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Fiber One -- Wicked or Wonderful?


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     Not too long ago I came across the amazingly low-cal breakfast cereal Fiber One (60 calories per 1/2 cup serving; 100 cals plus 1/2 cup skim milk).  It's, you guessed it!, incredibly high in fiber, low in fat and contains no sugar.  Thing is, why it has the amazing 0g of sugar/serving property is because it's made with aspartame.  Yeah...

     Now, I was a child raised on Diet Coke and therefore have had more than my far share of the stuff since pretty much day one, meaning basically that I've never noticed any negative affects from the stuff.  However, I've heard mixed reviews on the artificial sweetener and despite my absolute love of the stuff (I could eat it out of the palm of someone's hand and enjoy every little stickly bite!) I've become a bit worried about plopping down to enjoy a bowl.  What do you guys think of it?  Any fellow Fiber One fans out there or should this be considered more a fiendish abomination to the food world than a healthful breakfast option?

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You're right, there are conflicting opinions of the artificial sweeteners. IMHO I think that used in moderation, they're fine, and that's how I use them.

I do love Fiber One, but I don't eat it by itself. I mix it with a little Cracklin Oat Bran (kind a higher cal cereal, but tastes oh so good). I think you could probably mix a little with lots of other breakfast cereals to add some fiber, since most of them don't have much. It can also be used in recipes (like here: http://www.hungry-girl.com/week/weeklydetails .php?isid=907), but I haven't tried that yet.

Maybe it would be good alone with some fruit...I'll have to try that.
I eat either Kashi Golean or All Bran.  I try to buy cereals that have minimal processing and additives.
I found this list of cereals on Dr. Mirkin's website www.drmirkin.com

Recommended: Cereals made from Whole Grains
(no trans fats, little or no added sugars when I checked them; but check the labels -- ingredients can change. )

Cheerios - General Mills
Chex, Wheat - General Mills
Grape Nuts - Post
Healthy Choice Toasted Brown Sugar Squares - Kelloggs
Kashi - Kashi Company
Mini-Wheats, Raisin Squares - Kelloggs
Mini-Wheats, Frosted, Bite-Size - Kelloggs
Mini-Wheats, Frosted - Kelloggs
Muesli - Familia
Nutri-Grain, Golden Wheat - Kelloggs
Nutri-Grain, Almond-Raisin - Kelloggs
Oatmeal Crisp, Almond - General Mills
Oatmeal Crisp, Apple Cinnamon - General Mills
Oatmeal Crisp, Raisin - General Mills
Oatmeal Squares - Quaker
Organic Healthy Fiber Multigrain Flakes - Health Valley
Puffed Wheat - Quaker
Shredded Wheat - Post
Shredded Wheat & Bran - Post
Shredded Wheat, Frosted - Post
Shredded Wheat, Spoon Size - Post
Uncle Sam - U.S. Mills
Wheaties, Crispy 'n' Raisins - General Mills

Recommended: All Bran or High Bran Cereals
(no trans fats, little or no added sugars. )

100% Bran - Post
All Bran, bran buds - Kelloggs
All-Bran, extra fiber - Kelloggs
All-Bran, original - Kelloggs
Bran Flakes - Post
Chex, Multi-Bran - General Mills
Complete Wheat Bran Flakes - Kelloggs
Complete Oat Bran Flakes - Kelloggs
Fiber 7 Flakes - Health Valley
Fiber One - General Mills
Oat Bran - Quaker
Oat Bran Flakes - Health Valley
Oat Bran Flakes with Raisins - Health Valley
Organic Bran with Raisins - Health Valley
Raisin Bran - Kelloggs
Raisin Bran Flakes - Health Valley
Raisin Bran, Whole Grain Wheat - Post
Total, Raisin Bran - General Mills

Not Recommended - Cereals that Contain Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Trans Fats)
Many also are primarily refined grains and high in added sugars. Again, check the list of ingredients; the manufacturers make many recipe changes without notice.
Kashi Vive- 12 grams of fiber per serving and pro-biotics to boot:=)

I have fibromyalgia and several years ago I thought I noticed a direct correlation to aspartame consumed and pain.  Once a month or so I would have a diet pepsi as a treat and my pain symptoms would flare up immediately after.  I made the connection and sought to avoid all artificial sweeteners, however, unless you read labels on everything it's not always easy to avoid. 

