How To Choose Cereals with Fiber was written by Jenn Zubair of Nutrition by Jenn and reviewed/edited by Rivah Goldstein MScFN, RD and Jackie Silver MHSc, RD
Medical Disclaimer: The information in this article is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be personalized medical or nutrition advice. For a plan tailored to your needs, please consult with a Registered Dietitian or qualified healthcare professional.
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Join us as we highlight our favorite cereals with fiber! We explore what fiber is, discuss its roles in health, how to make it taste better, and how to choose a cereal with fiber by sharing some tips and tricks, and our top 5 favorite cereals with fiber! We offer you science-backed explanations and tips that will help you understand how to increase your fiber intake, and why it is important!
What is fiber?
Fiber – I know you have heard the word before. It has somewhat become a common buzz word that is highly marketed in the food industry. Although people might have an idea of what fiber is, many people may not know what its true function is. Perhaps you might think it is beneficial for Irritable bowel syndrome, that it helps with bloating, aids in weight loss, etc.
But, let’s dive into what fiber really is! You can think of fiber as a nutrient that enters the body and acts as a broom – it helps push the unwanted substances out of your body. So, if you can imagine fiber cruising through your body, you have the right idea.
That being said, fiber is indigestible. This just means that fiber does not contain calories because your body can not break it down, which is why I want you to think of fiber as a broom – a nutrient that has a physical action, rather than a chemical reaction.
Insoluble versus soluble fiber – what is the difference?
There are two different types of fiber, called insoluble and soluble, which both provide many nutritional benefits but differ slightly in their physical properties.
Insoluble fiber is rough, rigid, and firm in texture. Think of foods that are “crunchy” or that need a little extra chewing. Some options include whole grains like wheat bran, brown rice, couscous, nuts, seeds, celery, carrots, etc. That being said, insoluble fiber speeds the passage of food, bulks stool, and aids in constipation. Again, I want you to think of the broom analogy.
Soluble fiber is soft, silky, and can be blended into a smooth consistency. Think of foods that don’t need extra chewing and that digest easily. For example, avocado, banana, oats, beans, etc. These foods can all be blended and have a smooth texture. Soluble fiber is beneficial for lowering cholesterol and soothing the gut for individuals who have severe inflammation, such as individuals with IBS, colitis, etc.
The reality is that both types of fibers are found in foods. A food does not consist of only insoluble or soluble fibers. This is because both fibers play a role in helping you stay healthy!
How does fiber play a role in health?
Fiber has many different roles in the body to help individuals improve and maintain their health.
For example, it can aid in preventing and managing chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high cholesterol, or it can help manage genetic diseases such as IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, etc.
A combination of both insoluble and soluble may help you with the following health concerns
- Increase satiety. Remember how fiber is indigestible and bulky? This allows it to make you feel full and most importantly, keep you fuller for longer!
- Aid in bowel movements. Remember the broom analogy? Fiber will help move food through our digestive tract.
- Maintain blood sugar. It has the ability to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream, thus preventing spikes in blood sugar.
- Help reduce cholesterol. Due to the physical structure of fiber, it allows cholesterol, which is a molecule in food rich in saturated fats, to stick to it and be removed as the fiber passes through our digestive tract. Cool, right?
- Balances your gut bacteria. Although us humans can’t digest fiber, bacteria can! Fiber acts as food for our gut bacteria. It is essential for keeping the good bacteria in our gut healthy and balanced!
Now that we have the science behind us, let’s dive into talking about fiber and cereal options.
How to spot the difference between high fiber and low fiber cereals
The difference between high versus low fiber cereals is easy to understand, once you know what to look for!
Most low fiber cereals may contain the following ingredients:
- White flour
- Corn flour
- Modified wheat flour
High fiber cereals may contain the following ingredients:
- Whole wheat flour
- Whole grain oats
- Nuts (pecans, cashew, almonds, etc)
- Seeds (chia, pumpkin, flax, etc)
Here are a few tips I like to tell my clients when choosing cereals with fiber.
