With the introduction of their FiberPlus Antioxidants bars, Kellogg’s is going head to head with General Mills’ popular FiberOne bars. Previous Kellogg’s bar offerings didn’t have much in the way of nutrition: the Special K Cereal Bars had less than 1 gram of fiber and just 1 gram of protein for 9 grams of sugar – basically a breakfast cookie, that with only 90 calories and no fiber or protein, left you feeling pretty hungry, pretty quickly.
The new FiberPlus bars are very similar to the original FiberOne bars when it comes to the Nutrition Facts panel: FiberPlus has 120-130 calories per bar compared to FiberOne’s 140 (although FiberOne bars recently came out with a 90 calorie option…more of a bite than a bar really.)
Both FiberPlus and FiberOne bars have 9 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein. The fiber in both comes from an isolated fiber: chicory root fiber or chicory root extract (an inulin derivative). Remember that isolated fibers are the ones manufacturers are increasingly using to bump up fiber in otherwise low-fiber foods. The extent of the health benefits of isolated vs. intact (naturally-occuring) fiber in foods is not entirely known; and, if you’re not used to eating them regularly, in some people they can cause bloating, gas and other unfavorable GI side effects.
FiberPlus bars come in 3 flavors: Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Almond and Chocolate Peanut Butter. I’ve tasted all 3 – thanks to samples provided by Kellogg’s – and I have to say they are quite good, if not rather sweet. These are by no means ideal for meal replacement, – they’re more of a high-fiber dessert, but they do also make a good between-meal snack if you’re on the go. You can follow Kellog’s Fiber team LadyFibarista on Twitter to get product updates and coupons.
Last word of advice: don’t get romanced by the front-of-packaging claims on foods like FiberPlus and FiberOne bars that shout, “35% Daily Value of Fiber.” While these are “excellent sources of fiber” (meaning more than 20% of the daily value per serving), we should all be striving to get the majority of our fiber from foods that are naturally high in fiber, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and things like dried peas and beans. A bar here and there can help you fill gaps and a high-fiber bar is a better choice than a high-fat, high-sugar granola bar or candy bar – but keep in mind, “If it looks like a cookie and it tastes like a cookie…it probably is a cookie.”