raisin Bran Vegan?
Due to cane sugar and vitamin D that usually comes from animals, Kellogg‘s Raisin Bran are considered not vegan.
This is true for other famous cereal brands. It’s strange how animal products can end up on your plate even if you’re extra-careful, breakfast cereals are no different.
Whether you’ll continue buying these products, although they are not clearly labeled as vegan and may contain some animal-derived ingredients, is a matter of perspective.
Some vegans still chose to keep using these products, while others are more strict and would rather stick to 100% vegan-friendly alternatives. It’s entirely your call.