I recently started eating Fiber One because it looked like a low calorie, fiber-rich and healthy way to start my day (If it sounds too good to be true it probably is!)  For the last three months I have had constant headaches and severe pain but I knew that I hadn't been eating aspartame - maybe my whole theory was flawed- guess what?  I never suspected Fiber One!  I just had my last bowl this morning.   For the first time I searched the internet for Fibromyalgia and aspartame and was apalled at the results - my suspicions have been right all along.

Check out Kashi Go Lean cereal-- it is 140 calories/cup (compared to 120 calories for Fiber One), but it has 14 g of protein and 10 g of fiber. Yes, not as much fiber, but still a good 40% of your DV, and it has all that protein. Very little sugar, no artificial sweeteners! I've found that when it comes to cereal, one of the only brands I can trust is Kashi. People like All Bran, but if you read the ingredients, it contains high fructose corn syrup. Ugh... so annoying.

That's why my favorite flavor of Fiber One is the Caramel delight because it doesn't contain any artificial sweeteners.  I wish Fiber One original didn't come with aspartame, though, and I would totally love the taste without it!

I believe Sucralose is the artificial sweetener in Fibre One.  Below is a description of how it's made.  Do you really need scientific research to tell you that it can't possibly be good for you and is potentially harmful?  Personally, I'm not going to wait to find out what the scientists think.   Why take the chance?  One thing is for sure, something created like Sucralose, in a laboratory of a giant coporation whose sole interest is profit, is not food!

Sucralose is made from sucrose by substituting three chlorine atoms for three hydroxyl groups to yield 1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxy-BETA-D-fructofuranos yl-4-chloro-4-deoxy-alpha-D-galactopyranoside . This is accomplished in a five-step process. Prolonged storage, particularly at high temperatures and low pH, causes the sucralose to break down into 4-chloro-4-deoxy-galactose (4CG) and 1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxyfructose (1,6 DCF).

I'm confused as to why you underlined and bolded chlorine.

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Its wonderful for me :)

One of the rare cereals I buy. (only cause I binge on all other cereals)

Original Post by johnnypenso:

I believe Sucralose is the artificial sweetener in Fibre One. Below is a description of how it's made. Do you really need scientific research to tell you that it can't possibly be good for you and is potentially harmful? Personally, I'm not going to wait to find out what the scientists think. Why take the chance? One thing is for sure, something created like Sucralose, in a laboratory of a giant coporation whose sole interest is profit, is not food!

Sucralose is made from sucrose by substituting three chlorine atoms for three hydroxyl groups to yield 1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxy-BETA-D-fructofuranos yl-4-chloro-4-deoxy-alpha-D-galactopyranoside . This is accomplished in a five-step process. Prolonged storage, particularly at high temperatures and low pH, causes the sucralose to break down into 4-chloro-4-deoxy-galactose (4CG) and 1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxyfructose (1,6 DCF).

I think sucralose is used in their honey clusters, but they use aspartame in the original.

I wish fiber one didn't have it.. i think it tastes disgusting.  I eat pretty much no cereal except shredded wheat squares - either plain with dried fruit or frosted with nothing extra

Wistful, I underlined chlorine because I think it's important to know where some of this stuff comes from.  A lot of people confuse chlorine, a deadly gas and liquid solution with chloride, thinking that stuff like sodium chloride has chlorine in it. 

Chloride is a naturally occuring element in nature absolutely essential for life, representing 70% of the bodies total negative ion content.  Without an adequate intake of chloride, as in salt for example, you die.    Chlorine,  is a deadly toxin that does not exist freely in nature because of it's reactivity. 

So when one is eating stuff with sucralose for example, you are eating something made with chlorine atoms.  Yes, some would argue that going through the process the sugar and chlorine goes through creates a whole different molecule and they would be right.  Sodium and chloride together makes salt.   But, and for me it's a big but, that happens in nature. Salt is not made in a laboratory, it's all around us, in almost all food grown or raised to some degree, and readily available in mineral deposits and of course oceans around the world.  We are supposed to eat salt. Our bodies have eaten salt, for example, for millions of years.  What we have not eaten for millions of years is a concoction designed in a laboratory for the purposes of profit and tricking you into thinking something is sweet when has no sugar.  It's not natural, and I don't need to eat it and get sick to accept this and find another natural way to incorporate sweetness into my diet.   

There are dozens of posts I've seen since I've joined where people talk about adverse reactions to artificial sweeteners.  Just because someone is eating them and not having an adverse reaction they know about, doesn't mean they aren't doing damage you don't know about.  Stick to natural foods...real foods..and you won't need or want that crap...

