Ten grams of sugar in your morning cereal bowl may not seem like much. They represent about 3 teaspoons, they only contribute 40 calories to the food and it is an average amount in the cereals of the United States. Unfortunately, that amount of sugar represents a large portion and a significant percentage of the maximum amount you should eat per day.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture recommends that children consume no more than 48 g of sugar per day. If a bowl of cereal contains 10 g of added sugar, this represents more than 20% of the daily allowance. The common three-quart cup cereal portion can weigh between 30 and 50 g, so those 10 g of sugar account for up to one third of the total serving size. The sugar content of cereals varies between 0 and 15 g, and 10 g is usually the average.
Americans consume too much sugar and breakfast cereals in particular have been targeted, especially since companies promote many of their products as if they were for children. More than half of the composition of some cereals is sugar and these contain an equivalent to that of a glazed donut. European versions of the same cereals sold in the United States usually contain less sugar, up to 25% less.
In the past, the response of manufacturers to negative publicity about excessive sugar content has been to change the name of the worst cereals. Post's Super Sugar Crisp was renamed Golden Crisp and Kellogg's Sugar Smacks is now called Honey Smacks, but the sugar levels in them remained the same. On the positive side, manufacturers have correctly pointed out that their products generally contain a good amount of nutrients, are low in fat and are excellent sources of dietary fiber. In late 2010, General Mills and Post reduced the amount of sugar in its most popular brands. The new sugar levels are now less than 9 g, much less than the 11 to 14 g they contained.
Consumer Reports Rating
In 2008, Consumer Reports published the first 27 cereals in terms of sales. The best ones, those with lower sugar content and more vitamins and fibers, contained less than 10 g of sugar. The worst had an average of 12 g and those who were in the middle had about 10 g.