Tip 1: Ingredients are listed from most used to least used.
If you see white flour, then sugar, know that these are the two most prevalent ingredients in the product.
Tip 2: Cereals with less than 2 g of fiber per serving are considered low. Cereals with 4g of fiber are considered good, and cereals with 6g of fiber are considered high fiber cereal options.
Tip 3: Another way to look at fiber content is by using the daily percent value. Less than 5% means the product is low in fiber content, over 15% means the product is high in fiber content.
Do cereals with fiber taste bad?
The most common concern I get from clients is that they don’t like the taste of high fiber cereals, like bran buds. Although, everyone is different. Some people love the taste of bran and some people don’t. I can’t say I disagree with the people who don’t love the taste – bran buds alone do not have much flavor.
Tips and tricks to improve the taste of cereals with fiber
- Mix half of a high fiber cereal with half of your favorite cereal
- Add granola on top of your cereal
- Mix with milk, fruit, nut butter into a bowl of cereal
- Make a cereal & yogurt parfait by adding yogurt, fruit, and cereal on top
- Blend 2-4 tbsp of high fiber cereal into smoothies
- For an extra fiber boost, add 1 tbsp ground flaxmeal or chia seeds to your cereal bowl
Recipes using cereals with fiber
I know a lot of my readers like to make snack foods, like squares, energy bars, etc. So here are a few of my favorite picks using cereal with fiber:
These breakfast bars are a great way to use cereal with fiber. They have a sweet touch using cinnamon. These are a hit!
2. No Bake High Fiber Bars – Eating Bird Food
The cranberry and honey make these oh-so-sweet! A must try if you enjoy fruity desserts
3. Whole Wheat Cereal Bars Recipe
Do any of my readers like raisins and peanut butter – these are for you! Such a great combination.
4. Oatmeal-Bran Cookie Bars Recipe
If you like oatmeal, here is a great option for you! Enjoy these tasty treats.
5. No-Bake Raisin Bran Breakfast Bars Recipe – BettyCrocker.com
In my opinion, these are a classic! The crunch from the cereal mixed with raisin gives this an amazing texture.
Let’s examine our top 8 cereals with fiber in a chart (ranked from most to least fiber content):
|Cereal||Serving Size||Fiber Content||Percent Daily Value|
|All Bran Buds||1 cup (94 g)||36 g||129%|
|All Bran Original||1 cup (72 g)||22 g||79%|
|Fibre One Crunchy Original Cereal||½ cup (31g)||15g||60%|
|Kashi Go Lean Cereal Non-GMO 370g : Amazon.ca||1 cup (49g)||11g||39%|
|Kellogg’s Two Scoops Raisin Bran Cereal||1 cup (55 g)||7 g||25%|
|Post Shredded Wheat Original Big Biscuit||2 biscuits (47g)||6 g||25 %|
|Kellogg’s All-Bran Flakes||1 cup (34g)||5g||18%|
|NATURE’S PATH Organic Flax Plus Cinnamon Cereal||¾ cup (30g)||4g||16%|
Let’s dive into these a little bit more!
As you can tell from our chart, a one cup serving of this cereal contains a whopping 36 g of fiber, which is 129% of the fiber that we need daily! Even if you want to reduce your cereal portion, this cereal will still give you a substantial amount of fiber.
All bran buds can be mixed with some other yummy breakfast foods like yogurt or fruit smoothies. You can also feel free to add some to your salads for a satisfying crunch and fiber boost!
Not only does this cereal contain 79% of your daily recommended fiber, but it is also fortified with lots of B vitamins, iron, and vitamin D, making it a super healthy cereal with fiber! SImilar to the Bran Buds, you can mix this cereal into a variety of different foods that you eat every day such as salads, smoothies, or even combining it with another cereal.
Check out this bran muffin recipe for another fun way to use all bran cereal!
