Wednesday, 14 March 2012

12 Low Sugar Breakfast Cereals

Breakfast cereals provide a quick, convenient and tasty way to start the day. But people are becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of hidden sugars they're consuming. Often, what appears to be a ‘healthy’ breakfast cereal turns out to have more sugar than a chocolate bar.

This information isn't always obvious from the front of the pack and brands display their nutrition guides differently. Therefore, it’s up to us, the consumers, to examine the nutrition label (usually found on the back) of the packet to see how much sugar it contains.

As a quick guide, any food which has 5g of sugar or less per 100g is a low sugar food. In teaspoon terms, 4.2g is one teaspoon.

Food which has more than 15g of sugar per 100g is ‘high in sugar’. So check the label under the ‘Per 100g’ column. All labels should display this information.

If you’re determined to find a low sugar cereal, they are out there, but they’re few and far between!

Following are 11 Breakfast Cereals which are low in sugar:



 1. Porridge Oats  0.5g - 1.5g           

Porridge oats are made with wholegrain rolled oats and nothing else. Brands achieve their textures and flavours by rolling and milling their oats in different ways.

Oats, including oatbran, provide a good source of soluble fibre and have no added sugar or salt. Most brands of plain porridge oats contain between 0.5-1.5g of naturally occurring sugars per 100g.

Oats with added fruit, syrups and other flavours have much higher levels of sugar. A 50g serving made with water provides around 170 calories.

Example porridge oats include:

Cereal
Sugar per 100g
Flahavan's Irish Porridge Oats
0.5g
M&S 5 Grain & 3 Seed Porridge
0.9g
ASDA Extra Special Jumbo Oats
1.1g
Quaker Oats
1.1g
Sainsbury‘s Scottish Whole Rolled Porridge Oats 
1.1g
ASDA Smart Price Porridge Oats
1.5g
Tesco Finest Porridge Oats
1.5g


2. Spelt Flakes 0.5g - 1.7g

Spelt (an ancient form of wheat) has been hailed as a super-food. It’s a great alternative to wheat, and keeps you satisfied for longer than other grains.
Spelt has a delicious nutty taste which some people may find easier to digest than wheat.

Use them as a substitute for regular oats to make porridge, or mix half oats and half spelt flakes. Alternatively, just add cold milk and some dried fruit and nuts to make a muesli. A 50g serving with 125ml semi skimmed milk provides 215 calories.

Cereal
Sugar per 100g
Kallo Organic Puffed Rice Cereal
0.7g
Rude Health Puffed Rice Cereal
0.7g


3. Puffed Wheat 0.5g – 2.0g

Puffed wheat is just that - 100% wheat grains which have been heated until they puff up like popcorn. This is one of the lightest cereals with an average box weighing just 160g. You could consume the entire contents of a box (dry) for 568 calories.

Plain puffed wheat are low in fat with no added sugar or salt. They're also high in fibre with 8g per 100g of cereal.

A 15g serving with 125ml semi skimmed milk provides around 116 calories.




Cereal
Sugar per 100g
Sainsbury’s Puffed Wheat
0.6g
Morrisons Puffed Wheats
1.3g
Rude Health Puffed wheat
1.5g
The Good Grain Company Puffed Wheat
2.0g


4. Shredded Wheat 0.7 – 0.8g

The original Shredded Wheat brand by Nestle is one of the lowest sugar cereals. However this applies to the plain original varieties, not those with added fruit, nuts or honey for example.

A 45g serving with 125ml semi skimmed milk provides around 215 calories.

Major supermarkets have their own brands with similar or the same sugar content. As a comparison, Nestle Honey Nut Shredded Wheat has 16g of sugar per 100g.


Cereal
Sugar per 100g
Nestle Shredded Wheat
0.7g
Nestle Shredded Wheat Bitesize
0.7g
Sainsbury's Wholegrain Mini Wheats
0.6g
Morrisons Neat Wheats
0.7g
Morrisons Bitesized Mini Neat Wheats
0.7g
ASDA Wholegrain Wheats
0.7g
Aldi Harvest Morn Bitesize Wheat Shreds
0.7g
Tesco Wheat and Mini Wheat Pillows
0.8g



5. Puffed Rice Cereal 0.7g

Most big name plain puffed rice cereals fall into the medium range for sugar levels. However, the two organic brands shown here have no sugar or salt added.

They're made with 100% wholegrain brown rice and are naturally low in fat.

A 22g serving with 125ml semi skimmed milk provides around 140 calories.

Cereal
Sugar per 100g
Kallo Organic Puffed Rice Cereal
0.7g
Rude Health Puffed Rice Cereal
0.7g


6. Ready Brek and Ready Oats 1.0g

Ready Brek and Ready Oats are made with finely milled wholegrain rolled oats and wholegrain oat flour. This produces a very smooth porridge with no lumps.

A 30g serving with 125ml semi skimmed milk provides an average of 170 calories.

Ready oat cereals are generally fortified with vitamins, iron & calcium. Examples include the following brands which all have the same amount of sugar.

Cereal
Sugar per 100g
ASDA Ready Oats
1.0g
Morrisons Instant Hot Oats
1.0g
Ready Brek (Weetabix)
1.0g
Sainsbury's Ready Oat Cereal
1.0g
Tesco Instant Hot Oat Cereal
1.0g



7. Toasted Oatbran 1.5g

Mornflake’s Toasted Oatbran is low in sugar and salt, but high in fibre with 18.2g of fibre per 100g of cereal. It can be eaten as a cereal on its own with milk or added to other dishes, such as yogurt for an extra fibre and crunch boost.

