Letters to the Editor

Use of Breakfast Cereals for Constipation in Elderly Persons



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Am Fam Physician. 1999 Mar 15;59(6):1402.

to the editor: Sometimes a trip to the grocery store can be very informative. Because constipation is a prevalent problem in elderly persons and insoluble fiber is an important treatment, an examination of fiber-containing breakfast cereals is enlightening. Deciding which breakfast cereal to use in the treatment of constipation can be difficult considering the names of cereals, such as 100% Bran, All-Bran and Complete Wheat Bran. The fine print on the box reveals that 100% Bran contains only 7 g of insoluble fiber per 29 g serving—a disappointing 24.1 percent insoluble fiber for a product that claims to be 100 percent bran.

Several other breakfast cereals contain nearly double the amount of fiber that is found in 100% Bran (see the accompanying table).

Common Breakfast Cereals Suggested for High Fiber Content

Cereal Total fiber per serving (g) Insoluble fiber (%) Serving size (g) Serving (volume) Insoluble fiber (g)

Fiber One, General Mills

13

40.0

30

1/2 cup

12

All-Bran, Kellogg's

10

29.0

31

1/2 cup

9

100% Bran, Post

8

24.1

29

1/3 cup

7

Bran Flakes, Post

5

≤13.3

30

3/4 cup

4

Raisin Bran, Kellogg's

8

≤13.1

61

1 cup

*

Complete Wheat Bran, Kellogg's

5

13.8

29

3/4 cup

4

Shredded Wheat, Post

5

10.9

46

2 biscuits

5

Grape-nuts, Post

5

≤8.6

58

1/2 cup

*


*—Not itemized on box.

Common Breakfast Cereals Suggested for High Fiber Content

View Table

Common Breakfast Cereals Suggested for High Fiber Content

Cereal Total fiber per serving (g) Insoluble fiber (%) Serving size (g) Serving (volume) Insoluble fiber (g)

Fiber One, General Mills

13

40.0

30

1/2 cup

12

All-Bran, Kellogg's

10

29.0

31

1/2 cup

9

100% Bran, Post

8

24.1

29

1/3 cup

7

Bran Flakes, Post

5

≤13.3

30

3/4 cup

4

Raisin Bran, Kellogg's

8

≤13.1

61

1 cup

*

Complete Wheat Bran, Kellogg's

5

13.8

29

3/4 cup

4

Shredded Wheat, Post

5

10.9

46

2 biscuits

5

Grape-nuts, Post

5

≤8.6

58

1/2 cup

*


*—Not itemized on box.

Send letters to Kenneth W. Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online, e-mail: afplet@aafp.org, or 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy., Leawood, KS 66211-2680.

Please include your complete address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors.

Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Possible conflicts of interest must be disclosed at time of submission. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting the American Academy of Family Physicians permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. The editors may edit letters to meet style and space requirements.



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