Check out that cereal packet

By Siski Green, Tuesday 28 February 2012

Alphabet T The breakfast bowl that you thought was a healthy option may contain far more sugar than you think
Breakfast cerealBreakfast cereal

So you’ve given up the full English in favour of a bowl of fibre-based cereal and some skimmed milk for the sake of your health? Sadly it may not be doing you as much good as you thought. A new Which? report shows that many cereals contain surprising amounts of sugar – the equivalent of biscuits and other sweet foods.

The consumer magazine found that some cereals – Kellogg’s Frosties and various supermarket own-brands of chocolate rice cereal, for example – had 36-37g of sugar per 100g – the equivalent of nearly nine teaspoons of sugar. (For comparison, a KitKat contains seven teaspoonfuls.)  Other cereals, generally thought of as healthy options also came in high on the sugar scale: Bran Flakes contains 22g of sugar – nearly as much as Weetabix’s Chocolatey Weetos (23.5g). At the other end of the scale were Weetabix with just 4.4g of sugar per 100g, and Nestlé Shredded Wheat (0.7g). Some cereals contained more sugar than you might have expected – Kellogg’s and M&S cornflakes had 1.3 and 1.25g per 100g, respectively.

Healthier breakfast options:

Shredded Wheat Low in sugar, salt and fat. “Shredded wheat provides a lot of fibre,” says registered nutritionist Dr Carina Norris. “And  it contains no added sugar or salt, so it's a good way to start your day. Add a handful of blueberries or other fruit to up your vitamin content too.”

Porridge Make it with water or skimmed milk and don’t add sugar or salt. “Oats are also good for lowering cholesterol,” says Norris. “And they’re a source of trace minerals that are essential for health. But if you opt for instant varieties, bear in mind that some contain lots of added sugar.”

Muesli Look at the list of ingredients and opt for one that’s low in salt, and medium for fat. It may not be low in overall sugar content because of the dried fruit, but choose one without added sugar. “Add a dollop of low-fat natural yogurt too,” says Norris.  "This will provide extra protein, plus calcium for protecting and maintaining bones. Yogurt with added 'friendly bacteria' could also benefit your digestive system."

Rye bread with smoked salmon If you’re after a bigger breakfast or something savoury, this is ideal. Salmon is, of course, a great source of heart-healthy omega-3s and, as it’s protein, will help keep you feeling satisfied for a long while. And why rye? “It helps increase satiety,” says registered nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer. “Including rye bread in your breakfast will help curb mid-morning and mid-afternoon cravings, so you eat less overall.”


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

Related

  • Tea coffee

    Health benefits of tea and coffee

    Scientists all over the world are hard at work uncovering the potential health benefits of tea and coffee

    Read on

  • Health Club

    Health Club

    Free membership and free online assessment to see how healthy you could be.

    MORE DETAILS

  • Saga Health Insurance

    Health insurance

    A comprehensive range of competitively priced HealthPlans.

    MORE DETAILS

  • HCP thumbnail

    Health Cash Plan

    You can claim up to 75% of your common everyday healthcare expenses including dental and optical treatments.

    MORE DETAILS


  • Deirdre Brown

    Posted: Thursday 23 January 2014

    All this emphasis on sugar now, whereas as a diabetic I have been looking for low sugar products for the last three years and they are very difficult to find. Recipes also very often do not give the sugar content, just calories and fat.

  • robert rickard

    Posted: Wednesday 07 March 2012

    i really like trying lots of your food alternitives, keep them coming.

COMMENTS

Type your comment here


 characters remaining.

Saga Magazine

For more fascinating stories and insightful articles, why not try Saga Magazine for just £1 for 3 issues.

Saga Magazine e-newsletter

Sign up to our free newsletter today

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for all the latest recipes, gardening tips, prize draws, interviews and more delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Saga Magazine app

You can now read your Saga Magazine on a huge range of mobile devices - from the Kindle Fire to an iPhone or iPad.

Win with Saga Magazine

It's our birthday, but you're getting the presents!

To celebrate Saga Magazine's 30th birthday we've pulled together 30 wonderful prize giveaways worth £30,000 in total, including a holiday to America worth £4,298.