Consumer Reports ranks high fiber cereals

by Eric Schroeder
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YONKERS, N.Y. — A new study from trained taste testers at Consumer Reports suggests high fiber cereals have come a long way from those more than a decade ago when testers said the products tasted "more like straw than grain."

In a comparison of 18 high-fiber cereals, Consumer Reports taste testers found seven "standouts" based on nutrition and taste.

The seven cereals were:

• Kirkland Signature Spiced Pecan cereal. Distributed by Costco, this product was the only one to receive an "excellent" rating. The cereal topped the list thanks to its blend of grains, nuts and seeds and cinnamon/nutmeg flavor. At a cost of 33c per serving, the cereal was one of the most inexpensive options tested by Consumer Reports.

• Kashi GoLean Crunchy Fiber Twigs, Soy Protein Grahams and Honey Puffs. With 10 grams of fiber per serving, this product was one of 11 cereals rated "very good" for nutritional value, according to Consumer Reports. In addition, the cereal had one of the lowest amounts of sugar (6 grams) and calories (140) per serving.

• Archer Farms High Fiber. This high fiber cereal from Target was found to have a sweet, crunchy, toasted grain and cinnamon flavor with 10 grams of fiber per serving.

• Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Extra! According to Consumer Reports, this product gets its flavor and texture from raisins and cranberries, almonds, sweet clusters and nutty wheat flakes. The cereal had one of the lower amounts of fiber per serving (7 grams) but one of the highest amounts of sodium per serving (350 mg). While Kellogg’s Raisin Bran is already a noted source of fiber, the Battle Creek, Mich.-based cereal maker earlier this year said it will add fiber to many of its ready-to-eat cereals in the United States and Canada.

• Post Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Wheat’n Bran. Another cereal with "very good" nutrition featuring 8 grams of fiber per serving, this product had the lowest tested amount of sugars (less than 1 gram per serving) and sodium (0 mg). According to Consumer Reports, the cereal "has simple, unsweetened toasted-wheat ‘pillows’ with a nutty grain flavor."

• Great Value Raisin Bran. A Wal-Mart brand, this cereal featuring 7 grams of fiber per serving was the cheapest cereal tested at 19c per serving.

• Barbara’s Bakery Ultimate Organic. Consumer Reports said this cereal tasted lightly sweetened and scored as "very good" for nutrition and taste.

"The improvement is good news," Consumer Reports said of the change in the make-up of high fiber cereals. "Most Americans could stand to double their intake of fiber, which can help control appetite and weight and might help lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Per serving, the cereals we tested have 25% to 50% of the dietary guideline for a 2,000-calorie diet, which is 28 grams."

The Consumer Reports nutrition scores were based on calories per gram of food and the amount of fats, sodium, sugars, iron, calcium and fiber.

The complete rankings may be found at www.ConsumerReports.org.

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