I often find the Advocate email info very helpful. I’ll admit, I’m confused by a few parts of this one, raising these questions:
1. Whole grain grams. While each of the cereals in our cupboard lists their whole grain as the #1 ingredient, none of them specify the grams or the percentage of whole grain. How do I determine the grams?
2. Fiber beyond breakfast. Our highest-fiber cereal, Post Shredded Wheat gives 9g, about 1/9 of the 48 grams recommended. This makes it look like breakfast is a small factor! Can you suggest a few other high-fiber foods that can help us make up the other 39 grams?
3. Fiber & calories. Shredded Wheat is the second-highest-calorie cereal we eat (200g), but it is also the highest in fiber and lowest in bad fat, sodium and sugar (0g). Does this not mean that calorie level is fairly insignificant compared to these other factors?
Thank you for your questions! Our dietitian, Barbara Melendi, provides some insight below:
1. Sometimes it’s necessary to get additional nutrition info from the product’s website because they limit how much info they include on the package. For example, according to the Shredded Wheat website, the original Shredded Wheat biscuits have 47 g of whole grains per serving (2 biscuits).
2. Fiber can also be found in whole grain breads, whole grain pastas, fruits and veggies. It’s important to gradually increase your fiber intake up to the daily recommended amount to minimize bloating or other undesirable side effects as your body adjusts.
3. This is a perfect example of a food that is nutrient dense, where you get a big punch of nutrition for the calories. Compare that to the empty calories you would get from a 200-calorie glazed donut. The fiber in the cereal will be more filling and take longer to digest than the same 200 calories in a donut. Depending on what your nutrition goals are, sometimes calories are not the most important consideration. Of course, if you are trying to lose weight, it’s important to look at your calorie consumption over the entire day.
Hope this helps!
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