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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*

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

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