Fiber many

General Mills' new cereal, Fiber One Protein, comes in two flavors, bringing to seven the number of varieties of Fiber One cereal. (If you're thinking "That's a lot of ways to buy Fiber One," you must be from way out of town. That doesn't include the 17 Fiber One bars, five Fiber One brownies, two Fiber One fruit-flavored snacks, three Fiber One muffin mixes, two Fiber One pancake mixes, five Fiber One bread products, three Fiber One cookies and Fiber One cottage cheese.)

The fiber content of the first five Fiber One cereals varies a surprising amount. And now the variation is even wider:

Original Fiber One cereal has 14 grams of fiber per ½-cup (30-gram) serving. None of the others has nearly that much. Nutty Clusters & Almonds, Honey Clusters and Raisin Bran Clusters all have 10 grams of fiber — in a serving about twice as big: 1 cup (about 55 grams). (Ask Mr. Tidbit sometime about how a serving size is determined. It's pretty bizarre.) Fiber One's 80 Calorie Chocolate cereal has 9 grams of fiber in a ¾-cup (30-gram) serving.

The two flavors of new Fiber One Protein cereal have by far the least fiber of all: 5 grams of fiber in a 1-cup (55-gram) serving.

So Fiber One Protein isn't very fibrous. It must have lots more protein than the others, right? Well, 90 Calorie Chocolate Fiber One has only 1 gram of protein (per ¾ cup), original Fiber One has just 2 grams (per ½ cup) and Raisin Bran Clusters has 3 grams (per cup). Both Honey and Nutty Clusters have 4 grams of protein per cup. The two flavors of new Fiber One Protein have 6 grams of protein per cup.

But the package front of new Fiber One Protein has a huge circled "10 g protein," not 6. On closer look, that's 10 g protein with milk, and the nutrition label shows the amounts of protein with and without the 4 grams added by ½ cup of milk. None of the other packages offers a second, jacked-up, protein content by adding the milk.

Al Sicherman