FiberOne Yoplait – Zero Guilt? Not So Sure…

Fiber is an important nutrient. Good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. We need 25 grams a day, but most of us fall short on this number because we don’t eat enough of the above. That’s why many food companies today push fiber into their processed products.

Yogurt is a healthy dairy product, providing protein, calcium, and probiotics that aid in digestion.

General Mills has made billions off of two strong brands. One promotes fiber, the other is a yogurt.

What could be more natural than marrying these two brands together to create the ultimate healthy snack? Not only does Yoplait FiberOne have a good pedigree, it has gotten the blessing of an influential godmother.

But is this truly a “zero guilt” food, or should we be a bit more careful?

What you need to know:

We took a look at Strawberry flavored FiberOne Yoplait. The nutrition facts panel looks promising. Only 50 calories per serving. Zero fat. And a bonus of five grams of fiber (20% of the daily value).

But it all goes downhill from here.

First off, the serving is 113 grams, or 4 oz. A regular serving of yogurt is 6 oz. Which means the equivalent comparable would have 75 calories. But that’s just a tiny quibble. It’s the ingredient list that should make us feel guilty:

Nonfat Yogurt (cultured pasteurized grade A nonfat milk, modified corn starch, kosher gelatin, vitamin A acetate, Vitamin D3), Water, Chicory Root Extract (inulin), Strawberries, Modified Corn Starch, Citric Acid, Tricalcium Phosphate, Aspartame*, Potassium Sorbate Added to Maintain Freshness, Acesulfame Potassium, Natural Flavor, Red #40. * Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine

Can this legally be called yogurt? At best, it’s a watered down version of yogurt, literally. The second ingredient here is H2O! In order to maintain a semblance of yogurt mouthfeel, General Mills added tons of corn starch and gelatin.

The fiber added is inulin, which has its own set of issues when added to foods. Way better to get fiber in its original packaging (fruit or veggie) than like this. You’ll feel much fuller.

And don’t get us started on the artificial crap here, both sweeteners and colorings. The aspartame and acesulfame potassium duo are potential carcinogens, and Red #40 now requires warning labels on foods in Europe.

Don’t console your guilty conscious by saying to yourself “at least it has strawberries.” There is more water and fiber here than strawberry. Quantifying this would probably mean less than 1 strawberry per cup. The strawberry flavor originates from the “Natural Flavor” added to the ingredient mix.

Conclusion: This freak child of two mega-brands should never have been born. Yes it is a huge marketing success. Yes it is low in calories. But it won’t help your diet, because it sets you up for failure – expecting uber-sweet chemical laden goop to fill you up instead of real, portion controlled foods.

Yogurt is not a source of fiber, nor should it be. Adding fiber where it does not belong encourages people to eat the wrong kind of foods for the wrong purpose. For fiber – eat an apple. That’s 4 grams of fiber plus tons of additional nutrients you won’t be getting by adding inulin to your snack.

If you’re looking for a decadent snack, have a real one like chocolate, and truly indulge. Just don’t kid yourself that it is healthy.

What to do at the supermarket:

If you need a daily solution for the 3 o’clock office drowsiness and hunger pangs, how about plain yogurt with diced banana or some blueberries tossed in? If you make it Greek, you’ll double your protein and feel satisfied a bit longer.

Get Fooducated: iPhone App RSS Subscription or Email Subscription

Follow us on twitter: twitter.com/fooducate on facebook: facebook.com/fooducate

Get Fooducated

  • http://www.whosmydaddy.wordpress.com Cassie

    I’m pretty sure this is the best article you guys have written to date. It wasn’t the least bit snarky and straight up factual.

    Keep on educating!!!

  • Ruth

    Blech. The farther you deviate from a natural food, the worse it gets.

    “The nutrition facts panel looks promising. Only 50 calories per serving. Zero fat. …
    But it all goes downhill from here.”

    No, it already went downhill. Zero fat is not healthy. We need to get good fat from products where it naturally occurs and not from industrial vegetable oils and margarine. Taking healthy white yogurt and artificially removing all the fat is not a plus. Even the establishment is slowly coming around on this. Fat phobia was a big mistake from the get go. http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-carbs-20101220,0,5893431,full.story

  • http://www.awakenedwellness.com Rachel Assuncao

    “This freak child of two mega-brands should never have been born.” Love it! Great article and hopefully it will prevent a few people from buying this ‘yogurt’ product.

    I do have to agree with Ruth. We need to get good fats from foods where it already exists naturally. I always buy full fat (organic) yogurt. It tastes amazing and nourishes my body, leaving me feeling full and satisfied.

  • http://www.feedyourheaddiet.com Ken Leebow

    The only Fiber One product I would eat is its Fiber One cereal. Even my dogs love it … http://bit.ly/biyZHN

  • roger

    Other products to watch for is fiber one ‘fat free’ cottage cheese, which has monoglycerides (trans fat).

  • Monica

    Just thinking about fake yogurt with fake fiber causes me to loose my appetite. My favorite is Mountain High original plain yogurt because it’s one of the few i see made with whole milk. It has the best mouthfeel. Fake yogurt can’t compare to this.

  • http://latinahealthdiaries.blogspot.com Mabelle

    Oh man! This is scary. These marketing lies have got to stop. I cant believe this! Thank you for sharing this information with us–fooducate!

  • http://laradalch.com Lara Dalch

    Bravo!

    I really have no better words…except thanks for a straightforward and very clear review of this “Frankenstein food product.”

  • http://avocadobravado.net/ Rose

    A good rule of thumb when shopping: never trust anything with Hungry Girl on the packaging.

  • http://www.feingold.org Marcia

    Our FDA will be holding hearings in March on food dyes. Maybe we will catch up with the UK.

  • http://www.mylifetreesolution.com Jill MacInnes

    I love your site and could not be happier that you educate the public on the danger of not being food educated. I have been telling people about the yogurt deception for years. Please keep it coming.

  • http://offbeat-ana.blogspot.com/ Sarah NY

    “Hungry Girl” is a scam! Lisa is NOT a nutritionist; she merely compile fat-free and sugar-free foods into “recipes” and sells them to uninformed citizens. She even has a cookbook! What a joke! I try to avoid artificial colors, flavors, and chemicals in my foods-thanks though!

    Interesting article! I’ve tried that yogurt before, and while it’s sugary and easy to eat it does NOT fill you up in any way, in fact it triggers a serious craving for sweets!

    Chobani makes a decent greek yogurt, or avoid dairy all together. Oatmeal is where it’s at!

  • Carrie

    Wow did they really put aspartame on the front????!!!! What in the world where they thinking???!! so glad you cracked down on fiber one!!