Kellogg’s Two Scoops Raisin Bran Cereal
Two Scoops Raisin Bran is a delicious blend of crispy bran flakes and sun dried raisins. Each serving contains two full scoops of raisins, giving you a more satisfying chewy texture and adding a burst of sweetness to every bite.
With 7 g of fiber per serving, this cereal is a balanced breakfast choice to help you start your day on the right foot.
Post Shredded Wheat Original Big Biscuit
Shredded wheat contains 7 grams of fiber in 2 biscuits, which is one serving. One of the great things about it is that the only ingredient is shredded wheat. There are no added sugars or anything else.
I like to recommend shredded wheat because of its high fiber content of course, and also its versatility. Shredded wheat is just that – shredded wheat. This means you can add whatever you like on top to make it customizable to your preference. For example, you might add strawberries and peanut butter, blueberries and nuts, or apples and cinnamon. Plus, adding options like these will also increase your fiber intake!
Bran flakes are made with whole grain wheat and wheat bran! Each serving provides 21 g of whole grain and 7 grams of fiber. Plus, it provides 13 essential vitamins and minerals.
You can eat bran flakes the typical way with milk in a bowl. If you choose this way, you can add your favorite fruit and nuts on top to enhance the flavor! Another way to eat bran flakes is by adding them to a parfait. For example, you can make a yogurt bowl with your yogurt of choice on the bottom, fruit in the middle, and bran flakes on top! This option is also great for making cereal bars, similar to rice krispie squares.
NATURE’S PATH Organic Flax Plus Cinnamon Cereal
Heritage flakes cereal consists of deliciously crunchy flakes made with 6 ancient grains including kamut khorasan wheat, quinoa, millet, spelt, oats, and barley. One cup contains 7 g of fiber.
Again, this cereal can be eaten with your favorite fruits, nuts, seeds, and even made into bars! What I like about this option is the cinnamon flavor and since it is made with flax, it gives you a little omega 3 boost in the morning.
Fibre One Crunchy Original Cereal
This option is made with whole bran wheat, corn bran, modified wheat starch, and includes 60% of your daily value of fiber – a whopping 15 g of fiber per half a cup! It is also fortified with many different vitamins and minerals.
This is a great option for individuals who do not want to eat a large volume, but want the fiber because you only have to eat ½ a cup to get a pretty decent amount of fiber! This cereal can be combined with fruit for even fiber, or can be eaten on it’s own.
This option has 11 g of fiber per serving.
This is another great option that is slightly sweeter. So if you need an extra bit of sweetness in your life, this is a cereal with fiber for you! It is made with soy protein, puffed whole grain mixture including red wheat, brown rice, oats, rye, buckwheat, and sesame seeds, which are tossed in honey.
Looking for more fiber-related blog posts?
Check out the best nutrition guide for neurogenic bowel and bladder
Looking for more high-fiber recipes? Check out:
- High fiber oatmeal banana muffins
- Chocolate peanut butter oat bars
- Chocolate chip oatmeal banana bread
The Bottom Line
Fiber is a nutrient that provides many benefits to our bodies. Some of these benefits include increasing feelings of fullness, promoting regular bowel movements, regulating our blood sugars, reducing cholesterol, and feeding our good gut bacteria.
Cereal can be a healthy option to give our bodies a small or generous fiber boost! Cereals with fiber can be so versatile – you don’t have to eat them plain! Try combining them with another cereal, adding some extra fruit and/or nut butter to your cereal bowl, adding high fiber cereal to smoothies, yogurt, salads, or baking some new treats with them to boost fiber content!
Thank you for joining us with our discussion on how to choose cereals with fiber. We hope you learned some valuable information suitable to you!
What is your favorite cereal? What cereal are you most excited to try? Comment below!
Jackie is a Toronto-based Registered Dietitian whose mission is to empower and support the neurodivergent and physically disabled communities through nutrition. Jackie runs a virtual private practice and blog which has simple recipes and health information tailored to these communities. She loves cooking, exercising, traveling, journaling, and spending time with family and friends.