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The Choice is obvious in breakfast isn’t it, surely fruit and fibre is a healthy breakfast choice? Lets look closer?
I went out to waitrose, a quality supermarket, as they say, and bought own brand Fruit and fibre and own brand stollen cake.
Fruit and fibre Stollen Cake
352calories per 100g 370 calories
made up of 29.4% sugar 32.5% sugar
6.4% of fat 14% fat
3.6% is saturated 5.9% is saturated
fortified with vitamins and iron no vitamins (except in the vitamin tablet)
Now I can see a little bit of difference, in that the cake is fattier, probably transfats and not good for the heart, but the cereal has more carbs, which if not burnt up will turn to fat and be stored by the body. Sugars are about the same the cake is around 3% more sugar (actually its dusted with sugar so you could probably brush it off and bring them to the same level, but admittedly its a guess)
The real shock is when you compare modern cereal and cake they are about the same and where they differ fat and carbs they do so in a six of one and half dozen of the other sort of way.
added vitamins are easy to replace.
Now think about less health directed cereal and start to read the packet, take stollen cake as your yardstick and start to see how they measure up, most are about 29% sugar, some are a little lower and have lower fat some of the slimming directed cereals do this, but by the time you come to anything with cocoa, honey or sugar in its title, you might as well eat two large pieces of cake and a vitamin tablet.
Now if you are feeding this to kids remember that the RDAs on the packet apply to adults and think about children’s mood swings food cravings, dips in behaviour at school and wonder what on earth these cereals are doing to them, never mind us.
Lets not pretend cake is good for you, especially one high in fat, I am just using it to point up that breakfast cereal is not a health food. I think I have a few family recipes somewhere for make your own breakfast cereal, if I can find them , I will post.
Interesting too since I first wrote this that the issue of sugar and fat in breakfast cereals has raised its head again, the February 2012 issue of Which? has an article about this.