Ingredients Review: Are Fiber One Brownies Healthy or Not?

Are you wondering if Fiber One Brownies match your dietary, health, or weight loss goals? That’s a common quest! 

When consuming sugar, calories, and fats matter, curbing that sweet tooth becomes a challenge. This is where Fiber One Brownies step in, claiming a healthier stance compared to store-bought, sugar-packed brownies (unless homemade tweaks apply). 

Their high fiber, moderate sugar and fat content make them a reasonable snack choice, if consumed in moderation. 

Join us in this article as we dissect Fiber One Brownies, analyzing their fiber, sweetener, calorie content, their ingredients like chicory root extract, vegetable fats, sugars and others, and their impact on your well-being. Let’s explore if these brownies fit your health journey!

Ingredients Review Fiber One Brownies

Nutritional information of Fiber One Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Servings per pack: 5
Serving Size: 24g

Energy83 Kcal4%345 Kcal
Total Fat3.3g5%13.7g
Dietary Fiber6.1g-%25.3g

Looking at this nutrition information, Fiber One Fudge Brownies appear to be pretty healthy. Of course, if you don’t overdo it. I get it; talking about moderation might sound boring, but think about it, a single serving (24g) versus a full pack (120g) has a big calorie and fat difference, with 345 calories ‘waisted’ with the whole pack. It’s not exactly filling; I could easily finish a pack and still be hungry!

You should enjoy a Fiber One brownie as a pre-workout snack or to tame your sweet tooth. I’d suggest sticking to one or two, though. It is not ideal for muscle building as its protein content is relatively low 1.1g, so don’t expect miracles for big gains.

Also, its saturated fat content of 1.9g is within moderate limits per serving. If you don’t know what saturated fats are, it is one of the unhealthy fats, along with trans fat, that can raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol in your blood, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. These fats, like palm oil that is present in this snack, are most often solid at room temperature.

The American Heart Association suggests to keep saturated fat intake between 5% to 6% out of your daily calories. For instance, an adult on a 2,000 calorie diet should limit saturated fat to around 120 calories or roughly 13 grams per day.

With just one Fiber brownie, we’re off to a good start, but almost crossing the mark with a whole pack, aren’t we?

To round it up, One Fiber with its notable fiber content, moderate levels of sugar, saturated fat per serving, and low level of salt is considered relatively healthy for a sweet snack. However, individual dietary needs (celiac, gluten intolerance) should be considered when incorporating these brownies into a balanced diet.

Let’s explore its ingredients to see if it’s a match for you.

Ingredients Breakdown of Fiber One Brownies 

Fiber One Brownies product

We’ll review the ingredients of Fiber One Chocolate Fudge Brownie, as listed on the pack and website, presented in their respective order. The ingredients listed first make up a larger portion of the final product compared to those mentioned towards the end of the list.

1. Chicory Root Extract

Extracted from chicory root, the fiber-rich chicory plant increases the fiber content of these brownies. It is particularly rich in inulin, a type of dietary fiber that can aid in better digestion, assist with weight loss, and improve blood sugar level. Inulin is also often used as a substitute for fats or sugars in processed foods.

Studies praise its other potential health benefits, too, like managing cholesterol, preventing tumors, and reducing inflammation. What a great addition!

2. Erythritol 

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that’s made from naturally occurring sources like fruits through a fermentation process and serves as a sugar substitute in Fiber One Chocolate Fudge Brownies. It’s also FDA-approved for consumption, ensuring its safety.

Its low-calorie content has a very minimal impact on blood sugar and insulin levels, making it a popular choice for health-conscious individuals and those with diabetes.

Evidence shows that erythritol has the potential as a beneficial replacement for sugar in healthy and diabetic subjects as it exerts no effects on glucose or insulin and induces gut hormone secretions that modulate satiety to promote weight loss. 

This study also highlights that erythritol, unlike other sugar alcohols, is better absorbed and tolerated, causing fewer gastrointestinal issues at comparable doses.

3. Wheat Flour (Bleached) 

Wheat flour is a standard ingredient in brownies, but the bleaching process, involving chemicals like benzoyl, might raise concerns for some. 

Bleached flour is refined, meaning it eliminates the bran and germ of the wheat kernel, resulting in a refined product that lacks the beneficial vitamins and minerals found in the whole grain. 

Nutritional differences between bleached and unbleached white flour are minimal, though bleached flour may have a slightly bitter taste. 

While FDA-approved and deemed safe, personal preferences might lead some to opt for unbleached alternatives.

4. Dutch Cocoa (processed with Alkali) 

Dutch cocoa is where the classic chocolate flavor comes from in Fiber One Brownies.

The alkalization process in Dutch cocoa is to enhance its chocolate flavor. However, this process can diminish some antioxidants naturally present in cocoa, potentially reducing its nutritional value. 

The level of reduction in antioxidants is directly linked to the degree of alkalization applied during processing. This process influences both the pH of the final cocoa powder and its flavanol content, affecting its taste and health benefits.

Now you might understand better why we say RELATIVELY healthy. Sure, it’s on the healthier side, but remember, it’s been through some processing, not straight from nature!

5. Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable Glycerin is another alcohol sweetener and used to lower the overall sugar content of One Fiber Brownies. 

