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Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate that offers a range of beneficial health effects.
It promotes bowel regularity, improves bowel health, and supports healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels, among other health benefits.
Unfortunately, most people only get about half the recommended amounts of fiber each day.
An excellent and simple way to increase your fiber intake is by having a bowl of cereal each morning.
However, not all breakfast cereals are healthy or created equal, particularly when it comes to fiber and sugar content.
Here are the 5 healthiest high fiber cereals that contain at least 5 grams of fiber and less than 3 grams of sugar per serving to reach for the next time you’re at the grocery store.
Benefits of fiber
Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate and a natural structural component of plants.
There are two main types of fiber (1):
- Soluble. This type dissolves in water and includes pectin, gums, and mucilage.
- Insoluble. This type comes from the outer parts of plants and is insoluble in water. Cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin are insoluble fibers.
Although fiber doesn’t provide any nutritional value since it can’t be digested or absorbed by the body, it offers a myriad of beneficial health effects.
The benefits of fiber include (1):
- Improved bowel regularity. Fiber absorbs water and softens the stool. This makes stools easier to pass and prevents constipation. Fiber also adds bulk to the stool, helping to ease digestion and prevent loose stools.
- Improved bowel health. Fiber helps prevent the formation or worsening of hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.
- Reduced cancer risk. A high fiber diet has been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal and breast cancer.
- Reduced cholesterol levels. Fiber binds to cholesterol in the small intestine and prevents its absorption.
- Reduced blood sugar levels. Fiber slows the absorption and digestion of carbohydrates, helping to support healthy blood sugar levels.
- Weight loss. Fiber slows digestion, which can help reduce appetite and body weight.
Current guidelines recommend consuming 21 to 38 grams of fiber, depending on gender and age (2).
Most American adults fall significantly short of this range, consuming only half the recommended amount (1).
Best high fiber cereals
Breakfast cereals don’t have the best reputation for being healthy.
Indeed, many popular cereals contain upwards of 50% of the added sugar limit per serving based on the American Heart Association’s guidelines (3).
To this point, many breakfast cereals are better classified as breakfast desserts.
But, there are still plenty of healthy high fiber cereals to choose from that taste great.
Here are the healthiest high fiber cereals that contain at least 5 grams of fiber and less than 3 grams of sugar per serving:
1. Fiber One Original Bran
Providing a whopping 18 grams of fiber per serving, General Mills’ Fiber One is the highest fiber cereal on this list.
Most of the cereal’s fiber comes from insoluble sources like wheat, corn bran, and cellulose.
Fiber One is a good source of niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin C, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and calcium, and an excellent source of folate, thiamin (vitamin B1), zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12.
Providing 90 calories and no sugar, Fiber One is also a great low-calorie, sugar-free choice.
But if you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, Fiber One Honey Clusters is an option.
It contains more calories and 10 grams of sugar, but it still packs a respectable 10 grams of fiber per serving.
2. Uncle Sam Original
Although you won’t find a rendering of the iconic white beard and stars-and-stripes suit associated with Uncle Sam on the box, it’s a great high fiber choice.
Each serving packs 10 grams of fiber from whole wheat, flaxseed, and barley malt.
As a bonus, flaxseeds offer heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
It’s an excellent source of magnesium and phosphorus and a good source of iron.
The Uncle Sam Original cereal provides 190 calories and less than one gram of sugar per serving.
3. Original Shredded Wheat
Post’s Original Shredded Wheat contains eight grams of fiber per serving, primarily from wheat bran.
It’s an excellent source of niacin, phosphorus, and zinc, and a good source of iron, thiamin, and magnesium.
Each serving of these pillow-shaped biscuits contains 170 calories and no sugar.
The Original Shredded Wheat biscuits are spoon-size, but they also come in a “big biscuit,” variety.
If you prefer the spoon-size option but want a bit of diversity in texture, the Wheat ‘N Bran Shredded Wheat is a good choice and also offers eight grams of fiber per serving.
4. Ezekiel 4:9 Original Crunchy
Food for Life’s Ezekiel 4:9 is a flourless cereal that contains six grams of fiber per serving.
Because it provides less fiber than the other choices on this list, it’s a good choice for digestion or constipation if you are not used to a high fiber diet, since consuming too much fiber at once can cause digestive discomfort and worsen constipation.
It’s made from sprouted grains, legumes, and seeds, in likeness to the holy scripture verse, Ezekiel 4:9.
Sprouted grains are whole-grain seeds that have begun to sprout and are then harvested before they can grow into a plant.
Sprouting increases the nutrient content and enhances the bioavailability or absorption of many nutrients (4).
Each serving of Ezekiel 4:9 cereal provides 190 calories and no sugar.
It’s a good source of thiamin, niacin, iron, vitamin B6, and copper.
What’s more, it contains eight grams of protein per serving, which is more than the other high fiber cereals on this list.
Ezekiel 4:9 Original is also available as flakes as an alternative to the crunchy clusters.
Food for Life also makes a high fiber bread called Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grains.
5. Weetabix Original
Weetabix provides six grams of fiber from whole wheat and barley malt extract.
Like Ezekiel 4:9, Weetabix is also a good choice for digestion if you don’t currently follow a high fiber diet.
Each serving provides a good source of niacin and an excellent source of iron and thiamin.
It contains 180 calories and two grams of sugar per serving.
The Weetabix cereal comes in large biscuits — there is no option for spoon-size biscuits like with the Original Shredded Wheat cereal.
Nutritional comparison of the best high fiber cereals
Here’s a nutritional comparison of the best high fiber cereals:
|High Fiber Cereal
|Fiber One Original Bran
|Uncle Sam Original
|Original Shredded Wheat
|Ezekiel 4:9 Original Crunchy
Keep in mind that the nutrition will change if you choose to enjoy your cereal with milk or a plant-based milk alternative.
Ways to enjoy high fiber cereal
Milk tends to be a top choice for enjoying cereal because it’s naturally sweet and offers desirable mouthfeel qualities that enhance flavor.
However, there are many tasty and nutritious ways you can enjoy high fiber cereal without milk or a plant-based dairy alternative.
Here are a few ideas:
- add it to your favorite smoothie or high calorie shake recipe
- use it as a topping for Greek yogurt
- make a cereal trail mix
- spread peanut butter over the large biscuit varieties
If you enjoy eating your cereal with milk or a plant-based dairy alternative, you can add more nutrition and fiber to your bowl with healthy toppings such as berries, banana slices, almonds, walnuts, and seeds.
You can do the same using oatmeal, which is also high in fiber.
If you need to boost your fiber intake more, try out these high fiber smoothie and shake recipes.
If you don’t currently consume a high fiber diet, increase your fiber slowly over several weeks to avoid stomach discomfort and constipation.
The bottom line
Fiber is something that most people don’t get enough of.
Fortunately, these healthy high fiber breakfast cereals are a great way to boost your fiber intake and improve your digestion, cholesterol, and blood sugar.
Fiber One Original has the most fiber per serving but the others on this list are also good sources.
Try adding nutritious toppings like fruit, nuts, and seeds to add more nutrition to your high fiber cereal.
If you prefer not to eat your cereal with milk or a plant-based dairy alternative, there are still many ways you can enjoy high fiber cereal.