Money blog: Which biscuits have the least sugar? Read this before you decide on elevenses (2024)

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Nearly time for elevenses... Read this before you decide which biscuits to pick

It can be hard to balance the demands of eating well without spending a lot.

In this series, we try to find the healthiest options in the supermarket for the best value - and have enlisted the help ofSunna Van Kampen, founder of Tonic Health, who went viral on social media for reviewing food in the search of healthier choices.

In this series we don't try to find the outright healthiest option, but help you get better nutritional value for as little money as possible.

Today we're looking at biscuits.

"When some brands are up to two teaspoons of sugar per biscuit (and we all know you aren't having just one), then we need to look or substitutes or find ways to biscuit smarter for your health," Sunna says.

The typical biscuit breakdown on average for market leading brands by type:

Freshly baked cookies: 40% sugar or 27g per 66g cookie

"That's over six teaspoons of sugar - they're also generally the biggest biscuit on the shelf by some distance, so potentially a good choice to avoid," Sunna says.

Chocolate chip cookies: 34% sugar or 8.6g per 25g cookie

"That's the equivalent of over two teaspoons of sugar - delicious but there are better options."

Chocolate digestives: 28% sugar or 4.8g per 16.7g biscuit

"That's a teaspoon per biscuit and I'm definitely not just eating one."

Shortbread: 17% sugar or 2.6g per shortbread

"Almost half the sugar of a chocolate digestive."

Digestive biscuits: 15% sugar or 2.2g per 15g biscuit

"These are starting to look a lot healthier as we are only talking half a teaspoon per biscuit."

Rich tea biscuits: 18% sugar or 1.5g per 8.3g biscuit.

"This one's a bit healthier due to the size, but the best choice is Rich Tea's own 30% less sugar variety.

"That sits at 12% sugar (or just 1.1g per biscuit) - only a quarter of a teaspoon of sugar per biscuit."

The verdict

The Rich Tea Light biscuit is hard to beat in Sunna's mind.

"Its low sugar content make it a winner for health-conscious tea drinkers," he says.

"If you eat just four biscuits a week, swapping from chocolate chip cookies to Rich Tea Light could save you over 1.5kg of sugar per year from your diet.

"Small changes make a big impact," Sunna says.

Digestive biscuits are also a solid choice, especially if you prefer a bit more substance with your tea.

"For those moments when only chocolate will do, chocolate digestives are the best option, although they have a higher sugar content," he adds.

Naturally, he urges biscuit-lovers to stay away from fresh-baked cookies and chocolate chip due to the high sugar levels.

The money

If you're looking to save money, own-brand biscuits from major supermarkets often offer comparable taste at 30-50% discount on average.

"For example, Tesco's Rich Tea biscuits are just £0.65 per pack or £0.22 per 100g compared with McVities Rich Tea at £0.47 per 100g.

Here's a handy comparison;

  • Supermarket Baked Cookies - £0.68 per 100g
  • Fox’s Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies - £1.14 per 100g
  • McVities Chocolate Digestives - £0.50 per 100g
  • Patterson’s Shortbread - £0.45 per 100g
  • McVities Digestives - £0.42 per 100g
  • McVities Rich Tea - £0.47 per 100g
  • McVities Rich Tea Light - £0.60 per 100g

The nutritionist's view - by Dr Emily Prpa, nutritionist and science manager at Yakult.

"It's no secret that Brits love biscuits, with a staggering 27 million UK households buying them every year.

"A little of what you love is not a bad thing, but really it's all about moderation and making some positive swaps.

"For example, consider opting for biscuits that are made with wholemeal flour or whole grains such as oats.

"Those which contain dried fruits and nuts can provide more fibre than other biscuits to help you meet the NHS-recommended 30g of fibre per day for adults.

"The majority of your fibre needs to be obtained through other wholegrain sources of pasta and bread, as well as vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds.

"Fibre aids digestion, helps to regulate bowel movements and is a food source for one's gut bacteria, contributing to a healthy and diverse gut microbiome."