Vegetable glycerin offers multiple benefits for the body, including enhancing skin moisture, providing relief for constipation, improving hydration and athletic performance. Additionally, it has potential advantages for skin and digestive health. While its FDA-approved and well-tolerated by most, it might pose digestion concerns for some individuals.

6. Canola Oil

Canola oil is a staple in many kitchens due to its high content of unsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids. Although it has a high caloric value, and should be consumed in moderation for those trying to watch their weight or calorie intake, just like with every fat. 

Yet, this one is a heart-healthy fat and a great alternative to other ‘unhealthy’ oils. 

You might question: 

“Why did Fiber One not solely use in this claimed healthy snack canola oil in the entire brownie mix, rather than incorporating palm oil, known for its saturated fat content and perceived health concerns?”

Sure canola oil is healthier, and has lower environmental impact. However, the choice between oils in food production involves multiple factors, such as cost, texture, and stability in the final product.

Palm oil is solid at room temperature, providing a better texture and shelf stability for the brownie that canola oil might not offer. Additionally, palm oil tends to be less expensive than some other oils. 

7. Sugar

I probably don’t need to introduce the next one too much—sugar!

Although this brownie contains other artificial sweeteners we mentioned earlier, there’s a small amount of sugar added for extra sweetness. That’s a total of only 2 grams (less than half a teaspoon).However, it doesn’t offer any added nutritional value, making it only empty calories and perhaps tastier and more addictive.

8. Sugarcane Fiber

Sugarcane fiber significantly boosts the overall fiber content of One Fiber Brownie, offering numerous positive nutritional benefits. This dietary fiber can aid in better digestion, overall health, and can also help with weight loss and management. 

9. Palm Kernel and Palm Oil 

While Fiber One only contains 1.9g of palm oil/saturated fat, which is within the recommended limits, palm kernels are somewhat controversial inclusions. Palm Oil is hard to source and is often gathered through deforestation, making it an environmental and sustainable concern. 
Despite many packaged snacks having tried to remove palm oil from their recipes in recent years, it remains a more cost-effective ingredient choice, as previously mentioned.

10. Polydextrose and Sorbitol

Both Polydextrose and Sorbitol are artificial sugar substitutes, used as sweeteners and bulking agents in One Fiber Fudge Brownie. They enhance sweetness and texture while reducing sugar content in it. 

These ingredients are also near the bottom of our list, suggesting there’s not a lot of them in the brownie, so they don’t pose significant health concerns. Although, when consumed in excess,  some people may develop digestion issues, so moderation is key!

11. Calcium Caseinate

Calcium Caseinate is a protein that comes from dairy products such as milk. 

It enhances its texture and contributes to its protein content, making up that 1.1g. Calcium caseinate is a slow-digesting protein that can provide a sustained release of amino acids, aiding in muscle recovery. Yet, this amount is very minimal, so it’s not a significant source to rely on for your protein intake.

But it is actually a very useful ingredient as it is made up of 17% glutamic acid, which is beneficial for our memory, focus, and low blood sugar. The rest of the ingredients below comprise less than 2% of the total ingredients. So, keep in mind that there are very low percentages of them in each brownie!

12. Whey Protein Concentrate

Whey protein concentrate is a high-quality protein that originates from cheese making, and is known for its faster absorption and digestion compared to casein. Great pre-workout!

Whey protein concentrate allows for a large amount of protein to be distributed in a small physical quantity and contributes to the overall protein content of the Brownie. 

13. Cocoa

Similar to Dutch cocoa, this ingredient is another that has an influence on the overall flavor and texture of the brownie, just in a more natural way, without undergoing the alkalinization process.  It has a slightly more natural acidity taste , lighter color and a more pronounced chocolate flavor profile, compared to Dutch cocoa

14. Leavening (Baking Soda and Sodium Aluminum Phosphate) 

Leavening is a key contributor to the overall texture of the brownies. They help them rise by producing gas bubbles, creating a light and airy texture. It gives it that extra fluffiness, and overall mouthfeel, which makes this healthy snack even more delicious, melting in your mouth.

15. Egg White

Egg white is another ingredient that is important for the integrity of the brownie!

Most baking items need certain ingredients to work as a recipe. In this case, the egg white acts as a binder and as an additional protein. 

16. Salt and Soy Lecithin

For those concerned with their sodium and soy intake (two common nutrients that people try to monitor), be aware that these brownies do contain both salt and soy lecithin. 

The total content of sodium in the brownies is around 90 mg, which is relatively high considering the recommended daily intake and how small the brownie is. 

17. Stevia Leaf Extract

You may have heard of stevia as a sweetener in coffee as a substitute for sugar, and this is the same idea! In this case, it is a natural sweetener – adding to the sweetness of the overall brownie without the extra calories. 

Overall Verdict 

In essence, our ingredient analysis highlights the potential health benefits of Chicory Root Extract, Cocoa, Stevia for zero-calorie natural sweetness, and the fiber-rich Sugarcane Fiber. Yet, ingredients like vegetable glycerin, palm, and canola oil are best enjoyed in moderation. 

It is also worth considering the environmental implications of ingredients like Palm Oil and Palm Kernel when selecting your ideal snack. There is no doubt that Fiber One Brownies are a healthier alternative to brownies that contain mountains of sugar and oils. I recommend enjoying this sweet treat by sticking to the suggested 24g serving size and eating it in moderation in combination with a healthy balanced diet.