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Taste test: high-fiber cereals

Fiber helps to balance some of the unhealthy choices in most American diets. Too many simple carbohydrates — such as white rice, bread and pasta — can contribute to weight gain and blood sugar spikes. The fiber in whole grains helps you feel satisfied longer, and improves digestion. National health organizations suggest the average American adult needs 21 to 38 grams of fiber a day, and high-fiber breakfast cereal is a great way to help meet that goal. But who wants to eat sticks and twigs? We tried six cereals with impressive fiber counts, and found three that we would enjoy at any time of day.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/serving Fiber One (General Mills) One cup Kashi GoLean Crisp Toasted Berry Crumble Three-fourths cup Archer Farms Simply Balanced High Fiber Cereal One cup
Calories / Fat / Fiber Sugars / Sodium

Carbohydrates / Protein

160 / 1.5g / 13g 6g / 230mg 25g / 3g 180 / 3.5g / 8g 10g / 125mg 35g / 9g 160 / 1.5g / 10g 11g / 90mg 38g / 5g
Judges' comments The texture was crispy and the taste was a sweet mixture of brown sugar, nuts and oats. A couple of us favored the honey or maple taste of the cereal. "It would be fabulous with a bit of milk and a tall cup of coffee," said one judge. Another said, "I just love it! I might even pack it for a mid-afternoon snack on the road." These clusters of flakes and oats had a hint of berry in the flavor that didn't overpower. "This is all over the flavor map with fruity bursts, oaty clusters and raisins," said one judge. "It looks great, tastes good and I love the berries," said another. "This doesn't need milk." Cinnamon was a prominent flavor in this cereal, creating a nice combination of tasty bran and oats. "It's almost like eating a cinnamon graham cracker, kind of candylike," said one judge. He especially liked the different shapes of the cereal bits.
Shopping information $3.39 for a 14.25-ounce box from Target. $3.49 for a 15-ounce box from Target. $3.79 for a 14-ounce box from Target.
Product/serving Fiber One (General Mills) One cup Kashi GoLean Crisp Toasted Berry Crumble Three-fourths cup Archer Farms Simply Balanced High Fiber Cereal One cup
Calories / Fat / Fiber Sugars / Sodium

Carbohydrates / Protein

160 / 1.5g / 13g 6g / 230mg 25g / 3g 180 / 3.5g / 8g 10g / 125mg 35g / 9g 160 / 1.5g / 10g 11g / 90mg 38g / 5g
Judges' comments The texture was crispy and the taste was a sweet mixture of brown sugar, nuts and oats. A couple of us favored the honey or maple taste of the cereal. "It would be fabulous with a bit of milk and a tall cup of coffee," said one judge. Another said, "I just love it! I might even pack it for a mid-afternoon snack on the road." These clusters of flakes and oats had a hint of berry in the flavor that didn't overpower. "This is all over the flavor map with fruity bursts, oaty clusters and raisins," said one judge. "It looks great, tastes good and I love the berries," said another. "This doesn't need milk." Cinnamon was a prominent flavor in this cereal, creating a nice combination of tasty bran and oats. "It's almost like eating a cinnamon graham cracker, kind of candylike," said one judge. He especially liked the different shapes of the cereal bits.
Shopping information $3.39 for a 14.25-ounce box from Target. $3.49 for a 15-ounce box from Target. $3.79 for a 14-ounce box from Target.

Also sampled: Post Shredded Wheat's Wheat n' Bran ($3 for an 18-ounce box from Walmart); Kellogg's Fiber Plus Cinnamon Oat Crunch ($3.39 for an 11.5-ounce box from Target); and Kellogg's All-Bran ($3.49 for an 18.3-ounce box from Target).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Kay Hodnett-Bell, personal chef; Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; and Julie Overton, consumer and mother of four.

Taste test: high-fiber cereals 11/05/10 [Last modified: Friday, November 5, 2010 5:31am]

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