Monday, August 21, 2006

That wicked sugar and salt again

Alarming amounts of sugar and salt are being added to breakfast cereals, new tests reveal. Food experts have found five popular cereals contain more than 30 per cent sugar, while some were saltier than a packet of potato chips. Even cereals that appear to be nutritious are laced with sugar and salt, according to Australian Consumers' Association food policy officer Clare Hughes.

ACA experts examined 150 brands of cereal and found just 40 of those would make a healthy everyday breakfast. "It was quite disappointing to see that a lot of cereals targeted at children weren't the type of the things we should be giving kids every day," Ms Hughes said. "Many consumers don't think about the salt content of their breakfast cereal because they may not taste overly salty." Ms Hughes said any cereal that had more than 27g of sugar per 100g was considered high in sugar. "Eight of the kids' cereals had very high levels of sugar (more than 40g)," she said. A suitable cereal would have more than 3g of fibre, less than 27g of sugar per 100g, and less than 600mg of sodium per 100g.

The Sunday Mail found popular breakfast cereal Honey O's contained 42.2g of sugar per 100g - a higher proportion of sugar than a Cadbury Picnic bar (36.1g).


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