I was asked about the sugar in breakfast cereals, so I have been shopping and busily reading labels to show the difference between them. Here are the top 4 sugary cereals with 1 sugar cube= 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams. I chose to use per 100g to display, as the serves listed on cereal packets are very small and unrealistic. Remember we are looking as a guide for foods with <10% sugar.
Coco pops is 37% sugar, Crunchy Nut Cornflakes is 32%, and both Nutrigrain and Milo cereal are 27%.
Sultana Bran is high in sugar at 28% (7 tsp) but most of this sugar comes from the 26% sultanas. Sultanas appear in the ingredient list before sugar which tells us that there are more sultanas than added sugar. This is also a high fibre cereal so it has more nutritional value than other sweet cereals.
Choice have been campaigning for labelling of both natural and added sugars which would make this process easier!
To the disappointment of my kids, Weetbix Bites are also on the high sugar list. They are 22% sugar with sugar high (second) on the ingredient list, along with the sugars invert syrup and honey. And the only fruit I can find on the label is 3% berry puree.
The next cereals have similar amounts of sugar but sugar appears lower in the ingredient list at eighth (after fruit, in Sustain), and fifth (Plus), and they are a source of fibre.
So we come to lower sugar cereals in Special K, muesli, nutty Be Natural, Weetbix and the sugar-free rolled oats! All are good sources of fibre and great breakfast options.
You can see that Corn Flakes and Rice Bubbles are not very high in sugar, both about 7-8%. But they don't rate as an everyday choice because of their low fibre content. Corn Flakes are 4% fibre and Rice Bubbles are only 2% fibre. In contrast both Carman's berry bircher muesli and Weetbix are 11% fibre.
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Leanne is an experienced dietitian who is passionate about helping people eat well.