Monday, 1 February 2016

British Breakfast Cereals will Make You Fat: Net Carbohydrate of Cereals

Fat is not as effective as making you fat as too much carbohydrate. Carbs is really another name for calories. To the body, carbohydrate and sugar are the same: energy. Once broken down, the energy in food is turned to glucose. Excess glucose in your blood will be stored around the organs as fat. This is why a person on a fat-free diet can become fat. Small wonder there is a fat epidemic in this country when the supermarkets stock high carbohydrate breakfast cereals masquerading as healthy food.

Don’t be fooled by the claim that a breakfast cereal has no or low sugar. It can still make you fat if it is high in carbohydrate and low in fibre. A diet high in carbs can cause a host of problems: candida albicans, sugar diabetes, obesity, tooth decay and degenerative diseases associated with being overweight.

Healthy Forms of Sugar?

Net Carbohydrate of Breakfast Cereals
Carbs comes in different forms from simple to complex. Simple carbs include dextrose, sucrose, lactose, maltose, fructose, galactose and monosaccharides. These are rapidly absorbed in the blood stream, causing a blood sugar spike. Starches, another form of carbohydrate, are found in certain fruits and vegetables. Some starches cause a rapid blood sugar spike, just like simple carbs. Other are absorbed more slowly, but still provide energy.

Wheatabix is Lower Carb than Alpen
Fibre is a form of carbohydrate that is not digested, but passes through the body and is fermented in the large gut.

In order to determine how much energy a breakfast cereal actually contains, I worked out the net carbohydrate of each. The net carb is what I consider to be how good a cereal is at making you fat. The higher the figure, the more glucose the cereal is providing you.

What is Net Carbohydrate?

Wheatgerm is very Low in Carbs
The net carbohydrate is calculated by subtracting the amount of fibre, (which is not digested by the body anyway) from the overall carbohydrate figure. To provide consistency, I used percentages, so that the net carb can easily be appreciated regardless of serving size. So 50% net carbohydrate can be visualized in a bowl of cereal as a half. Imagine, half of your cereal being broken down into glucose (or blood sugar). I have used sugar cubes to the images to add visual appreciation.

I went out with pen and pad and looked at the back of cereal packets in my local Asda.

I noted down the key figures which are C which stands for overall carbohydrate (of which S stands for sugars). I then subtracted the fibre (or F) from the overall carb. I was then left with the net carbs of a breakfast cereal. In other words, the energy it provides. (Note, I have had to round up or down some decimals figures to the nearest whole).

I have listed the breakfast cereals from the lowest to the highest net carbohydrate.

Breakfast Cereals Having Net Carbohydrate of Between 20 and 50 Percent

Porridge is Low in Carb
Neal’s Yard Wholefoods Milled Flax & Oatbran C=41 (of which S=1.4) subtract F18 = Net Carbohydrate 23
Oatbran C=47(of which S=1) subtract F18 = Net Carbohydrate: 29
Wheatgerm C=50 (of which S=8) subtract F15 = Net Carbohydrate 35
Super 3 Seed Granola C=54 (of which S=19) subtract F8 =Net Carbohydrate 46
Mornflake Jumbo Oats C=56 (of which S=1) subtract F9 = Net Carbohydrate 47
Kellogs Ancient Legends Muesli with Pumpkin, Sultana & Flaxseeds C57 (of which S=16) subtract F9 = Net Carbohydrate 48
Super Nutty Granola C=56 (of which S=16) subtract F7 = Net Carbohydrate 49

You get the figures? Now I have abbreviated them further in the following:

Medium Carbohydrate Breakfast Cereals Between 51 and 60 Percent Net Carbs

Alpen has Lots of Fruit Sugars
Wholegrain Quaker Oats C60 (S1) - F9 = 51
Jordan’s Fruit and Nut Muesli C61 (S24) - F9.4 = 51
Harvest Morn Wheat Shreds C65 (S0.6) - F13 = 52
Nestle Low Sugar Oat Cheerios C67 (S4.7) - F8.5 = 58
Harvest Morn Wheat Shreds C65 (S0.6) - F13 = 56
Quinoa C62 (S0) - F5 = 57
Simply Granola C65 (S18) - F7.2 = 58
Morrison Puffed Wheat C67 (S1.6) - F9.3 = 58
Wheatabix C69 (S4.4) - F10 = 59
Crunchy Oat Granola Tropical Fruits Harvest morn C66 (S20) - F7.4 = 59
Alpen Original C67 (S22) - F7 = 60

Breakfast Cereals Comprising Net Carbs of Between 61 and 70 Percent

Shreddies: High in Sugar & Fibre
Shreddies C72 (S15) - F11 = 61
Super Berry Granola C68 (S17) – F7.7 = 61
Kellogs Ancient Legends Sultana, Apple & Chia Seeds C70 (S23) - F8.6 = 62
Harvest Morn Malted Wheaties C72 (S13) - F7 = 65
Asda Malted Shreddies C73 (S14) - F8.5 = 65
Nestle (ordinary) Cheerios 4 Grain C73 (S20) - F7 = 66
Nestle Nesquick Chocolate C74 (S25) - F8.7 = 66
Frosted Shreddies C76 (S28) - F8.9 = 67
Nestle Honey Cheerios C75 (S24) - F7 = 68
Wheatabix Weetos Choc Hoops C75 (S24) -F6.2 = 69
Asda Multigrain Wheaties C76 (S19) - F6.5 = 70

Breakfast Cereals Having High Net Carbs of 71 Percent and Above These Could Make you Fat

Cornflakes are High in Sugars
Harvest Morn Benefit Original (Their version of Special K) C76 (S12) - F4 = 72
Special K Oats & Honey C77 (S18) - F5 = 72
Asda Jungle Bites C78 (S29) - F5.4 = 73
Special K Fruit & Nut C78 (S27) - F4.4 = 74
Special K Red Berries C79 (S17) - F5.3 = 74
Plain Special K C79 (S15) - F4.5 = 75
Nestle Golden Nuggets C81 (S25) - F4.6 = 77
Kellogs Cornflakes C84 (S8) - F3 = 81
Asda Coco Snaps C84 (S33) -F2.3 = 82
Kellogs Cocopops C85 (S35) - F2 = 83
Asda Golden Balls C88 (S25) - F3.4 = 85
Rice Snaps (like Rice Crispies) C87 (S10) - F1 = 86
Asda Frosted Flakes C88 (S30) - F2.3 = 86

Special K is Not Healthy

Special K is Not Healthy
Some interesting results here. Firstly, it would seem that Special K, having pictures of slim women on the box, is not a slimming breakfast cereal, but one with 75% net carbs (and low in fibre). When broken down in the body, it’s like eating cereal of which three-quarters are sugar.

Alpen is also not as healthy as it purports to be, loaded with dry fruits, making it high in carbs and sugar. Wheatabix would be better for helping you lose weight.

Asda Chosen by You

Frosted Flakes Could Make you Fat
Shame on Asda Frosted Flakes, Rice Snaps, Cocopops and Golden Nougats that are marketed for children, emblazoned with Disney characters and action heroes! Kids eating these cereals are likely to get tooth decay, sugar cravings and weight gain in later years. Asda’s token tagline is: Chosen by You.

It is little surprise that on the whole, good old porridge is best. But the average cereal can be made healthier and lower in carbs by replacing some of it with wheatgerm or introducing a little oatbran. Reducing the dried fruits would be better.

I haven’t begun on cereal bars, but they are loaded with simple carbohydrates. Here’s one example: Special K Chock & Raspberry Cereal Bar C75 (S36) - F4 = 71