A fiber-filled breakfast is a great way for anyone to start the day, but as a vegan, how easy is it to find?
With only two cereals to their name, it isn’t difficult to determine if the Fiber One cereal range is vegan. The answer is that one is likely to be plant-based, but the other is not.
So, let’s take a closer look to see which cereal can end up on your vegan breakfast table every morning, and which one you should avoid.
Fiber One Cereal Ingredients
The two kinds of cereal produced by Fiber One are Original Bran and Honey Clusters.
Both are fortified with vitamins and minerals, but with one of the biggest non-vegan culprits vitamin D3 being missing from both, there is less to worry about.
Still, it is never easy to determine exactly where their ingredients are derived from, but we can get a sense as to how vegan-friendly they are from the label.
Here is the ingredient profile for Fiber One Original Bran:
Whole Grain Wheat, Corn Bran, Modified Wheat Starch, Color (caramel color and annatto extract), Guar Gum, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Baking Soda, Sucralose, Natural Flavor.
Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin C(sodium ascorbate), Iron and Zinc (mineral nutrients), A B Vitamin (niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), A B Vitamin (folic acid), Vitamin B12.
There is nothing concerning here so it is safe to say that Original Bran is vegan. The inclusion of guar gum is particularly good to see as this is a thickening agent made from legumes and used in place of gelatin.
There are also no artificial colors that are tested on animals or sugar that could have been processed with bone char.
Time to take a look at Fiber One Honey Clusters:
Whole Grain Wheat, Oat Cluster (whole grain oats, sugar, brown sugar, rice flour, honey, corn syrup, whole grain rice, salt, natural flavor, barley malt extract, cinnamon. Vitamin E [mixed tocopherols] added to preserve freshness), Corn Bran, Sugar, Rice Flour, Wheat Bran, Corn Syrup, Salt, Honey, Corn Starch, Malt Syrup, Tripotassium Phosphate, Brown Sugar Syrup, Natural Flavor, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose.
These are sweeter than the simple bran recipe, and although the vitamins and minerals included are the same, some non-vegan culprits can make this cereal suitable for a plant-based diet.
Fiber One Cereal Non-Vegan Ingredients
A lot of sugar produced in the US is processed using bone char. This is when a brand uses the charred bones of cattle and pigs to decolorize their sugar, to make it a more desirable white.
There is no trace of it in the sugar after, but it raises questions of ethics that many vegans cannot ignore. Because the supply chain is not transparent, it can be difficult to determine which companies use this process, especially since they do not need to specify on the label.
To be sure your sugar is not processed via this method, oot for organic sugar, or sugar derived from beets and coconut.
Because it is animal-made, honey is mostly considered non-vegan. However, some will turn a blind eye to it, often citing the fact that bees are used to pollinate certain crops, so your fruit and vegetables could only be available because of bees.
Still, it is depriving bees of their food source which can cause some of them to die, which is why we consider Fiber One Honey Clusters to be non-vegan.
This is an umbrella term used to describe ingredients that can be either plant-based or animal-derived. The fact that companies do not need to specify is problematic for vegans.
Here is the FDA’s description of natural flavors:
“The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”
Sometimes you can find out companies source their natural flavors from their FAQ page but this information is not available on the Fiber One website.
Does Fiber One Cereal Contain Dairy?
Dairy is not present in either of their two kinds of cereal. There are no butter, milk, whey, or dairy by-products to be found.
Does Fiber One Cereal Contain Gelatin?
It does not. Fiber One Original contains the vegan-friendly guar gum which is a thickener and used the same way as gelatin.
Are There Any Vegan Alternatives?
Thankfully, you do not need a vegan alternative to Fiber One Original. So anyone looking for a fiber fix in the morning can get their hands on their bran cereal.
However, we have found the following vegan alternative to Fiber One Honey Clusters:
Protein and Gluten-Free Breakfast Cereal by Three Wishes – Honey
The reassuring inclusion of organic cane sugar lets customers know there is no risk of bone char being used, and although they are ‘honey flavored’ there is no sign of it on the non-GMO, plant-based ingredients list:
Chickpea, Tapioca, Pea Protein, Organic Cane Sugar, Natural Flavors, Monk Fruit
If you are looking for an organic alternative to Fiber One Original, then here is another is a popular plant-based alternative:
Nature’s Path Organic Multigrain Oat Bran Flakes Cereal
There is 3g of protein and 5g of fiber in every serving, and a simple, organic ingredient profile:
Whole oat flour*, whole wheat meal*, wheat bran*, evaporated cane juice*, oat bran*, yellow cornmeal* and/or yellow corn flour*, brown rice flour*, barley malt extract*, sea salt, whole wheat sprouts*. *Organic
It can be difficult to find vegan supermarket brands, but Fiber One Original can be a new addition to your breakfast table.
Always keep an eye out for honey on the label of any cereal, unless you are not so strict about it like many are.
Featured image by theimpulsivebuy (CC BY-SA 2.0)