Cereal bars packed with sugarAnd some have more saturates than a cake

02 November 2006

Many ‘healthy’ cereal bars are packed with sugar and saturated fat, Which? reveals today.

Our investigation of 20 top-selling bars found they were all high in sugar and more than half were also high in saturated fat.

We found that a nutritious-looking Kellogg’s Fruit ‘n Fibre Bar contained more sugar per bar (10g) than a chocolate Penguin bar (9.7g).

And Nesquik Cereal & Milk Bar and Nestlé Golden Grahams Cereal & Milk Bar both had 2.1g of saturated fat per bar. That’s more saturates than a Mr Kipling Almond Slice.

High in sugar

Many people eat a cereal bar instead of breakfast; they're often promoted for their healthy credentials, and many are targeted at children.

But every one of the cereal bars was so sugary it would a red light for sugar under the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) 'traffic light' labelling scheme.

In our survey, a Jordans Original Crunchy Honey & Almond bar contained the most fat (6.8g) overall. It would get a red light for fat under the FSA labelling scheme.

The bar that had the least sugar (5.6g) and least fat (1.6g) was Nestle’s Fitnesse Original. This one and Jordans Frusli Raisin & Hazlenut bar came out best for saturated fat – both had 0.7g per bar.

Planned cuts

We asked manufacturers to comment on the bars that had high levels of fat or sugar.

Kellogg’s refused to comment while Nestlé said it had been cutting the saturated fat in these cereal and milk bars and had plans for further cuts next year.

The Nesquik bar now has 2g of saturates and Golden Grahams 1.9g per bar. The company added that the bars provided important nutrients.

Jordans said that to cut the fat level it would have to use artificial additives, which it wouldn’t do as the firm uses only natural ingredients. It added that 87 per cent of the fat was ‘good’ fats essential for health.