Is porridge healthy? The best and worst porridge for your diet revealed

How healthy is your bowl of porridge in the morning? Is it packed with hidden sugar and fat? We reveal the best and worst porridge for the family

(Image credit: mysupermarket)

Is your porridge healthy or packed with hidden sugar and fat? We reveal the best and worst porridge for the whole family.

Porridge generally is considered a healthy cereal (opens in new tab), but not all porridge is healthy, so read on to discover the best and worst porridge types in the shops. While many types of porridge are excellent for your health - especially homemade porridge (opens in new tab) - some shop-bought are packed with sugar and should be avoided - or kept for the weekend and treat breakfast treats only.

Is porridge healthy?

Porridge is an excellent way to start the day. The best breakfast (opens in new tab) will keep you full till lunch, release energy slowly to help you avoid reaching for a snack and will also be full of goodness.  Packed with all the goodness and benefits of oats (opens in new tab), porridge can do all that and more. A study by Harvard University (opens in new tab) in 2015 even found that eating porridge, brown rice or corn each day could protect the heart against disease. 

But not all porridge is created equal, and while homemade porridge and some shop bought brands are healthy, others are not. We've rated some of the nation's favourites in order of worst to best for sugar content per 100g.

After seeing just how shocking the difference in sugar levels can be in some of your favourite porridge brands, we have a feeling you might be rethinking your choices next time you're in the supermarket. 

Quaker Oat So Simple - Heaps of Fruit Blackberry & Apple

(Image credit: mysupermarket)

Rating for calorie counters: 1/10
Cals (per 100g): 371kCal
Fat: 5.1g
Sat fat 1.0g
Sugar: 28.0g - highest sugar content per 100g!
Salt: 0.3g
Price: £1.19

Is it just us or do you automatically think something with fruit in it must be healthy? There's a shocking amount of sugar in these little tubs, so be warned.

Quaker Oat So Simple - Multigrain Porridge Fruit Muesli

(Image credit: mysupermarket)

Rating for calorie counters: 1/10
Cals: 363kCal
Fat: 4.0g
Sat fat: 1.1g
Sugar: 26.9g
Salt: 0.1g
Price: 98p

Once again, fooled by healthy 'multigrain' labelling, we felt like this porridge should have been much better for us.

Quaker Oats So Simple - Cuppa Porridge Apple & Blueberry

(Image credit: mysupermarket)

Rating for calorie counters: 2/10
Cals: 381kCal
Fat: 6.4g
Sat fat: 1.6g
Sugar: 25.7g
Salt: 0.2g
Price: £2.58 for 5 sachets

It might be the easiest option, but this was one of the most calorific choices when it came to the porridges we investigated.

Quaker Oat So Simple -Caramel

(Image credit: mysupermarket)

Rating for calorie counters: 3/10
Cals: 377kCal
Fat: 5.7g
Sat fat: 1.1g
Sugar: 23.3g
Salt: 0.1g
Price: 98p

Oh dear, these little pots aren't doing so well in our round-up. Although they're great for when you're on the go, they're packed full of sugar too. This one has 23.3g per 100g.

Quaker Oat So Simple - Golden Syrup

(Image credit: mysupermarket)

Rating for calorie counters: 3/10
Cals: 366kCal
Fat: 6.2g
Sat fat: 1.1g
Sugar: 23.0g
Salt: 0.5g
Price: £2.58 for 10 sachets

This one is a firm favourite when it comes to taste, but there's a lot of fat and sugar per 100g, so keep that in mind if you're on a diet.

Ready Brek Chocolate Porridge  

(Image credit: Iceland)

Rating for calorie counters: 4/10
Cals: 382kCal
Fat: 8.0g
Sat fat: 2.2g - highest sat fat content per 100g!
Sugar: 20.0g
Salt: Trace
Price:£1.50

Although the sugar content is getting lower, this porridge was one of the worst for fat content per 100g and the highest for saturated fat.

