You are what you eat

Last updated 09:24 07/08/2012

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Uncle Tobys have brought out a new "Plus" range of cereals. There are seven varieties in the range - Fibre, Omega 3, Protein, Muesli Flakes, Essentials for Women, Antioxidants and Sports. I found the last three in Countdown and chose the Essentials for Women packet because I liked the sound of the sultanas, pomegranates and berry oat clusters.

The "five essential nutrients for women" are antioxidant vitamins A and E, fibre, calcium, iron and folate. Looking at the nutrition information panel, per 100 grams of product, the fat content is nice and low at 2g, fibre is good at 8.3g, sugars are high at 21g, but when compared with similar cereals this is at the lower end of the range.

The long ingredient list is partly due to the different juices and flavours used for the berry clusters and the pomegranate pieces. The main ingredient is 61 per cent wholegrains from wheat and oats, sugar is second and then corn (found in the cornflakes) and sultanas (6 per cent).

Pomegranate pieces were next and were made up of pomegranate juice, apple puree concentrate, elderberry juice concentrate, invert sugar, glycerin (a type of sugar), sugar, wheat fibre, pectin, citric acid and flavour.

These were small chewy pieces that gave sweetness to the cereal.

Next on the list is rice flour, then minerals (per 100g) - calcium 500 milligrams, iron 7.5mg and zinc 4.5mg.

There is also 1 per cent partially reconstituted pomegranate and 1 per cent berry juice (elderberry and strawberry).

Maize starch, salt and wheat flavours, vegetable oil, a good range of B vitamins including niacin, B1, B2, B6, vitamin A and E and folate, emulsifier 471, citric food acid and carmine for colouring are the ingredients present in the smallest quantities.

This is a very light, plain muesli, made up mainly of light bran flakes with a few corn flakes thrown in, fruity bits, including sultanas and some berry clusters, which seem to be made of rolled oats and rice with fruit juice to flavour.

Overall, the berry flavour was more noticeable than the pomegranate flavour.

Our pantry has the basics - wheat biscuits, rice bubbles, corn flakes, rolled oats and homemade muesli.

Bought mueslis and Coco Pops are for special occasions.

Being used to a solid start to the day, my family found this muesli too light on its own, so we sprinkled a couple of wheat biscuits on top for a more filling and sustaining breakfast.

Compared to other mueslis, Uncle Tobys Plus Essentials for Women has a good fibre, sodium, vitamin and mineral content.

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At $6.29 for 420g, it is relatively expensive for a family, but would be suitable as a light breakfast option for someone who isn't overly active.

Prepared by registered dietician Jackie Keenan.

- Taranaki Daily News

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