Breakfast Cereals: The silent sugar

Hi Everybody,

If you watched The Sugar Crash documentary on RTE recently you will know that there is a tonne of hidden sugars in supermarket products. The World Health Organisation recommends adults consume just six teaspoons of added sugar a day. So how does your favourite breakfast cereal compare to the current guidelines? I went and investigated how much sugar is in the common brands!

So breakfast is the most important meal of the day but how much sugar is actually in your standard bowl of cereal? Well for a start you probably don’t eat a standard bowl of cereal! Kellogg’s measures and defines a standard serving size of 30g?! So what does 30g look like? You know those cute little snack sized multipacks, yep 30g! So firstly you are probably eating 60- 90g of cereal! Depending on how hungry and tired you are of course! And what does this mean for how much sugar is in your breakfast?


Coco pops contain 11g of sugar per 30g serving size and bearing in mind you have two or even three servings you have consumed at least 5 ½ teaspoons of sugar! OK and I hear your complaints it’s a chocolate cereal what do you expect, so I also looked at some healthier ones.

30g of coco pops

Cornflakes, pretty healthy you would think no chocolate here! But think again. Cornflakes contain 8g of sugar per 100g. In simple terms that’s over a teaspoon of added sugar to your 60g bowl.

17g of cornflakes contains almost 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar!

So you are eating right avoiding the sugar laden cereals but your still munching on Special K in the mornings. It’s all those women with their red dresses running around looking fit and healthy, well they’re not so healthy! For your 60g serving of Special K you are consuming just over two teaspoons of sugar! You want sugar with your skinny latte too?

All Bran, helps keep the digestive tract moving and more fibre will keep you fuller for longer, really healthy breakfast? Wrong! All Bran has 7.2g of sugar per 30g serve so if you are eating a fuller bowl of cereal that’s 3 ½ teaspoons of sugar!

So that’s the bad, what’s the good? There are clearly two winners when it comes to healthy cereals. First up is Weetabix. Of all the cereals Weetabix were the healthiest with the lowest sugar content. For two biscuits, unless you are a rugby player and eating four or five, they contain just 1.7g of sugar that’s ½ a teaspoon! In comparison to the other cereals that’s angelic!

The second winner and not entirely classed as a breakfast cereal is porridge! I am slightly biased here because I love porridge. There are so many good things about porridge:

  • It is cheap
  • Readily available all year round
  • It is a wholegrain that has been minimally processed
  • It is full of fibre and has been proven to lower bad cholesterol
  • It has 0.4g of sugar per 40g serving (and don’t forget because it absorbs the water it is more filling!)

For more health benefits and addition nutritional information check out the Porridge Club.

40g of dry oats

And porridge doesn’t have to be bland. You can have any flavour you can imagine, chocolate, peanut butter and banana, apple and cinnamon; the options are endless! The internet is packed with recipes for overnight oats so why not make it a challenge and make a different one everyday. The important thing to remember is that there is a low sugar alternative to coco pops. Why not start the day as you mean to continue?

Stay healthy X

I will be doing a number of these posts. Next week I will be talking about soups and breads for lunches so stay posted for more information on how to stay low sugar throughout the day!




9 thoughts on “Breakfast Cereals: The silent sugar

  1. Martina, this doesn’t surprise me at all as most of the “newer ” breakfast cereals are full of choc and frosted sugar even on the photos on the packs. However, I’m appalled at how much sugar is in a simple bowl of cornflakes , as this is my cereal of choice and I eat it with no extra sugar and soya milk………. weetabix my kids eat think I’ll be switching over to this. Great article.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, porridge is great. I often have weetabix with banana, a small amount of milk and yogurt. Now I’m mostly off sugar, the banana is sweet enough. The same would do for porridge and, yes, apple.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I started doing the overnight oats the night before in a tiny tubberwear. I can see why cerals are seen to be easy for a morning rush thankfully learned to love oats.

    Liked by 1 person

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