HOW TO FIND HEALTHY CEREALS
High sugar in cereal has got a lot of attention recently. Not surprisingly, as kids only need 2-3 bowls of some of the highest sugar cereals to get their full daily sugar quota – and that’s by 8 in the morning. The amount of sugar recommended for children is surprisingly low:
- 4-6 year olds: 5 sugar cubes (19g)
- 7-10 year olds: 6 sugar cubes (24g)
- Adults: 7 sugar cubes (30g)
Giki has also found that high sugar cereals often contain health claims such as:
- No artificial colours and flavours. But this doesn’t mean additive free – often these cereals contain a lot of extra processing ingredients – check out the label if you want to avoid these.
- Marketing focus on the healthier ingredients – eg vitamin D, iron, vitamin B12, whole grain. This can distract from other ingredients you may want to avoid – like high sugar, fat or multiple additives or e-numbers.
- No refined sugar – doesn’t mean no sugar. Although unrefined sugar has some benefits, from a calorie perspective sugar is sugar.
So how can you simply navigate the complexity of the supermarket cereal aisles?
- Read the sugar content: Under 22.5g per 100g is classed as amber in the UK government traffic light nutrition system. Many cereals are well above this level.
- Check out the fat content – go for under 17.5g per 100g to stay within the amber/green range. Some cereals have up to 25g per 100g.
- If you want to reduce additives, check out the ingredients – typically higher processing and additives means a greater number of ingredients in cereals.
You can check your cereals on the Giki app, just scan the barcode, or search the product and look for the healthier option badge.