10 High-Fiber Cereals That Can Help Keep You Regular, According to Experts
Fiber is one of the most important nutrients in your diet. Consuming enough of it can lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, but let's be real—it's stellar rep comes from the way it helps promote healthy digestion and keeps bowel movements regular.
"Fiber plays many roles in the body and is ultimately responsible for removing waste," Georgia-based nutritionist Trista Best, RD, tells Health. "This nutrient also acts as a prebiotic in the gut by feeding the good bacteria and keeping the gut healthy. A properly functioning immune system is dependent on a balanced and healthy gut."
There are two types of fiber, both of which are important to digestion. Soluble fiber, found in foods like oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, and fruit, attracts water and turns to gel during digestion, slowing your GI system down. Insoluble fiber, found in wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains, adds bulk to the stool, helping you digest more quickly.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that women eat 21 to 25 grams daily and that men consume 30 to 38 grams per day. Given that fiber is found in so many breakfast staples like fresh fruit and whole grains, your morning meal is an optimal time of day to score some of the fiber your body needs. But with so many cereal options out there, which one do you choose? Here are the high-fiber cereals that experts recommend, plus how much fiber they contain per serving.
The best high-fiber cereals, according to experts
Post Shredded Wheat
Some cereals are classic for a reason, and that includes Post Shredded Wheat ($42 for a 6-pack; amazon.com), arguably the OG of high-fiber cereals, with 8 grams of fiber per serving. "The fiber content found in Shredded Wheat places it at the top of any high-fiber and healthy cereal list," explains Best.
Best advises selecting the non-frosted version of the cereal, as the frosted variety has almost 12 grams of sugar per serving. "Shredded Wheat contains 0 grams of sugar per serving, unlike most other cereals, even healthy ones," she says. "Eating sugary cereals will essentially cancel out any fiber benefits and result in the opposite benefits of fiber. Sugar creates a suitable environment for bad bacteria in the gut, and this bacteria then kills off the good bacteria and negative health effects ensue."
Barbara's Shredded Wheat
Post isn't the only brand of shredded wheat on store shelves; you can also score a win with Barbara's Shredded Wheat. "At 7 grams of fiber per two biscuits, you easily get 24% of the daily value for fiber," Vancouver-based nutritionist Megan Wong, RD, tells Health. Most of the fiber in Barbara's Shredded Wheat is insoluble fiber, she says, meaning this cereal could help speed digestion.
Wong adds that the fiber content of Barbara's Shredded Wheat isn't as high as other cereals, but the nutrition in whole grain wheat make this cereal a solid choice. "That means zero added sugars, colors, or other unwanted additives," Wong says. "It's also a decent source of protein (6 grams per serving, as much as one large egg), iron (1.6 milligrams), and potassium (170 milligrams)."
Nature's Path Organic Flax Plus Raisin Bran Flakes
Moving away from shredded wheat cereals, Hollywood-based Lisa DeFazio, RD, says Nature's Path Organic Flax Plus Raisin Bran Flakes ($20 for a 4-pack; amazon.com) starts your day with a good amount of fiber. "This cereal gives you 9 grams of fiber, and as an added bonus, 6 grams of protein," she explains. "The raisins add fiber and sweetness."
Speaking of OG cereals, Post Grape-Nuts ($20 for a 2-pack, was $21; amazon.com) has been around for decades, and it's a favorite option for Charleston-based nutritionist Jamie Johnson, RD. "Grape-Nuts has 7 grams of fiber in one serving, which is almost a third of the recommended daily value," she tells Health. "It contains insoluble and soluble fiber, which are both important for gut health."
Grape-Nuts has more big benefits. "Grape-Nuts has zero grams of added sugar, which is hard to come by in a cereal, while containing only four ingredients," Johnson says. "It has 90% of the recommended daily value of iron and folate and is an excellent source of other vitamins and minerals including zinc, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, and phosphorous."
