Breakfast Cereals Too High In Sugar, Warns Watchdog (Plus 5 Low-Sugar Breakfast Ideas)

Breakfast Cereal Sugar

The Huffington Post UK   First Posted: 16/02/2012 15:28 Updated: 16/02/2012 15:28

Many popular breakfast cereals - especially those aimed at children - are high in sugar, according to a report from Which?.

The consumer watchdog analysed the nutritional content of 50 breakfast cereals and found that 32 of them were high in sugar.

Of the cereals marketed for children, all except Rice Krispies were high in sugar.

Which? deputy editor Amanda Diamond said: “Kellogg’s Frosties were the worst for sugar, but perhaps more surprisingly, our analysis revealed that other cereals which may be thought of as 'healthy' were also high in sugar.

“We found that Kellogg’s Special K and supermarket own-brand rice and wheat flakes - often marketed as low-fat - are high in sugar. 

“And Kellogg’s All-Bran Bran Flakes contain 22g of sugar per 100g - almost as much as Weetabix Chocolatey Weetos.”


The watchdog confirmed that since their previous research in 2006 and 2009, which exposed “alarming” levels of salt in cereals, action had been taken and only eight of the cereals failed to meet 2012 salt targets.

However, the report warned that confusing and inconsistent labelling on cereal packets makes it difficult for consumers to make healthy, informed choices.

It was found that serving sizes differed from brand to brand while some included milk in the ‘per serving’ nutritional information while others didn’t making it difficult to make comparisons.

Only 14 of the 50 cereals had ‘traffic light labelling’, which informs consumers at a glance about the levels of sugars, fat, saturated fat and salt in products using a simple colour coding system of red for ‘high’, amber for ‘medium’ and green for ‘low’.

Which? is campaigning for consistent traffic labelling on all cereals as well as the development and marketing of healthy cereals for children and further reductions in sugar and salt levels.

Avoid the cereal minefield altogether with these healthy low-sugar breakfast alternatives...

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  • 5 Sugar-Free Breakfast Ideas

  • Natural Yoghurt With Granola And Berries

    Get your sweet fix by topping natural yoghurt with a handful of blueberries and two teaspoons of granola. Granola can be frighteningly calorific if you don't exercise portion control so put it back in the cupboard when you've taken your two teaspoons worth.

  • Bircher Muesli With Seasonal Fruit

    This is a tasty alternative to regular porridge and every bit as filling, making you less likely to reach for the sweet snacks mid-morning. Soak porridge oats in milk or apple juice (or a combination of both) and leave in the fridge overnight. In the morning, loosen with a little more milk then add a sprinkling of seasonal fruit.

  • Breakfast Burrito

    Scramble an egg with chopped onions and peppers, place in a warmed wholemeal tortilla, sprinkle with a low-fat cheddar, finish with a dollop of salsa and roll up your wrap for a healthy Mexican-style breakfast.

  • Soft Boiled Eggs With Asparagus Soldiers

    Wrap asparagus stalks in parma ham with the tips poking out and place in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes until the ham is crispy. Meanwhile soft-boil two eggs.

  • Peanut Butter On Toast With Apple And Almonds

    Use a whole nut butter from a health food shop as these are sugar-free. Spread over granary toast and top with slices of apple and a sprinkling of slivered almonds.


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