Breakfast is seen as the most important meal of the day yet we probably consume most of our sugar allowance in this meal.
I am a firm believer in convenience but in a healthy way and unfortunately for most of us there is nothing more convenient than a bow of cereal that takes less than a minute to make. However it is the most important meal and if we are aware of the options available to us maybe we can make healthier choices and swap our usual sugary cereal for an alternative.
This post will not be about making an alternative to cereal. It will look at the sugar content, help you understand where the sugar is and give possible alternatives to a better cereal.
As I type this I received an email from Change 4 life the government initiative with this little video Food smart. I recommend downloading it because our kids health depends on us making smarter choices.
Now I would love to sit here all night comparing every cereal out there but there are hundreds if not thousands and you wouldn’t even open this blog. So I have picked a few favourites.
Tesco Frosted Flakes Per 30g portion contains:
Kelloggs Crunchy nut Per 30g portion contains:
Asda choco snaps Per 30g portion contains:
Honey monster puff Per 30g portion contains:
As you can see per portion these cereals contain nearly 2tsps of sugar if not more and this is just in 30g. Have you ever actually weighed how much goes in? A portion for a child is actually classed as 20g but I’m more than certain my girls eat more than this.
Next up are the cereals deemed a bit healthier….
Nestle Cheerios honey coated Per 30g portion contains:
Nestle Cheerios Per 30g portion contains:
Cheerios now have a reduced sugar alternative which is amazing. They actually contain less sugar than the bran flakes my girls have been eating and better still they haven’t complained about the lack of honey. Although they did notice.
Nestle Cheerios reduced sugar Per 30g portion contains:
Tesco special flakes and red berries Per 30g portion contains:
The ingredients list states there is added sugar but the berries will account for some of this
Tesco special flakes Per 30g portion contains:
As you can see there is only 0.5g of sugar less than the one with added berries above.
Tesco super berry granola Per 50g portion contains:
Nestle original shreddies Per 30g portion contains:
Tesco bran flakes Per 30g portion contains:
Tesco fruit and fibre Per 30g portion contains:
I will assume that 2.4g of this comes from the dried fruit added to it
Alpen original Per 30g portion contains:
And then we have the cereals low in sugar which can be made more tasty by adding your own toppings to them.
Nestle Shredded wheat biscuits Per 45g (2 biscuits) contains:
Weetabix Per 2 biscuits contains:
Oatibix Per 2 biscuits contains:
Breakfast to make up overnight or warm before eating…
I discovered this while writing this blog and will make some up to try. The instructions say to add grated apple, yogurt and apple juice with 45g of the mix so the sugar content when made up will be more but we do not need to include the sugar contained in the added ingredients into our daily allowance as they are not deemed as the added sugars that we should restrict.
Porridge Per 30g contains:
A serving is suggested as being 50g but as you can see it is still very low in sugar. Even if you added a little honey it would likely be less than some of the other cereals mentioned. Porridge is my favourite. Just look at my Instagram page to see all the ways you can jazz it up!!!
A favourite with a lot of you I know and with good reason when you discover the sugar in this its no wonder you all love it so much. Very sweet indeed….
A sachet is 37g and contains:
Lastly I have saved those pesky cereal bars. Sold to us as “healthy” and “convenient”… Convenient yes! Healthy not so much. When you make something low in fat you need to add something to make it taste nice… this would be sugar! How many of you find these satisfying? I bet not many of you.
Special K cereal bars contain 21.5g per bar:
Belvita cocoa chocolate chip contain 12.5g per biscuit:
- Check the portion size. Is it 100g or a serving usually 30g. Compare like for like.
- Look at the ingredients list. Is sugar listed and if so how far up the list is it. The higher up it is the more of it there is. If its not mentioned in the ingredients list then it will be contained with in the carbohydrate. Get the low down on this here…Cutting the sugar…
- Remember cereals with fruit in will account for some of the sugar but based on the comparisons made in this blog its not very much of it. It is recommended we only consume 1 portion of dried fruit (30g) a day so bare this in mind when choosing cereals containing dried fruit.
- Add your own fruit. Its full of fibre. Will be more filling and hasn’t had all the vitamins and minerals sucked out of it.
- Avoid anything coated in honey or sugar it will likely be your entire days allowance of sugar in one bowl.
- Make your own granola and muesli. You can control the amount of added sugar i.e. Honey that is added.
I hope this has helped you to understand cereals a little better. Understanding labels can be confusing and I hope one day it is made easier to follow for all.
You can download the Sugar Smart app to help you whilst shopping.