Cereal bars don’t deserve healthy image

A new research study by consumer group ‘Which?’ has found that most cereal bars are high in sugar and fat, making the healthy image they are given a ‘myth’ according to NHS Choices.

Breakfast-cereal-bars

by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 21st August 2012

30 different cereal bars from best selling brands were analysed for calories, sugar, fat, saturated fat and salt content.  The research found that 29 of the 30 bars were high in sugar and 16 bars contained more than 30% sugar. Some of this sugar was from fruit, but 29 of the bars had added sugar.

Different forms of sugar

The survey found that several forms of sugar were being used, which could confuse consumers as each sugar is listed separately and some may appear lower down the ingredients list.  Sugars contained in cereal bars include:

  • glucose syrup
  • honey
  • golden syrup
  • raw cane syrup
  • inverted sugar syrup
  • molasses
  • glucose-fructose syrup
  • barley malt syrup
  • dried glucose syrup
  • partially inverted sugar syrup
  • fructose, lactose
  • prebiotic oligofructose syrup
  • grape juice concentrate
  • oligofructose syrup
  • dextrose
  • sugar

Best and worst

The healthiest children’s bar was Weetabix Oaty Strawberry Crusher, with 1.4g of fat, 0.6g of saturated fat and 79 calories, but it was still considered to be high in sugar, with 4.6g.  The unhealthiest children’s bar was the Monster Puffs Cereal and Milk Chocolate bar, which was high in sugar (11.8g) and high in saturated fat (1.9g). It contained 210 calories and 4.1g of fat.

Snacks for children

Cereal bars are often a popular choice for a ‘healthy’ children’s snack.  See Mindful Mum Nutritionist Charlotte Stirling Reed’s  article about these, and other foods to avoid 

Source:  NHS Choices, Cereal bars don’t deserve ‘healthy image’, 20th August 2012

Image: theimpulsivebuy @Flirckr

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