Read more from this series...


Big week of economic announcements - even before election called

By Sarah Taaffe-Maguire, business reporter

It was already going to be a big week of economic announcements before Rishi Sunak called a general election: April inflation came down - though less than expected - as did retail sales and, from July, so too will the energy price cap.

At the same time, we learned government borrowing in April was the fourth-highest on record and consumer confidence was that bit better than a month earlier.

Sterling has come down from the highs reached after inflation data came out - £1 buys £1.27, pretty much back where we started the week. Against the euro, sterling held gains, with a pound equal to €1.1731, up from a €1.1671 low on the Monday open.

The oil price ticked down throughout the week and is now at $81.04 a barrel - down from $84 on Monday, which was already lower than all of April and most of March. It's good news for motorists and should impact prices at the pumps in about 10 days.

On the stock market front, the FTSE 100 index of the most valuable companies on the London Stock Exchange is down 1.5747% since the week.


June cut in interest rates 'ruled out by inflation figures'

There is almost zero chance of a cut in interest rates next month, a senior economist has said.

Michael Saunders, an adviser at Oxford Economics and a former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), said Wednesday's higher than expected inflation figures made it very unlikely.

The rate of price rises dropped to 2.3% in April - but economists had been predicting 2.1%.

The general election, called for 4 July, also makes an interest rate cut unlikely, Mr Saunders said.

"They themselves [the MPC] wouldn't want to be a cause of volatility," he told Bloomberg.

"The MPC would be especially reluctant to do a surprise rate change during an election campaign.

"But, in practice, a June rate cut is already ruled out by inflation figures."

The first rate cut is likely to come in August, Mr Saunders said.

He added: "I do think over the course of the year, markets may now be slightly under-pricing the extent to which interest rates come down.

"I would still say [there will be] three rate cuts - the first one not until August, and then a couple more later in the year."


Nationwide and TSB now paying new customers to join

Nationwide and TSB have both launched current account switch deals as banks fight to draw in new customers.

Nationwide announced the deal after recording a £1.77bn profit for the year ending 4 April.

For existing members who don't have a current account, the building society is offering a £200 switch sweetener.

To qualify, you need to use the Current Account Switch Service and complete a full transfer.

There needs to be a minimum of two direct debits from the account and the switch must be complete within 28 days of the request to move in order to qualify for the deal.

To celebrate its record-breaking profits, Nationwide is also rewarding its customers (who were members as of 31 March) with £100, which will be transferred into their accounts in June.

Meanwhile, TSB is offering £100 to new customers switching to its Spend and Save or Spend and Save Plus current account.

The accounts can be open in branch, online or via the app.

To grab the deal, the switch needs to be complete through the CASS within 21 days of the request, a minimum of five payments need to be made using your card, and you have to log into the app at least once by 5 July.

You can also nab £60 cashback if you make 20 debit card payments each calendar month.

Spend & Save account customers will get £10 per month in cashback for the first six months for new customers, totalling £60.

For those opening the £3 per month Spend & Save Plus account, they will get £10 cashback per month for the first six months before reverting to £5 per month.


What now for mortgages after inflation and election announcements?

Every Friday we get an overview of the mortgage market with the help of industry experts - before honing in on the best deals available right now with the guys at Moneyfacts.

Two major announcements this week are set to have a big impact on mortgages and the housing market in the coming months.

First, inflation came in at 2.3% for April - within touching distance of the Bank of England's 2% target but higher than the Bank and most analysts had anticipated.

The markets instantly scaled back their expectations for a June rate cut - from around 50% to around 15%.

What does this mean for borrowers?

It's probably too early to say - with TSB and Santander announcing cuts on Thursday, but Barclays going the other way.

David Hollingworth, associate director at L&C Mortgages, said: "Mortgage rates have eased back a touch in recent weeks, but [the inflation] figures may well hold back the chance for that to become a stronger trend. A big fall in inflation was already expected and therefore already priced into fixed rates.