Original Post by c_jamie:

Its wonderful for me :)

One of the rare cereals I buy. (only cause I binge on all other cereals)

 lol, omg me too!

 i like 1/2 cup fiber one with 1/2-1 cup quaker puffed wheat cereal and blueberries. alltogether with skim milk is pretty low cal! its tasty for breakfast, but not too much to want to go for seconds and thirds like all the other sugary cereals!

I love Fibre one... but hate artificial sweeteners (no real reason, just trying to avoid too much overly processed foods/artificial crap in my diet).  I found President's Choice has a cereal called Fibre First, it has around 13g fibre/serving, but has around 110 calories / 30g.  Slightly higher than Fibre One, but no artifical sweeteners.

Original Post by johnnypenso:

Wistful, I underlined chlorine because I think it's important to know where some of this stuff comes from.  A lot of people confuse chlorine, a deadly gas and liquid solution with chloride, thinking that stuff like sodium chloride has chlorine in it. 

Chloride is a naturally occuring element in nature absolutely essential for life, representing 70% of the bodies total negative ion content.  Without an adequate intake of chloride, as in salt for example, you die.    Chlorine,  is a deadly toxin that does not exist freely in nature because of it's reactivity. 

So when one is eating stuff with sucralose for example, you are eating something made with chlorine atoms.  Yes, some would argue that going through the process the sugar and chlorine goes through creates a whole different molecule and they would be right.  Sodium and chloride together makes salt.   But, and for me it's a big but, that happens in nature. Salt is not made in a laboratory, it's all around us, in almost all food grown or raised to some degree, and readily available in mineral deposits and of course oceans around the world.  We are supposed to eat salt. Our bodies have eaten salt, for example, for millions of years.  What we have not eaten for millions of years is a concoction designed in a laboratory for the purposes of profit and tricking you into thinking something is sweet when has no sugar.  It's not natural, and I don't need to eat it and get sick to accept this and find another natural way to incorporate sweetness into my diet.   

There are dozens of posts I've seen since I've joined where people talk about adverse reactions to artificial sweeteners.  Just because someone is eating them and not having an adverse reaction they know about, doesn't mean they aren't doing damage you don't know about.  Stick to natural foods...real foods..and you won't need or want that crap...

I'm appalled at the immense ignorance you've just served out to be believed by hapless onlookers everywhere -- so much so that I had to comment.

Chlorine is an element in the halogen group, group 17 on the periodic table. Halogens are so named because they form salts, otherwise known as halides. A salt is a nonmetallic element (our chlorine AKA Cl atom in this case) bonded ionically to a metal atom, let's assume sodium (Na) in this case. This can be any metal atom, by the way, not only sodium, i.e. potassium salt, KCl (One potassium atom bonded to a chlorine atom) This occurs frequently as sodium and potassium are in the same group. Other common salts are constituted out of all the possible nonradioactive permutations of groups 1, the Alkali Metals (Lithium, Sodium, Potassium, Rubidium, Cesium) and 17 (Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine, Iodine)

Now, this is where the confusion starts. An ionic bond is defined as a chemical bond where one atom transfers ALL of its electrons to the other atom AKA the metal transfers all its electrons to the nonmetal. In nature, the elements of the two groups in question, 1 and 17, never occur NATURALLY.  All atoms "strive" to have exactly 8 outer electrons, known as valence electrons, as this is the most stable configuration possible. So, with group 1 elements, each atom in question has one valence electron, making them extremely reactive. They will bond with nearly any other molecule or compound around, knocking one atom out of the molecule or compound. However, after this bond is formed, the group 1 atom in question is no longer in its previous form. It is now what is known as an ion, or an atom with more or less electrons than protons. Ions have charges, which is what sticks the two atoms in a salt together. By losing one electron, the group 1 element has taken on a +1 charge. Vice versa, the group 17 atom has 7 electrons, also making it extremely reactive as it is 1 electron away from 8. By taking in the electron from the group 1 atom, both atoms now have 8 outer electrons, but also opposite charges (the group 17 atom takes on a -1 charge) Opposites attract, so the two stick together and you get (Na+)(Cl-) 

In these diatomic (two-atom) ionic formulas (the way we assign names to ionic compounds) the metal is listed first, and the nonmetal last i.e. NaCl, Sodium Chloride, or KF, Potassium Fluoride. This is because protocol dictates that we list the positively charged ion first, and the negatively charged ion last. When we name the compound, we need to change the name of the anion, the last atom in the bond, to show that it's an ion. This is the reason we call NaCl sodium chloride, not sodium chlorine. There is no such thing as sodium chlorine.

