Thursday, January 15, 2009

Finally - a high fiber breakfast that tastes good!

I don't do a lot of product reviews on this site, but one of my latest finds is so awesome, it deserves mention. About 3 months ago when the weather turned cooler and I was looking for a heartier, warmer breakfast, I discovered Quaker® had come out with a high fiber oatmeal. I'm a big advocate for eating lots of fiber, so I had to give it a try. (Just in case you're wondering what's so great about fiber - it keeps you feeling full, which can help you maintain or lose weight; also, it can help lower your cholesterol, reduce the risk of stomach problems and keep blood sugar levels steadier.)

It currently comes in 2 flavors - maple & brown sugar and cinnamon swirl. Each box comes with 8 packets of instant oatmeal and costs about $4. That seems like a lot for oatmeal, but when you figure it works out to about 50 cents a day for 8 days of breakfast, it's no so bad.

Given the higher than usual price tag, I started with just 1 box of cinnamon swirl. Each packet of the cinnamon swirl oatmeal has 160 calories, 2 grams of fat (0.5 grams of that is saturated fat) and a whopping 10 grams of fiber (8 grams of which is soluble fiber). That's almost as much fiber as there is in a serving of most "high fiber" cold breakfast cereals, but those pretty much taste like cardboard. So how does the cinnamon swirl oatmeal taste? YUMMY!! It's sweet and cinnamony and tastes exactly like you'd expect instant oatmeal to taste - not doctored up or cardboardy or anything.

On my next shopping trip, I tried out the maple & brown sugar variety. Each packet again has 160 calories, 10 grams of fiber (8 grams soluble) and 2 grams of fat, but there's no saturated fat in this variety. The maple & brown sugar is also very tasty and smells wonderful when you make it, but it's a bit sweeter than the cinnamon swirl and a little too sweet for my taste. (My trick for this is to leave out some of the flavoring that always seems to sit in the bottom of the packet when you pour it out.) But Mr. ValleyWriter loves this flavor the best and I bet it would be great for kids.

Interested yet? You should be! Seriously, if you want to get more fiber in your diet, this is a great place to start. And you can get a $1 off coupon at the Quaker website, making it a bit more affordable.

(And before anyone asks - no, Quaker did not pay me for this review, nor did I receive any free products from them. It's just a really good product!)


Diana said...

I've tried the high fiber oatmeal before and it really is good! I'm not really breakfast person but am trying to get better. Maybe I'll go to oatmeal again, especially if there's a coupon!

Craig Clarke said...

Not to rain on your parade, but I've tried this stuff myself. An investigation of the ingredients list made me curious why "maltodextrin" was second after "whole grain oats."

Turns out maltodextrin is used in instant cereals to punch up the fiber content with no real benefit (i.e., the soluble fiber from maltodextrin -- 7 of the 8 grams in each serving [it says elsewhere "1 gram of soluble fiber from oats"] -- is not shown to lower cholesterol).

I fell for it, too, but once again we're shown that there's no easy way out. To get a lot of soluble fiber, you just have to tie on the feed bag like a horse.

ValleyWriter said...

Well, that kind of stinks. But, I have to say that it still seems to have some of the other benefits of fiber (e.g. keeping me fuller longer).
Guess I'll keep taking my fish oil for my cholesterol!