In My Belly: Fiber One Oats & Chocolate Bars
As I mentioned last week the folks at General Mills and EatBetterAmerica.com sent me a box of their new oats & chocolate Fiber One bars to snack on and give and drop an opinion.
My first thoughts last week were that they tasted great, but I wanted to look at 'em a little more. Wifey and I have now finished off the box and I've made my conclusions, so here we go...
First some stats on the F1 bars and some of my fave comparable snack bars and meal co-hosts:
Fiber One Bar: 140 cal., 4g fat, 29g carbs, 2g protein and 9g fiber.
Little Debbie Fig Bar: 160 cal., 1g fat, 31g carbs, 1g protein and 1g fiber.
Nature Valley Granola Bar: 180 cal., 6g fat, 29g carbs, 4g protein and 2g fiber.
Clif Bar (Black Cherry Almond): 250 cal., 5g fat, 44g carbs, 10g protein and 5g of fiber.
First Impressions: The bar looks identical to a Nature Valley Trail Mix Bar. Not surprising, they ARE made by the same parent company (General Mills). At first I poo-pooed the 9 grams of fiber. That was wrong, since I was comparing it to my normal colon blow breakfast cereal cocktail and NOT comparable snack bars. This is a "snack bar" not a meal replacement bar.
Taste: I must say- Yum-Oh. Hard to go wrong when something has chocolate in it. I think I was thinking that it would taste like Fiber One cereal (not that there's anything wrong with that, it's a fave of mine), but it's some good chewy and chocolaty goodness.
More On The Stats: The F1 Bar does have more fat than some of my normal daily snack foods (apples, pretzels, yogurt, oranges, etc.,) but compared to some of the other bars that I eat as snacks or with breakfast sometimes, they are not that bad or better.
Having kept track of my fat intake for many of my season months, I'm also aware that fat is one thing I actually come in too low in sometimes, so a few extra grams won't kill me, especially when you add in the fiber that they pack.
Oh yes, the fiber. Compared to the other bars, it's off the charts! 9 grams/35% of your recommended fiber intake. In doing some of this research I was a bit shocked that the Clif Bar has 5 grams of fiber (as do Hammer Bars). I'm also shocked that a fig bar only has ONE gram. I mean it's fig! You should be blowing that stuff right out! Of course compared to my "normal" cereal blend it falls well short, but I'm a bit of a fiber freak.
Because of the high fiber content of the F1, I personally would not use it DURING exercise or less than a few hours before a planned workout. Why? Lets just say I don't ride with any t.p. in my seat pack! And this is coming from someone with an off the charts daily fiber intake.
WIfey: Wifey had one or two of the bars as well. She's on them like white on rice. Wifey has been following the Weight Watchers diet plan and was pretty geeked that they are 2 points of tasty, chewy, chocolate. She also like the added fiber to the diet too. When I asked her if she would BUY the bars, without hesitating she said YES!
Me: Would I buy them? Yes. Since I do 95% of our grocery shopping and I know Wifey digs them I would buy them. and I WOULD eat some of them. If she didn't like them I'm not sure I would buy them. I usually opt for an item like fig bars that I can snack on AND use during a ride or race. Since I wouldn't eat these during a ride, they are religated to my 2nd string.
I also tend to lean toward a bar like the Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bar. It's stats aren't as good, but the crunchy granola makes you feel like you're really chomping on something and working for your snack. Combined with some yogurt and/or fruit it makes for a good breakfast bar too.
How I Used Them: In my few days with the freebies I ate a couple as snacks and 1 with a carton of low fat yogurt and a XL cup of coffee for breakfast. I wouldn't eat them as an afternoon snack on ride nights. Having said that, I also refrain from eating snacks like raw fruits and vegetables less than 3 or 4 hours before a ride too. I don't need any "gut rumblings" during the ride or any trail head dumps.
I would most likely use them as an a.m. snack at work, with some yogurt for a light breakfast or as an after dinner snack to satisfy a sweet tooth if one should develop. It's etter than sticking my finger in the peanut butter!
My Final Rating: 8 out of 10. I'm sure Wifey gives them a full 10. I'm hesitant to get too lovey since I would refrain from using them during a ride or in the pit at race. But for a snack with a colon kick, they're very good.
Oh yeah, one last thing. A little disclaimer for you and your colon: As you may be aware, health professionals often recommend gradually increasing fiber intake to help reduce gastrointestinal discomfort that initially may be experienced by some people when more fiber is added to their diet. Note that each Fiber One Chewy Bar has 9 grams of fiber—about 1/3 the Daily Value. If you're not used to eating a high fiber diet, you may want to begin with just half a bar and gradually work up to a full bar as your body becomes used to the fiber.