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Am Fam Physician. 1999;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).

CerealTotal fiber per serving (g)Insoluble fiber (%)Serving size (g)Serving (volume)Insoluble fiber (g)
Fiber One, General Mills1340.0301/2 cup12
All-Bran, Kellogg's1029.0311/2 cup9
100% Bran, Post824.1291/3 cup7
Bran Flakes, Post5≤13.3303/4 cup4
Raisin Bran, Kellogg's8≤13.1611 cup*
Complete Wheat Bran, Kellogg's513.8293/4 cup4
Shredded Wheat, Post510.9462 biscuits5
Grape-nuts, Post5≤8.6581/2 cup*

Email letter submissions to afplet@aafp.org. 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. Letters may be edited to meet style and space requirements.

This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, deputy editor.

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