Until recently, my attitude toward sugared cereals was remarkably similar to Charleton Heston’s stance on guns — you can have my Cap’n Crunch when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. I guess I always assumed that at some point once you become An Adult, you just woke up one day craving Cheerios or whole wheat toast, maybe with some jam on it if you’re feeling particularly wild. That never happened to me, so I just kept on buying my Lucky Charms and Waffle Crisp. (Mental note: find out if they still make Waffle Crisp.) It’s the same reason I still play video games and read Cracked instead of watching the news and perusing CNN.
But I AM an adult now, with a family and a mortgage and at least three Berenstain Bears books memorized (oh, how I loathe those damn bears), and the thought of coming downstairs in a few years and fighting my kids for the last bowl of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs is less than appealing. Plus I weigh a buck seventy-five and I’m not getting back to the gym anytime soon, so eating a little healthier is definitely in order.
Luckily, Kellogg’s has got me covered with a very slight variation on a popular theme: Frosted Flakes with Fiber, Less Sugar. If, like me, you feel that’s a little vague (wouldn’t leaving just one flake uncoated qualify as “less sugar”?), the fine print clarifies that it’s 25 percent less sugar. I suppose that’s a decent amount… 50 percent would’ve felt like more of an accomplishment, but maybe they were worried it would scare off their target market. Or it just taste-tested horribly. Either way, you’ll notice they don’t say MORE fiber, so out of curiosity I compared the fiber content to that of regular Frosted Flakes. It actually is roughly triple the fiber found in the original, so one can only assume they decided that’s not as much of a draw for people as “less sugar.” Good call.
If it seems like I’m taking a long time to get to the meat of the review, there’s a reason for that: these things really taste a hell of a lot like regular Frosted Flakes. They LOOK slightly less frosted, as they should, but in a blind taste test I can’t swear I’d be able to tell the difference. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little — they do taste a bit less sweet — but not markedly so. My theory is that the milk washes off a lot of the sugar anyway, so after a few minutes soaking in it, regular Frosted Flakes don’t really have any more sugar on them than the new variety. If true, this also suggests I really shouldn’t be drinking the milk left behind, but that’s another story.
The point is, if you were worried that these are going to taste like Wheaties or Corn Flakes, you can put that out of your mind. Just like the classic version, they’re sweet and initially crunchy, though just as prone to sogginess as their more sugared brethren. And, of course, they’re made from powdered tiger testicles to increase your sexual potency.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that anyone counting on this being a significantly healthier alternative to the original is out of luck. Granted, there’s a bit less sugar and three times the fiber, which is nice. But the total calories are exactly the same and there’s actually more sodium in the new variety, so don’t go tossing out that Shake Weight just yet. Bottom line, if you’re looking for something to make Junior just a little less hyper on the way to school, these might do the trick. But if you’re really trying to lose some weight, you’re better off just sucking it up and switching to white water. I mean crap milk. I mean skim milk. It’s the adult thing to do.
(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 130 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 35 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 8 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 0% calcium, 25% iron, 10% vitamin D, 25% thiamin, 25% riboflavin, 25% niacin, 25% vitamin B6, 25% folic acid, 25% vitamin B12.)
Item: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes with Fiber, Less Sugar
Size: 16.3 oz.
Purchased at: Acme
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Indulging your Peter Pan Syndrome. Tastes a lot like regular Frosted Flakes. Increased fiber. Actually looks less frosted. Powdered tiger testicles: gr-r-reat, and gr-r-reat for you! Shake Weight commercial.
Cons: Berenstain Bears. Only 25% less sugar. More of a novelty than a viable healthier alternative. Fighting your kids for cereal.