Q: "I am looking for a high-fibre breakfast cereal that is low in fat and also low in sugar. Can you tell me which breakfast cereal is the best choice?"
Liz, via email
A: The best way to find a high-fibre, low-sugar cereal is to compare different brands using the ‘per 100g’ column on the pack’s nutrition information panel.
For budget-priced, low-sugar breakfast cereals, you can’t beat Weet-Bix, Vita Brits or traditional rolled oats. They are high in fibre, at about 10 to 12 per cent, but contain little sugar (less than three per cent).
At the other end of the scale are very high-fibre cereals, including All-Bran and Bran Plus. These will have 30 per cent or more fibre, but also come with more added sugar, averaging around 14 per cent. The extra sugar makes the bran taste better, so there’s a health/flavour trade-off.
In between are the fibre and fruit cereals, such as Sultana Bran and Fibre Plus. These come in at around 15 per cent fibre but are even higher in sugar – usually 20 to 25 per cent. This might sound excessive, but in some cases up to half of this is natural sugar coming from the dried fruit. Of course, you could sprinkle a tablespoon of wheat bran over a plain cereal to increase the fibre, or boost sweetness with a handful of sultanas or a sliced banana.
Finally, for a healthy breakfast it is also important to consider salt (sodium) content. Look for cereal that has around 300mg or less of sodium per 100g.