Sunday, February 20, 2011

Review; Be Natural Cereal

So I've decided to try my hand at reviews, seeing as I've found that, unfortunately, way too many people trust the front of packaging and the packaging advertising rather than really looking at it. The new Be Natural range of cereals is something I can already see that happening with (their is an unusual amount of day time TV hype about this cereal, judging by the number of Mum's who have mentioned it to me because so and so on TV said...).

I've just purchased and tried the middle one, Be Natural Cashew, Almond, Hazelnut and Coconut Cereal (winner of the Longest Cereal Name Ever championships). I learnt about the release of this cereal first via my local supermarket catalogue, then through Mum who told me about this new cereal that's all natural and said it was good. This soon followed by several others and I decided to trek out and buy it in what I thought was the most desirable sounding flavour, (especially after discovering they had similar sugar percentages anyway, and sugar is what I am most weary of with breakfast cereals).

On the front it claims to be high in fibre, whole grain and low GI with no artificial colours, flavours of preservatives. Let's have a closer look;

13.5% sugar does not make me smile. The super-sweet Lowan Berry Bliss Fusion Muesli comes in under this, and the Be Natural cereal doesn't taste anywhere near as sweet. 85mg of salt per serve is under the 120mg we should try and stay below, but a serving size of 2/3 of a metric cup will probably only sustain a 5 year old until lunch time, so, like most packaged foods, it's a bit high for my liking. The fat content is high but as it's a whole cereal with nuts, I'm not too worried

Upon inspection of the ingredients, I'm happy with the 49% reading of whole grain cereals and 11% nuts, making at least 60% of the box filled with wholesome food. Add the seeds and coconut to this and we're up to 68%. So far, so good. But why is there more raw sugar than coconut or seeds? I know I know, to make it taste good. But don't be fooled! Raw sugar is, in my opinion, only marginally better than the refined stuff because it contains trace amounts of minerals. All sugar is bad for you, and I have no doubt that Be Natural used raw sugar to make it look healthier. I bet you've heard someone say, 'Oh but it's not that bad at least it's raw sugar' before. Deceit even in the ingredients! Or maybe it's better described as marketing, but hey, they have to make us want to eat it. Don't be fooled by 'Brown Rice Syrup', it's sugar too - just read this. I'm not a fan of the 'natural honey flavour', but I doubt it's harming anyone.

Final Word
Be Natural Cashew, Almond, Hazelnut and Coconut Cereal

Pros; It has a high percentage of natural, whole ingredients, comes in under 200 calories per serve if you stick to the 45g recommendation, and it tastes great.

Cons; I still consider this cereal to be high in sugar, especially for something that most people would feel they're tasting little to no sugar in.

Verdict; Much better than a lot of the options on the supermarket shelf, but doesn't come near wheat biscuits or home made muesli. If you are going to eat this or give it to your kids, stick to the recommended serving size and bulk it up with fresh fruits, or some yoghurt instead of milk.

Would I eat this for breakfast? Only sprinkled on top of my home made muesli or as an occasional treat.

Would I give this to kids? Over wheat biscuits or wholegrain toast with fruit, no. Over chocolate cereals or even Sultana Bran, yes.

Currently on special at Coles ($3) if you want to try it!

Will you try it?
What did you think of this review?

Stay well,
Nat x


  1. Oooh! Good review! I'm only just becoming aware of how much sugar there is EVERYWHERE. I never really cared as I was never a sweet tooth (e.g. I bought a pack of lollies in 2009, opened it in 2010, and it's still unfinished on my desk... although my relationship with chocolate is a little different).

    But lately I've started cleaning up my diet and people are noticing my weight loss - it's only just dawned on me that I'm not losing weight by cutting out processed foods, it's by cutting out foods with too much sugar!

    I've taken a look at what's in my fridge and I'm disappointed by what I have in there now that I've read the labels. Definitely have to pay more attention when shopping, but having your kind of review helps me start to avoid things all while sitting behind a computer!

    I'm looking forward to your next review! :)

  2. Great review!! I actually had this exact cereal at a friends house this morning, after sleeping over. Coincidence much!?! I thought it tasted really yummy and is fine to eat occasionally but due to the high sugar content etc as you've mentioned, I'd stick to my regular homemade muesli.
    Hannah x

  3. I'm so glad my first review was well received ladies - thank you!

    It's kind of scary how much sugar is in things. All Bran, to me, is the scariest one because you don't associate sugar with All Bran at all!

  4. Great review, definitely! I've tried this and really like it - I'm a bit of a cereal fiend but love muesli, Vita-brits and other 'boring' healthy options rather than super sugary kinds. I didn't think the Be Natural was too bad as a treat, so I have a little bit sprinkled on my Vita-brits with fruit. :)

  5. I tried the apple and raisin one last week and I LOVED it!! I was super impressed that it has no preservatives or numbers or anything it it (which is RARE!), and despite the high(??) sugar content I thought it was a lot less sweet than other cereals. I ate it with chopped bananas and strawberries, milk and homemade Easiyo custard yoghurt and it was deeeelishus, it certainly did sustain me til morning tea time! Will go to Coles and grab a couple more boxes.

    I actually went to their website to email them a compliment though they don't have a contact email listed. The only downside IMO is that the company is actually owned by Kelloggs who have a few criticisms (eg, marketing junk to children and using GM sugars etc in the US)

  6. The cereals in their original recipe where delicious. My favorite was the Cashew Almond Hazelnut & Coconut. However, they have since changed their recipe. They have significantly reduced the amount of clusters, so much so that the contents of the box has reduded in weight by 95 grams, from 510g to 415. The fat content has increased along with the sugar, sodium & carbs. The only beneficial increase is the fibre content, however, this will be of no benefit to me, due to the lack of flavour I will no longer be buying it. Unfortunately (or fortunately for them) they do not have a facebook page, so this is my only way of sharing. Love to see if others notice the difference!

  7. Well I have to tell you,i started eating this product for breakfast with blueberries and just tried to cut sugar....not worring about fat 6 months ago.....spent hours just looking through the supermarket at sugar in products....scared me s..tless!for a guy who does not have the time to make my own...its a good compromise,lost 15kg pretty easily.It worries me that its made by kelloggs,and I cant find out if the pesticides are being used in it....anyone know?

  8. I also like this range (plain flakes for the kids though) and as its half price this week went looking for product and company information before I really stock up so thankyou for your review and the other comments as well. I think I will get more boxes as $2.50 for 565 g is cheaper than nearly all the others except weetbix which is our other staple cereal.