Sugar

    The sweet story about cereal and sugar

    Brown or white, granulated or caster, in cubes or sachets, sugar’s been around since Christopher Columbus brought a bit of sugar cane back from the Canary Islands (there’s a fact that could impress the rest of the family!). It’s one of the ingredients in many foods, including breakfast cereals.

    Sugars intake in breakfast examples

    What is sugar's role?

    Sugar preserves, gives a texture, a nice golden colour and, of course, a sweeter flavour. Most cereal is made mostly from grain, which can make it a good source of fibre and contains vitamins and minerals. So sugar is merely its partner (or maybe we should say sweetheart?).

    Did you

    know?

    Oh mummy!

    Egyptians used to bury mummies with necklaces made from barley, and in 1324 King Edward II of England set the standard for the measurement - making the ‘inch’ equal to ‘three grains of barley, dry and round, placed end-to-end lengthwise’.

    Rice in disguise

    Wild rice isn’t really rice at all – it’s the seed of an aquatic grass originally grown by Native American tribes. It has a strong flavour and is quite expensive so it’s usually mixed with other types of rice.

    Just how sweet?

    Sugars from breakfast cereals make up around 5% of the average daily intake of added sugars for adults (8% for children[1]. And studies show that children who eat pre-sweetened breakfast cereal show no difference in their overall daily intake of sugars compared to those who don’t[2].

    So there you have it – the sweet story about breakfast cereal and sugar.

    Break out the breakfast cereal – it’s too good not to!

    A balanced breakfast is important - it gives you the nutrients needed to be ready for the day. Find out what makes cereal part of a balanced breakfast

    Find out moreBreak out the breakfast cereal – it’s too good not to!

    Footnotes

    1. Bates B et al (2016) National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Results from Years 5-6 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2012/13 – 2013/14) London: Public Health England

    2. Albertson AM, Thompson DR, Franko DL et al (2011) Weight indicators and nutrient intake in children and adolescents do not vary by sugar content in ready-to-eat cereal: results from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2006. Nutr Res. Mar;31(3):229-36. • Bachman JL, Reedy J, Subar AF et al (2008) Sources of food group intakes among the U.S. population, 2001-2002. J Am Diet Assoc.;108(5):804-14. • INCA2 (2008) French National Dietary Survey.

    Footnotes

    1. ^ Bates B et al (2014) UK National Diet & Nutrition Survey. Results from Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2008/2009 – 2011/2012). London: Public Health England
    2. ^ Albertson AM, Thompson DR, Franko DL et al (2011) Weight indicators and nutrient intake in children and adolescents do not vary by sugar content in ready-to-eat cereal: results from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2006. Nutr Res. Mar;31(3):229-36. • Bachman JL, Reedy J, Subar AF et al (2008) Sources of food group intakes among the U.S. population, 2001-2002. J Am Diet Assoc.;108(5):804-14. • INCA2 (2008) French National Dietary Survey.

    Let'stalk

    We've tried to answer as many of your questions as possible. You can search them all here:

    How can I find foods made with whole grain?

    Two things to remember: • Look for food labels where the word 'whole' appears in front of the name of the grain, like “whole wheat” or “wholemeal bread”. • For foods with more than one ingredient, make sure whole grain is listed towards the top of the ingredients list. The further up the list it is, the more whole grain has been used in the recipe. And look out for the percentage of whole grain. You should find this in the ingredients list too.

    What’s the difference between a whole grain and a refined grain?

    A ‘whole’ grain has more nutrients than a ‘refined’ grain, because all parts of the grain are retained – kernel, bran, endosperm and germ – along with their fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. But most of the bran and germ are removed when producing refined grains. Whole grains therefore contain more nutrients than refined grains.

    What is gluten?

    The general name for proteins found in cereal grains such as wheat. It holds the food together, like a ‘glue’, and gives dough its elasticity.

    How much whole grain do I need to eat every day?

    Keep it simple: make grains the base of your diet and choose whole grains over refined grains wherever possible. U.S Dietary Guidelines recommend eating 3 servings (48g) a day. So, whenever you look for breakfast cereals, bread, pasta, rice or flour to cook at home, look for the word “whole”, ideally among the first ingredients in the list.

    We'd love to hear your comments about Nestlé cereals, so please let us know what you think, we always appreciate hearing from you.