Are Cheerios Vegan Food?

By Olivia

Many individuals adopting a vegan lifestyle often wonder whether Cheerios, one of the popular breakfast cereals, fit within their dietary guidelines. In this article, we will explore whether Cheerios can be considered as vegan food or if they contain any non-vegan ingredients.

Understanding Veganism

Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty. Vegans avoid consuming any animal-derived products, including meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. They also refrain from using products made from animals, such as leather, fur, and cosmetics tested on animals. The key question here is whether Cheerios meet the criteria of a vegan-friendly food item.

Cheerios Ingredients

To determine the vegan-friendliness of Cheerios, it is essential to understand the ingredients used in its production. The primary ingredients of Cheerios include:

  • Whole Grain Oats
  • Corn Starch
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Sodium Tripolyphosphate
  • Monoglycerides
  • Tocopherols

Whole Grain Oats

Oats derived from plants are generally considered vegan-friendly since they are a staple in plant-based diets. However, some vegans might choose to avoid oats that are processed in facilities that also handle non-vegan ingredients.

Sodium Tripolyphosphate

Sodium tripolyphosphate is a food additive used primarily as a preservative in various processed foods. It is derived from minerals and does not involve any animal products.


Monoglycerides can be derived from both plant and animal sources. In the case of Cheerios, the monoglycerides used are typically derived from plant-based oils, making them suitable for a vegan diet.

Potential Non-Vegan Concerns

While the majority of Cheerios’ ingredients are vegan-friendly, there are a few factors that may concern some vegans:

  1. Fortification: Some varieties of Cheerios are fortified with vitamins, such as vitamin D, which can be derived from animal sources. Vegans may prefer to choose the non-fortified versions or check with the manufacturer for the source of fortification ingredients.
  2. Contamination: Cross-contamination can occur during the manufacturing process, especially when a production facility handles non-vegan ingredients. Some vegans may find it important to ensure the absence of cross-contamination in their food.


In general, many vegans consider Cheerios a suitable breakfast cereal for their dietary preferences. However, it is essential to check the specific variety of Cheerios, potential fortification ingredients, and the manufacturing processes to ensure they align with individual vegan requirements. As with any food item, reading labels and contacting the manufacturer for detailed information can help make an informed decision and maintain a vegan lifestyle.