Quaker Oat So Simple - Strawberry, Raspberry & Cranberry

(Image credit: Tesco)

Rating for calorie counters: 4/10
Cals: 379kCal
Fat: 6.4g
Sat fat: 1.2g
Sugar: 19.0g
Salt: Trace
Price: £2.58 for 10 sachets

This one is a tasty choice but with 19g of sugar per 100g, it's not the healthiest.

Oatburst Porridge - Original Oats 

(Image credit: Frugalitis)

Rating for calorie counters: 6/10
Cals: 98kCal - lowest calorie content per 100g!
Fat: 2.6g
Sat fat: 0.2g
Sugar; 4.4g
Salt: Trace
Price: £1.98 for 12 sachets

Great value at only £1.98 for 12 sachets, and the lowest in calories too!It's still not the lowest for sugar content though...

Tesco Everyday Value Porridge Oats

(Image credit: Tesco)

Rating for calorie counters: 6/10
Cals: 359kCal
Fat: 8.1g
Sat fat: 1.6g
Sugar: 1.5g
Salt: Trace
Price: 75p

One of the cheapest porridges we looked at but still not the lowest for sugar content. It contains the second largest amount of fat per 100g too.

ASDA Smartprice Porridge Oats

(Image credit: mysupermarket)

Rating for calorie counters: 6/10
Cals: 381kCal
Fat: 4.0g
Sat fat: 0.7g
Sugar: 1.3g
Salt: 0.1g
Price: 75p

Another bargain and a great addition to the storecupboard, but this one did have a high amount of calories per 100g.

Scott's Porage Oats Original

(Image credit: Waitrose)

Rating for calorie counters: 7/10
Cals: 372kCal
Fat: 8.0g
Sat fat: 1.5g
Sugar: 1.0g
Salt: Trace
Price: £1.18 for 500g

Only 1g of sugar per 100g in this one, it's definitely a good choice if you're worried about your sugar intake.

Jordans Porridge Oats Traditional

(Image credit: Jordans Cereal)

Rating for calorie counters: 8/10
Cals: 364kCal
Fat: 9.3g- highest fat content per 100g!
Sat fat: 1.8g
Sugar: 1.0g
Salt: Trace
Price: £1.50

The highest in fat out of all the porridges we looked at, but with only 1g of sugar per 100g it's still a good choice if you're watching your sugar intake.

Weetabix Ready Brek Porridge Oats, Original

(Image credit: Waitrose)

Rating for calorie counters: 9/10

Cals: 374kCal
Fat: 8.7g
Sat fat: 1.2g
Sugar: 1.0g
Salt: Trace
Price: £1.50

It might be one of the highest in fat, but with only 1.2g of saturated fat, this is a great option for the family.

Mornflake Superfast Oats

(Image credit: Ocado)

Rating for calorie counters: 9/10
Cals: 367kCal
Fat: 8.4g
Sat fat: 1.3g
Sugar: 1.0g
Salt: Trace
Price: £2.19

Start your day the right way with this porridge, you could add banana for an extra healthy hit.

Quaker Oat So Simple Original

(Image credit: Tesco)

Rating for calorie counters: 10/10
Cals: 364kCal
Fat: 8.5g
Sat fat: 1.5g
Sugar: 1.0g
Salt: Trace
Price: £1.22 for 12 sachets

Out of the 5 porridges with only 1g of sugar per 100g, this had the lowest calories, making it our winner.

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Anna Bailey
Digital Editor

Anna Bailey is the editor of GoodTo. She joined the team in June 2018 but has been a lifestyle writer and online editor for more than 14 years. Anna graduated from Bournemouth University in 2004 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism and went on to gain her NCTJ and NCE  journalism qualifications. She began her career in local journalism, working as a reporter for the Basingstoke Gazette in Hampshire.  As Lifestyle Editor for ITV.com she managed the websites for the broadcaster’s best-loved shows including This Morning, Loose Women, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Coleen's Real Women, and Britain's Best Dish. Before joining Goodto.com she was also a Features Editor at MSN UK and Digital Lifestyle Editor for the broadcaster UKTV. She’s also contributed to The Mirror, The Sun, LoveFood, LoveExploring, and TBSeen.