Are cereal bars healthy?
I was just down in my local supermarket doing research for a school tomorrow. I was looking specifically at sugar in cereal and snack bars. I often get asked the question “Are cereal bars healthy?”
These are a great convenient options for people, especially for kids with lunch boxes, but the results aren’t great. the sugar content of the bars varied greatly, from 5 -15 g of sugar per bar. Of course, the size of the bar also varied – some with one large bar others with two smaller bars in a pack.
It can get complicated looking at cereal bars so here are some tips:
Read the ingredients – how much wholegrain is in the bar? for example. oats, brown rice, whole wheat flour are all whole grains.
Read the sugar content. 4 g of sugar equals 1 teaspoon. I find this visual aid great.
Do you understand the ingredients listed in bar. If half the bar is filled with terms you don’t understand – can you find a bar with a simpler list of ingredients.
Content of sugar in Snack/Cereal bars
American Heart Assoc recommends: added sugar intake for
women is 5 tsp / 20 g,
men 9 tsp / 36 g
Children 3 tsp / 12 g daily
Some of these bars will use up your child’s added sugar allowance for the day. However, if your child drinks soft drinks or fruit juices, like sugar cereals, drinks sugary yogurt drink, they could go well over their allowed limit.
Its not about one products sugar content, but rather the accumulation of a number of products over the course of a day.
|Snack Bar||Carbohydrates (grams)||Of which sugars||Tsp of sugar (4g per tsp)|
|Kellogs Squares (28g bar)||21g||9g||Just over 2 tsp|
|Kellogs Chocolate and Caramel Squares (36g bar)||27g||14g||3 ½ tsp|
|Kellogs Frosties (25g bar)||18g||8g||2 tsp|
|Kellogs Rice Krispies bar (20g bar)||14g||7g||Just under 2|
|Kellogs coco pops bar (20g)||14g||8g||2 tsp|
|Kellogs Fruit Winders (per roll)||13g||6g||1 ½ tsp|
|Kellogs Pop Tarts (50g bar)||35g||16g||4 tsp|
|Carmans Apricot (45g bar)||23g||5g||Just over 1 tsp|
|Go Ahead yogurt breaks (per slice)||13g||7.1g||Just under 2 tsp|
|Mrs Crumbles Caramel rice cakes (per pack)||30g||9g||Just over 2 tsp|
|Weight Watchers Fruit Crumbles (22.5 g bar)||15.4g||10.2||2 ½ tsp|