Despite its name, there are no grapes or nuts in Grape-Nuts—it's actually made of wheat and barley.
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Ezekiel 4:9 Almond Flake Cereal
Toronto-based nutritionist Andy De Santis, RD, calls 4:9 Almond Flake Cereal ($53 for a 6-pack; walmart.com) a fiber champion. "First of all, it offers up a very crunchy texture; and although not naturally sweet, maple syrup can be added to enhance the flavor," he explains.
De Santis also likes the balance of this cereal's nutritional profile. It contains above-average amounts of fiber (6 grams) and protein per serving because lentils are among its primary ingredients,. "It's also made from sprouted grains, which may have slightly higher antioxidant content," he adds.
Muesli is an oat-based cereal, typically a combo of oats, dried fruits, and nuts. If you're a fan of muesli or want to give it a try, Wong says you can't go wrong with Alpen's Muesli with no sugar added ($23; walmart.com). This brand is made from a blend of rolled oats, whole grain wheat flakes, crunchy hazelnuts, almonds, and raisins.
"Every two-thirds cup of this cereal provides 7 grams of fiber, or 25% of the daily value," she explains. "The fiber provided is a good mix of soluble (3 grams) and insoluble (4 grams) fiber." Muesli is a breakfast all-star thanks to its other nutrients. "You'll also get a boost of protein (8 grams), healthy fats from the almonds and hazelnuts, and 1.8 milligrams of iron," she adds.
Another classic offering, Kellogg's All-Bran ($20 for a 2-pack, was $22; amazon.com) packs a serious punch when it comes to fiber, according to Johnson. "It has almost half of the recommended daily value of fiber at 12 grams per serving while being a good low-sodium option," she says. "It supplies half of the recommended daily value of vitamin B12; is a good source of vitamin D; and is high in folate, vitamin B6, and iron."
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Barbara's Cinnamon Puffins
Looking for a kid-friendly cereal that's also a fiber superstar? DeFazio says Barbara's Cinnamon Puffins ($42 for a 12-pack; amazon.com) offer 6 grams of fiber per crunchy serving. Of course, there's a catch, in case you were hoping to avoid sugar. "These sweet and tasty puffs have 6 grams of added sugar and will taste like an indulgent breakfast," she says. "You can add some nuts for extra protein."
Nature's Path Smart Bran
Another high-fiber cereal powerhouse is Nature's Path Smart Bran ($29 for a 6-pack; amazon.com), with 13 grams of fiber per half cup. It's a blend of wheat, oat brand, and psyllium. "One perk is the use of psyllium husk as a source of fiber," Wong explains. "Research shows that psyllium husk can help lower cholesterol levels by increasing the amount of cholesterol that gets excreted with waste."
Kashi Go Cereal
Kashi Go offers "high-fiber, high-protein cereals," according to De Santis, such as Peanut Butter Crunch ($3; amazon.com), Chocolate Crunch ($5; amazon.com), and Honey Almond Flax Crunch ($5; amazon.com). Just one thing, though—they contain sugar. "The added sweetness allows them appeal to those who won't enjoy those traditional, more bland high-fiber selections," he notes.
What if your favorite cereal isn't high-fiber?
Perhaps you already have a favorite breakfast cereal, but it's not high in fiber. You don't have to give it up—just add in some extra goodies to beef the fiber content, advises Johnson. She recommends mixing in berries, nuts, chia seeds, or ground flax seeds. DeFazio suggests sprinkling in 2 tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran or freshly ground flax seeds.
There is such a thing as too much fiber
Starting your day with a high-fiber cereal is a good idea, but make sure you're not overdoing it. Again, each day, women should consume 21 to 25 grams of fiber and men should take in 30 to 38 grams of fiber, per the Mayo Clinic. Consuming too much fiber can cause cramping, intestinal gas and flatulence, and bloating. Always make sure to drink plenty of water, and add fiber to your diet slowly to avoid these side effects.
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