hidden sugar


Sandra investigates the cereal offenders in those bowls you serve each morning

One thing that most of us know that one of the keys to a healthy lifestyle is to make breakfast a regular part of our routines, but just how healthy are some of the things we’re actually eating every morning?I was horrified when I just happened to glance at my son’s breakfast cereal on the kitchen top the other day – his honey flavoured Ready Brek had a whopping 18g of sugar per 100g; to put that into an understandable measurement that’s about 3 teaspoons per bowl!

Don’t get me wrong, I know that it’s also a source of vitamins and calcium but I couldn’t work out why there was so much hidden sugar in it, it would be much better to just have plain porridge with a spoonful of honey; which is now what is going to happen in this house!


Anyway, this got me thinking about just how much hidden sugar is in cereals, I remember a few years ago there was an uproar about the salt content in breakfasts but I was keen to take a stroll down to the supermarket and have a look at what was on the shelves.

What I found there made me determined to make sure I read the nutrition labels on food a lot more!

I’ve put together what I read for you below, marking out the worst sugar offenders as well as the best breakfasts for a healthy day!



It may not surprise you that Frosties are packed full of sugar – you can see that the flakes themselves are coated in it; there are about 5 teaspoons of sugar with 40g served with semi-skimmed milk!

As a choice for breakfast this is no better for you than cake and custard, in fact there are some cakes on supermarket shelved with less sugar per 100g!


Shreddies is a great breakfast choice; it does have added sugar, just under 10% of an adults daily allowance for a 40-50g serving with milk.

It’s a great source of vitamin D, which is often not found in cereals and which has been found really important to overall health.

There are other vitamins and minerals including a 3.6mg dose of iron; it’s also great to add accessories too, try sweet fruits which are a source of better types of sugars!



I’d rather have a bowl of, well, might as well be a chocolate bar because that’d be the same amount of sugar for breakfast as just a 40g serving of Coco Pops – when eaten with semi-skimmed milk this cereal has the equivalent to a whopping 5 teaspoons of sugar!

This kind of sugar intake at breakfast will give anyone a short sugar rush and boost of energy, but you’ll be really hungry again by mid-morning.




This is a great breakfast choice and has one of the lowest amounts of added sugar for a ready-made cereal, just 1.7g per two biscuit serving.

It’s also low in fat and salt, packed full of fibre and iron; it’s a fantastic breakfast choice and you can have it with absolutely anything, try yogurt rather than milk and all sorts of different fruits.


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