Now, with all that chemistry out of the way, I can actually address what you are stating. You say that it's important to understand the difference between chlorine and chloride. It is very important to do so -- but only because chloride is an ion of chlorine. More specifically, chlorine, the element, has 17 electrons to 17 protons. Chloride, the ion of chlorine, has 18 electrons to 17 protons. This is the only physical difference between the two. Chloride is NOT, as you state, a "naturally occuring element in nature absolutely essential for life, representing 70% of the bodies total negative ion content." Chlorine is the naturally occurring element, Cl. Chloride is Cl-.

The reason chlorine is deadly is because of its reactivity, how able it is to bond with other atoms. Luckily chlorine gas doesn't exist naturally, but it can be a byproduct of some chemical reactions -- this is how the Germans were able to use chlorine gas during WWII -- it was a byproduct of the synthesis of clothing dyes. The danger chlorine poses to the body is that it will knock most atoms out of their bonds with other atoms, which destroys the chemical properties of that molecule or compound. This is how chlorine can be used to make sucralose, because it will knock the hydroxyl groups (an oxygen bonded to a hydrogen, in a carbon compound) out of their bonds and replace them. But, after it's replaced the hydroxyl groups, the atom is no longer called chlorine, it is called chloride.

 

So to sum up completely, chlorine is Cl, chloride is Cl-. NaCl is an ion of sodium bonded with an ion of chlorine. Sucralose has ions of chlorine in it too, the reason it's bad for you is how the body breaks the compound down afterward. The chloride in sucralose will be used by the body normally if possible, but more typically the compounds that come from sucralose are things like methyl alcohol and other toxic nasty stuff.  So yeah. Stick to healthy foods.

So close and then you messed it up at the end.  Sucralose has chlorine atoms in it not chloride ions.  But chlorine atoms are not something to be scared of.  Lots of naturally occurring substances have chlorine atoms in them.  Lots of unnatural substances do too - like chlorine gas, for example, which has two chlorine atoms attached to each other.  What makes chlorine gas dangerous and reactive IS NOT that it contains chlorine atoms.  It's that the chlorine atoms are attached to each other.  In sucralose, they are attached to carbon atoms which is completely completely different.

So, you are 100% right that people should not be scared of sucralose because of the chlorine atoms in it.  (If they want to find other reasons to be scared of it, fine, but that's not a valid reason.)  Unfortunately, very few people understand the very very big difference between chlorine atoms and chlorine molecules (i.e. chlorine gas) so there is an insane amount of misinformation out there about the supposed dangers of substances like sucralose. 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Splenda DOES NOT release chlorine gas into your body.  If people want to avoid it because they want to eat all natural, great.  But they shouldn't go around spreading misinformation to justify that choice.

I love all this science talk.... oooo-weee.... (totally not being sarcastic by the way, look at my name)

I used to eat Fiber One until I decided that I am going to try to cut out artificial sweeteners.   Not because I think they are bad for me but because I am convinced that  using artificial sweeteners is making me crave sweets.  So, I stick to honey and maybe a bit of cane sugar and switched to All Bran for my daily cereal/fruit/yogurt. 

Two things I noticed....1st, Fiber One has a softer, more palatable crunch, but I have adjusted and now like All Bran just as much.

2nd, and most importantly, the gas that I thought was a result of the increase of fiber in my diet (both the cereal and an increase in veggies and fruit) suddenly went away.  I had read other posters here say that F1 caused gas.  Now I believe. 

Well grapefruit, as I said in my post, "Yes, some would argue that going through the process the sugar and chlorine goes through creates a whole different molecule and they would be right."   I don't disagree with you but I still say that something created in a laboratory whose purpose is to trick you into thinking something is sweet with sugar when it really isn't, isn't food, isn't natural and not something you need to eat so why take the chance?  I   Sugar isn't natural either.   You don't find sugar growing on trees you find fruit, chock full of vitamins and minerals, fibre and bulk.   The only natural source of concentrated sugar in nature is honey, and it's not widespread or easily obtained so isn't a part of our natural diet. 

The wider message here is that for the purposes of good health, one needs to move away from eating unnaturally sweet foods and towards a more natural diet of real fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, etc. the things our bodies have been genetically engineered to consume over millions of years of evolution, not food made in a factory with ingredients that are unnatural and unknown to our bodies.   Artificial sweeteners are just an attempt to satiate an unnatural craving for sweetness that we shouldn't have to begin with.

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