The sweet truth about cereal and sugar
Brown or white, granulated or caster, in cubes or sachets, sugar is 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. Cereal is made mostly from grain, which can make it a good source of carbohydrate, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. So sugar is merely its partner (or maybe we should say sweetheart?).
The World Health Organisation recommends a maximum of 10 teaspoons of added sugars a day. The good news is that many cereals contain two teaspoons or fewer of added sugars per serving." WHO recommends less than 10% of total energy intake from free sugars which are equivalent to 50g (or around 10 teaspoons) per day.
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. 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.
So there you have it – the sweet truth about breakfast cereal and sugar. Now all you have to do is enjoy it !
- 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
- 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.
I'd like to contact Nestlé Cereals because
We've tried to answer as many of your questions as possible. You can search them all here:
What are the health and nutritional benefits of Nestlé Gluten Free Corn Flakes?
I’ve heard a low GI diet can help me lose weight. Is this true?
Is Nestlé planning to launch gluten-free versions of its other cereals or cereal bars?
Why do some breakfast cereals have different serving sizes labeled on pack?
Does the high GI of breakfast cereals negate the whole grain benefits?
We'd love to hear your comments about Nestlé cereals, so please let us know what you think, we always appreciate hearing from you.