I used to be quite the cereal girl, let me tell you. And I still like a bowl here and there for a snack or post-run refuel. But since getting a VitaMix last year, I’ve pretty much migrated to green smoothies or the occasional bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. I’ve found that I feel fuller longer than with my old cold-cereal standby, plus I like all the goodness I can pack into a smoothie.
Still, when I got a chance to review Special K’s Protein Plus line, I wanted to try it to see if it could stave off hunger compared to my old brands of cereal. The verdict? I would say yes. With 10 grams of protein in each serving, it definitely packs more punch than traditional cereal. The taste is good, too–my kids enjoyed it as much as I did. It also comes loaded up with healthy percentages of many vitamins and minerals, sometimes in the range of 35 percent to 45 percent of the daily value. Those are the pluses to the cereal.
Where I think it falls a bit short, however, is in some of the ingredients. To begin with, it only has three grams of fiber per serving. I prefer something with at least five grams. Sugar is the third ingredient listed, so that’s not so great. However, the total sugar per serving is seven grams, which is fairly reasonable.
The Protein Plus line isn’t just limited to cereal, however. It also includes ready-to-go protein shakes and protein meal bars. The flavors are all pretty tasty in my opinion. The shakes I sampled included chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry banana. The chocolate had a pretty heavy protein taste to it, but I liked both the vanilla and the strawberry banana. The protein bars included several options, too, my favorite being caramel peanut. Like the cereal, both the shakes and the bars contain 10 grams of protein, although both of these options also have five grams of fiber.
Again, the ingredients disappointed me. The bars, in fact, contained partially hydrogenated oils, something I keep out of our food supply. The shakes had a lengthy list of wordy ingredients, also, too far from the real food I prefer.
Final verdict on the line: I do think it does what it claims to do, which is stave off hunger. The bars and shakes are certainly portable and convenient to have on hand for post-workout refueling, and the flavors are all pretty good. The ingredients are not for me, however, because I personally am a fan of real foods, not heavily processed products. To me, that would be the biggest consideration when assessing whether or not to use the line.
How do you stave off hunger? Do you find protein works best for you?
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this campaign. All opinions are my own.