"Holding off in the hope of rates dropping could make for a bumpy ride for homeowners. Those eyeing the end of their current fixed deal may want to secure a rate now. That still leaves the chance to keep rates under close review and switch to a better deal if rates do improve before the end of the current product."

James Hyde, spokesman, added: "Week on week, the overall average two- and five-year fixed rates remained very steady, currently sitting at 5.93% and 5.50% respectively."

The second big announcement was the general election - which we now know will be on 4 July.

Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla, said buyers who are close to agreeing a sale will "ideally want to push through and agree to sales now".

However, those who are "earlier in the process" may try to "delay decisions until the autumn after the election is over", Mr Donnell said.

This election may not have as much impact as previous ones, though.

That is because there is "not a huge divide in policy between the two main parties", Mr Donnell said.

Best rates on offer right now

This week we've asked the independent experts at Moneyfacts to look at the best rates on the market for homeowners who are on the move....

Moneyfacts advises borrowers to always look beyond the best rates as additional costs and conditions mean you could end up paying more.

"Factors such as a low product fee, free valuation or legal fees, and cashback options can mean that certain deals are more cost-effective than those that may have a more eye-catching headline rate," said Mr Hyde.

Here's a look at the deals judged "best buys" by Moneyfacts this week...


The energy price cap has just fallen - but predictions say it will rise again next time

As we've been reporting, the energy price cap has been set at £1,568a year for a typical dual-fuel consumer and will come into force from July.

The new cap represents a 7% decrease from the current rate of £1,690.

It has played a significant role in reducing the UK's inflation rate to a near three-year low of 2.3%.

But respected market researcher Cornwall Insight has predicted the drop in the price cap will be temporary and that bills will likely rise once more in the run-up to winter.

Its forecasts show a typical bill could increase to £1,762 - even higher than the current rate - from October and remain around this level from January 2025.

The prediction is due to an uptick in the wholesale market.

"It is clear the cap in its current form is not going to bring down bills to pre-crisis levels,"Dr Craig Lowrey, principal consultant atCornwall Insight, said.

"However, while the general election is likely to put a halt to any immediate reforms to household energy bills, parties may use this opportunity to highlight how they intend to approach this challenge in the future.

"Whatever the outcome of the election, we hope the government will work with Ofgem to review the current cap and implement changes that not only lower bills but also support struggling customers."


Drop in fuel price cap 'small comfort'

Today's fall in the energy price cap will be "small comfort" for those struggling with the cost of living, the chief executive of Citizens Advice has said.

Dame Clare Moriarty said the organisation's data shows "millions have fallen into the red or are unable to cover their essential costs every month".

She added: "People cannot rely on lower energy prices alone to escape the financial issues they've been experiencing.

"That's why we need better targeted energy bill support for those really struggling to keep the lights on or cook a hot meal."

The cap will fall to £1,568 a year from 1 July - a drop of £122 from the previous quarter.


Gas prices 'lower on average than other European countries', energy secretary says

The UK's gas prices are now lower on average than in other European countries, the energy secretary has told Sky News.

"If you look at households in this country, 75% of households' heating is gas," Claire Coutinho said.

"And actually that's now significantly lower than the European average."

She also said she was setting out plans for bills to "continue to be lower" - although we are now into a general election campaign, and the Conservatives may soon be out of government.

Ms Coutinho said: "So whether it's standing charges, which we want to be fairer, or more competition and comparison in the market, or better regulation of energy brokers with businesses, today we're setting out further steps to make sure that people can keep their energy bills low."


Analysis: Drop in energy bills will be 'seized on by Conservatives'

Today's drop in the energy price cap will be "seized on by the Conservatives", political correspondent Rob Powellsays.

It is likely to be presented as evidence that the economy is "starting to settle down and turn a corner and more evidence of the Conservative plan working".

But, he says, that is "debatable" - because when energy prices spiked initially, ministers suggested it was out of their control, caused primarily by Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

"I think it might be a bit funny for them to try and claim that now they're coming down - that that's due to their plan," he says.

