Dangers of ‘hidden ingredients’ in breakfast cereals

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The Stroke Association warned today against the hidden dangers from the high levels of salt, sugar and fat found in many popular breakfast cereals enjoyed by both children and adults.

Processed and refined foods are often high in all these ingredients. Reducing these in a diet and eating more fresh produce, could dramatically reduce a person’s risk of developing a stroke in later life.

Most people are not aware that food such as cereal, cereal bars, bread and biscuits contain large amounts of salt, sugar and hydrogenated fats. These “hidden ingredients” means that people might be unaware of the amounts they are actually eating, and the risk of stroke as a result.

Ways to reduce your intake of salt, sugar and hydrogenated fats:

  • Don’t add salt to food-try using flavourings such as fresh garlic, herbs or spices instead
  • Check labels on food for their content; For example, most foods are labeled by the amount of sodium (which is contained in salt) per 100g. Levels of 0.5 g of sodium or more per 100g are high, whilst 0.1 g per 100 g is low
  • Check flavour enhancers and preservatives as these can contain sugar and salt
  • Include fresh foods in the diet, particularly fruit and vegetables. Many are low in salt and fat, high in fibre and rich in antioxidants.


  1. Larry Larry United Kingdom says:

    The main issue is sugar. People need to throw away the sugar bowl. then use agave syrup, xylitol and honey. add cinnamon to the honey where you can.

    Cut out coca cola products completely - cut out diet and 'zero', too.

    salt-wise: if you eats peanuts, rinse them first. Get all the salt off.
    for home  cooking, use a tiny tiny tiny teenie sprnkle of pink salt AFTER cooking. Use a tiny bit of pink / sea salt at serving. It's so potent, u need only a tiny pinch, - also sage, thyme and parsley (and pepper) help. Season the food with fresh herbs n spices.

    For fat: grill food rather than frying: eg plantain can be rilled. Shallow fry eggs in coconut oil. throw away your oil bottle. Use coconut oil or olive oil. Or ghee.
    avocado is a good fatty food to eat. A geroge foreman grill is a great tool.

    If your friends/partners don't support you on this...and they try to "go on...it's a treat...surely you can just this once." then they don't love you. Stick to your guns.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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