Monthly Archives: November 2015

Low sugar cereals

Low sugar cereals

Doing a month of no sugar in September really made me think about the hidden sugars in our diet, particularly in everyday things such as cereals and yogurt.

So I thought I would do a little research to find the cereals with the lowest sugars. My daughter loves breakfast, and I want to let her continue to eat her fill, without giving her too much sugar.

I’ve always been fairly strict with cereals, and sugary ones are a pretty rare treat. Typically we would have Cheerios for her, and I eat ‘no added sugar’ muesli such as the Dorset Cereals range.

Having spent a good amount of time staring at the packets in Sainsbury’s and scouring the Internet for information, this is what I have found out…

I’m concentrating solely on the sugar content of the cereals, and I’ve used Sainsbury’s website to get the info. I’ve given the sugars per 100g. The serving size info given on packets is confusing as some will include milk (which has natural sugars), and others won’t. A recommended serving size is usually about 30g, so I’ve included 1/3 of the 100g amount as the second figure – to give you an idea of how much sugar is in a serving size.

It’s useful to note that most adults will eat much more than the 30g serving (as a test pour out your usual bowl and then weigh it – I would put money on the fact it’s 40-50g!). So treat these figures with caution – you are probably eating a lot more!

If you use semi-skimmed milk it has 4.8g of sugars per 100ml. So remember to add that to the figures below.

Government guidelines on daily sugar intake according to is 30g per day for adults and 19g for children age 4-6, 24g for children age 7-10.

A nice visual reminder is that a teaspoon is 4g, and ‘low sugar’ is anything with 5g of sugar per 100g.

Another thing to remember is that the ones with dried fruit (I’ve marked them with an asterisk *) will look quite high because of the sugar in the dried fruit, but may be healthier than ones with less sugar, but where it has a lot of added sugar! Check the labels to see where sugar is on the ingredients list. Any marked with a # below has sugar in the top 3 ingredients.

I’ve given just some of the most popular ones below.  In descending order:

Crunchy Nut Cornflakes (#) – 35g per 100g/11.6g per serving

Cocoa Pops (#) – 35g per 100g/11.6g per serving

Jordan’s Crunchy Oat Granola (#*)- Fruit & Nut – 30.8g per 100g/10g per serving

Alpen Original (*) – 23.1g per 100g/7.7g per serving (this does have added sugar, but they’ve listed the different grains separately so technically sugar is the 4th ingredient!).

Cheerios  (#)- 20.9g per 100g/6.9g per serving

Bran Flakes (#)- 20g per 100g/6.6g per serving

Special K (#) – 17g per 100g/5.6g per serving

Alpen Sugar Free (*) – 16g per 100g/5.3g per serving
Dorset Cereals – Simply Nutty (*) – 14g per 100g/4.6g per serving

Rice Krispies (#)- 10g per 100g/3.3g per serving

Cornflakes (#) – 8g per 100g/2.6g per serving

Weetabix (#) – 4.4g per 100g/1.46g per serving

Shredded Wheat Bitesize – 0.7g per 100g/0.23g per serving (this has no added sugar at all!)

In our house we’ve switched to weetabix and shredded wheat bitesize (whole grain and low sugar) for my daughter (and she hasn’t complained yet!), and I make my own muesli using the Holland And Barret muesli base and some nuts/dried fruit.

If you want something that feels more like a treat for your kids, my friend recommended these cereals from Bear (who do the fruit rolls). They are multigrain or cocoa multigrain and have 15g of sugars per 100g/5g per serving, and are made with coconut blossom nectar (whatever that is!) rather than sugar.

What do you think? Were you surprised? Any plans to change your cereals?