Reduced-sugar versions of fruity rings, cocoa puffs and frosted flakes have recently appeared on supermarket shelves.
And while you may be inclined to think variety means you’re buying healthier alternatives to the super-sweet originals, that’s not the case. And that’s why cereal manufactures aren’t telling you.
Are low-sugar cereal brands really good for you?
According to Dr Jonathan Wright of Nutrition & Healing, scientists have found that low-sugar cereal brands contain virtually the same amounts of calories, carbohydrates, fat, fibre and nutrients as the original versions.
In fact, scientists found the removed sugar had been replaced with other carbohydrates to preserve the cereal’s crunch. Since the body treats all refined carbohydrates the same, whether they’re grains or sugars, these low-sugar cereals don’t even benefit people with diabetes.
In addition, nutritionists at five universities were recently asked by the Associated Press about their opinion of these new cereals. And they all suggested eating low-sugar cereals held no nutritional advantage.
“The cereals are just a marketing ploy. They were introduced recently after the media began focusing attention on the world’s obesity problem, particularly among children and adolescents,” explains Dr Wright.
The move came after food lobbying groups cited sugary cereals as part of the problem. They believe the cereals encourage children to consume empty calories rather than nutritional whole foods.
This “forced food companies to come up with new ways to sell their products to a public obsessed with weight-watching and health,” says Dr Wright.
What is the cereal manufacturers’ view on all this?
Cereal manufacturers claim they never said the low sugar cereals were more nutritious, just lower in sugar. They say they’re simply providing a variety of options to consumers like you, concerned about the amount of sugar in your diet.
They can sugarcoat it all they want, but the truth is, if you’re concerned about your sugar intake, your best bet is to avoid these cereals altogether.