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Praise… deception…distrust. Sounds like a soap opera plot synopsis. But these three words perfectly describe the way our food sleuths felt after investigating General Mills Fiber One cereal and its black sheep brother, General Mills Fiber One Chewy Bar
When we last left off…
The BrandAid SilverMedal distinction was being awarded to Fiber One cereal. There was much rejoicing.
Then…the new Fiber One Chewy Bars were met with hope and trust by smart shoppers everywhere. CUT!
You should NEVER automatically consider a brand to be a trusted friend – not even when its predecessor was lauded as being a star in the healthy food category.
Unfortunately, many food manufacturers use their “good name” to push some of their less-than-healthy products onto unsuspecting shoppers. They’re probably banking on the fact that you won’t read the fine print. Deception works so well when praise and trust come first.
Case in point: General Mills Fiber One Chewy Bars – Oats & Chocolate
(1 bar, 140 calories, 4g of total fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 90mg sodium, 9g of fiber, 2g protein)
INGREDIENTS: Chicory Root Extract, Chocolate Chips with Confectioners Shellac (Chocolate Chips [Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Dextrose, Milk Fat, Soy Lecithin], Ethanol, Shellac, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Rolled Oats, Crisp Rice (Rice Flour, Sugar, Malt, Salt), Barley Flakes, High Maltose Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar Canola Oil, Honey, Glycerin, Maltodextrin, Palm Kernel Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Nonfat Milk, Peanut Oil, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Natural Flavor, Baking Soda, Color Added, Almond Flour, Peanut Flour, Sunflower Meal, Wheat Flour, Mixed Tocopherols Added To Maintain Freshness
Since the original Fiber One cereal is a good friend of the savvy shopper, it’s tempting to assume that the new Fiber One Chewy Bars would also be invited to the BrandAid awards ceremony. But, since friends don’t let friends buy junk, we are steering you away from this corrupt cousin.
Decoding the Fine Print
We get no joy from spreading the bad word about this bar. All the goodness of Fiber One cereal wrapped up in a tasty, convenient ready-to-go breakfast bar. It sure sounded like a dream come true.
We started with the front label. Right off the bat, we think the name (Fiber One Chewy bars) is very misleading. Especially if you’re already a fan of the original Fiber One cereal. Here’s why:
The front label states in big bold print – 35% of your daily fiber. When we checked out the ingredients list, we didn’t find any whole wheat or bran to account for all the fiber in this 3-bite bar.
Turns out, all the fiber comes from added sources like chicory root extract and maltodextrin. While they’re still good sources, they do lack some of the powerhouse nutrients that come naturally packaged in whole wheat and bran – the kind of fiber you get from the Fiber One cereal. Plus, these added fibers are notorious for causing bloating and tummy rumblings – eek!
Next, we found some frightening junk ingredients like ethanol (what the heck?); hydrogenated coconut oil (a.k.a. trans fat – the worst of the worst!); high maltose corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. Can you say yuck?
And then come the filler additives like tricalcium phosphate and soy lecithin. Seriously, are these unpronounceable ingredients really necessary to mold together a breakfast bar?
Final Analysis: These Fiber One chewy bars are pretty tasty and a good source of added fiber, but are they worth the side effects of bloating and an upset tummy? Couple that visual with a handful of junk ingredients and added fillers, and this product is no friend of ours or yours. Instead, it’s officially a Healthy Food Imposter!
Please don’t be fooled by these clever marketing tricks. Even though the box says “Fiber One” that doesn’t mean you’re getting the same quality fiber that’s in the cereal.
Remember, knowledge is power. Read the labels!
Brand Doctor Tip: If time is of the essence, turn your Fiber Cereal into a trail mix that travels well. Take half a cup of Fiber One cereal, a handful of raisins and chopped walnuts, combine in a plastic baggie, shake, and out the door you go!
Remember, when you’re armed with a little eBrandAid know-how, you’re in control at the grocery store.