"In reality, it is down to dropping wholesale energy gas prices."

Energy policy is likely to be the focus of both Labour and the Tories today.


Rain hits retail sales

Some more breaking money news this morning.

Retail sales volumes - meaning the amount shoppers bought - fell by 2.3% last month, after a fall of 0.2% the month before.

Sales volumes fell across most sectors, with clothing retailers, sports equipment, games and toys stores and furniture stores doing badly as poor weather reduced footfall.

Economists had expected a fall of 0.6%.

Money blog: Which biscuits have the least sugar? Read this before you decide on elevenses (2024)


What biscuits have the least amount of sugar? ›

  • Weetabix Cereal 72 Pack. ...
  • Jacobs Cream Crackers 300G. ...
  • Barber Cream Crackers 300G. Write a review. ...
  • Jacobs Butter Puffs Biscuits 200G. Write a review. ...
  • Jacobs Cream Crackers 2X300g. Write a review. ...
  • Weetabix Cereal 12 Pack. Write a review. ...
  • Jacobs Cornish Wafers 150G. Write a review. ...
  • Nairns Gluten Free Cheese Oatcake 180G. Write a review.

Does biscuit contain sugar? ›

The main ingredients for biscuit making are flours, sugars and fats. To these ingredients, various small ingredients may be added for leavening, flavour and texture.

What is the healthiest biscuit to eat? ›

  • Maryland Cookies Sugar Free Chocolate Chip 200g. ...
  • Siro Oaty Sugar Free Biscuits 300g. ...
  • Siro Sugar Free Digestive Biscuits 400g. ...
  • Good Guys Bakehouse Cheddar Biscuit Melts 50g. ...
  • Nairn's Chocolate Orange Oat Biscuits 200g. ...
  • Good Guys Bakehouse Peppered Biscuit Melts 50g. ...
  • Lotte Pepero Almond & Chocolate 32g.

What is the best biscuit for a diabetic to eat? ›

10 honestly delicious biscuits that actually meet the low sugar guidelines
  • Malted milk biscuits. ...
  • Jacobs Mini Cheddars. ...
  • Rich Tea biscuits. ...
  • McVitie's Digestives. ...
  • Fruit Shortcake biscuits. ...
  • Belvita Soft Bakes Chocolate Chip. ...
  • Nice biscuits. ...
  • Shortbread fingers.
Mar 30, 2017

Is there a healthy biscuit? ›

Of the popular biscuits we looked at, we ranked the mighty Mcvitie's Rich Tea as the healthiest. Each one of these classic British biccies has just 38 calories and boasts 0.1g saturated fat - making it the best biscuit for saturated fat content too.

Are sugar free biscuits really sugar free? ›

Sugar-free oatmeal biscuits are a safe option for people with diabetes. Taste and nutrition go hand in hand with these oatmeal biscuits. The sugar-free biscuits are made with wheat flour and oats.

Is it OK to eat sugar free biscuits? ›

Myth 1: You need special foods if you have diabetes

Foods like chocolate, cakes and biscuits marketed towards people with diabetes may be sugar-free, but this doesn't make them a good choice. They are often still high in saturated fat and calories and the sweetener used can have a laxative effect if too much is eaten.

Do Pillsbury biscuits have sugar? ›

Contains 2% or less of: Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Sugar, Fractionated Palm Oil, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vital Wheat Gluten, Mono and Diglycerides, Xanthan Gum, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Preservatives (TBHQ, citric acid), Beta Carotene (for color).

How much sugar is in Pillsbury biscuits? ›

Nutrition Facts
% Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate 26g10%
Dietary Fiber < 1g3%
Sugars 5g
Incl. 4g Added Sugars8%
6 more rows

Can you get biscuits for diabetics? ›

Gullon Sugar Free Cookies 8 x 125g - Sugar free biscuits with chocolate chip. On the go snack. Sugar free snack is great choice for diabetics Gift for family and friends.

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