Choosing a nutritious cereal can be tougher than it seems. Many of them are marketed to sound as if they are extremely healthy choices – focusing on the positive aspects only and neglecting the less desirable qualities. Unfortunately, the majority of cereals out there have had sugar added and it’s not always noticeable. Many people are shocked to find out the sugar content of some common, seemingly harmless cereals. Sugar isn’t the only aspect that should be considered. Breakfast is a fantastic opportunity to get extra fibre in to your day through wholegrains. If you choose the right cereal, you can get a good serve of fibre which is a great way to begin the day. However, a lot of cereals out there are lacking in fibre and nutrition.
The table below compares some of the more popular cereal options and their sugar/fibre content. Each value is based on 100g of that product.
Ideally, sugar content should be below 10-15g per 100g. If the product contains fruit then it should fall below 20g/100g. In saying that, it is always wise to check the product’s ingredients list to see where sugar falls (the closer it is to the top, the higher the amount) and how many times it appears – sugar can be listed more than once or can come in the form of honey and other syrups.
|Cereal||Sugar/ 100g||Position of sugar in the ingredients list||Fibre|
|Sultana Bran||22.7g||4th ingredient listed
Sultanas second ingredient
|Special K||14.5g||4th ingredient listed||6.5g|
|Special K Forest Berries||24.9g||3rd ingredient listed and again as part of the 5th ingredient||6.5g|
|Oat sachet – vanilla||24.9g||2nd ingredient
|Nutrigrain||26.7g||2nd, 4th (maltodextrin) 5th (molasses) ingredient listed||5.1g|
|Rice bubbles||9g||2nd ingredient||1.1g|
|Crunchy nut corn flakes||31.7g||2nd, 4th (honey), 5th (molasses) listed ingredient||2.5g|
|Carman’s Crunchy Clusters
Cranberry, Apple & Roasted Nut
|20.7g||As part of the 3rd ingredient, 4th, 6th ingredient listed||8.7|
|All Bran||16.7g||2nd ingredient (however, very few ingredients)
|Weet Bix||9.9g||3rd and 8th (honey) ingredient
|Froot Loops||38g||2nd ingredient
As you can see, very few cereals fall below the recommendations for sugar and some of the ones that do, like Rice Bubbles, provide very little fibre. If you want to play it safe and choose the most nutritious option, opt for traditional oats (raw) with nuts and fruit. You can add your own fruit/nuts/seeds/yoghurt and spices at home to make it more interesting. This will provide you with a great source of energy, fibre and will help to lower cholesterol levels.
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Nutritionist. If you have questions about nutrition, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today!