A 30g serving with 100ml of semi skimmed milk contains 160 calories and 5.1g of sugar (sugar naturally occurring in milk).

Cereal
Sugar per 100g
Toasted Oatbran
1.5g


8. Cornflakes 2.7g – 4.0g

Corn flakes can have very high sugar content, depending on what sort you buy. However, if you opt for the plain varieties, you'll be consuming far less sugar since the majority of corn flakes fall within the low to medium sugar range.

A 30g serving with 125ml semi skimmed milk provides around 170 calories.

Those corn flakes listed here all have less than 5g of sugar per 100g.


Cereal
Sugar per 100g
Tesco Value Cornflakes
2.3g
Sainsbury's Cornflakes, SO Organic
2.1g
Sainsbury's Cornflakes, Basics
3.6g
Morrisons Savers Corn Flakes
3.7g
Doves Farm Organic Corn Flakes
4.0g
Kallo Wholearth Organic Classic Cornflakes
4.0g



9. Oatibix 3.2g

Oatibix made by Weetabix are produced using 100% wholegrain oats. They're low in sugar, saturated fat and salt. However, this only applies to the original Oatibix biscuits (24s).

Oatibix Bitesize, Oatibix Flakes and Oatibix Bitesize with fruit, all have higher levels of sugar.

One serving provides 189 calories.

Cereal
Sugar per 100g
Weetabix Oatibix
3.2g




10. Lizi's Low Sugar Granola 3.8g

Lizi's granola range are all high in fibre, ready-to-eat toasted cereals with oats, mixed nuts, seeds and made with all natural ingredients. They are GMO free and low GL.

Delicious to eat as a cereal with milk, as a topping for yogurt or straight from the pack.

One 50g serving provides 250 calories (without milk).

Cereal
Sugar per 100g
Lizi's Granola Low Sugar
3.8g



11. Wheat Biscuits 2.5g – 4.4g

Wheat Biscuits are generally a low sugar cereal as long as you stick to the plain varieties. They're made with wholegrains and have a low glycaemic index. This means they keep you fuller for longer by releasing their energy slowly. Plain wheat biscuits are also low in fat and sugar.

Varieties with added fruit, chocolate and syrup etc all have higher levels of sugar.

A 30g serving of Sainsbury's Basics Wholewheat Biscuits when served with 125ml semi skimmed milk provides 183 calories.

Some low sugar wheat biscuits include:

Cereal
Sugar per 100g
Morrisons Savers Wheat Biscuits
2.5g
Sainsbury's Wholewheat Biscuits, Basics
2.5g
Doves Farm Organic Whole Wheat Cereal Biscuits
3.3g
Aldi Harvest Morn Wheat Biscs
4.4g
ASDA Wheat Bisks
4.4g
Essential Waitrose Wholewheat Biscuits
4.4g
Sainsbury's Wholewheat Biscuits
4.4g
Tesco Wheat Biscuits
4.4g
Weetabix and Weetabix Organic
4.4g


12. Low Sugar Cheerios 4.7g

I had to include these as an extra to my top 10 low sugar cereals because Cheerios are such a popular children's breakfast. Low Sugar Cheerios are massively lower in sugar than the other varieties (see post).

Apart from the big reduction in sugar, low Sugar Cheerios are made only from oats, rather than four different grains. Oats seem to be a common theme among the low sugar cereals!

One 30g serving  with 125ml semi-skimmed milk
provides 180 calories.

Cereal
Sugar per 100g
Nestle Cheerios Low Sugar
4.7g




It’s interesting to see that basic, value brands tend to have less added sugar than supermarkets regular brands. For example, Tesco Value Corn Flakes have 2.7g of sugar per 100g compared with 8.9g for Tesco Corn Flakes.

Another point to note about the sugar content in cereals, is that not all cereals with a medium or high level of sugar, have added refined sugar. Take Alpen’sNo added sugar’ muesli. It has no sugar listed in its ingredients, yet the nutrition label shows a sugar content of 16.3g per 100g, which puts it in the ‘high’ category.

However, this isn’t as bad as it sounds. Alpen’s ‘No Added Sugar’ muesli gets its sweetness from the natural sugars found in the dried fruit content. Because dried fruit contains valuable nutrients, it's a healthier type of sugar, though the effect on blood sugar levels remains similar to refined sugar. There is little difference in calories between the two varieties. Alpen's muesli contains 357 calories per 100g, whereas the No Added Sugar Alpen has 352 calories per 100g.

So don’t get caught out by hidden sugars in your cereals. Reading the nutritional label and the ingredients listed on the packet can tell you all you need to know. This article ‘Serving and Portion Sizes, How to Read Nutrition Labels’ explains how to read nutrition labels, while ‘Guidelines to Healthy and Unhealthy amounts of Fat, Salt and Sugar’ explains how much we need of each nutrient and how much sugar, salt and fat is high, medium or low’.

Becoming more 'sugar aware' can help you make informed decisions about the amount of sugar you're really eating in your breakfast cereal. The information's all there on the pack!


Related Articles:  
15 Super High Fibre Breakfast Cereals - Read Post
Guidelines to healthy levels of fat, salt and sugar - Read Post
How healthy are your Weetabix - Read Post
How Many Calories in Weetabix - Read Post
Outline in the Low Glycemic Load (GL) Diet - Read Post


© Diets and Calories 2011-2016

Copyright

© 2011-2016 Diets and Calories. All Rights Reserved

Creative Commons Licence
Food photos are licensed (unless otherwise stated) under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Contact

Email: caroline(at)dietsandcalories.com

Disclaimer

Like on Facebook

Total Pageviews

Back to TOP