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I have always eaten cereal for breakfast, or toast, depending on the mood. I did not stick to a paticular one, just one that I thought looked nice at the time. When I was recently introduced to the GI diet, I started to eat muesli for breakfast, but taking care not to buy one with added sugar, or too many dried fruits (as they can be fattening). To explain very quickly, if you follow foods which have a low GI, you will be kept full for longer and your blood sugar level will remain stable, eliminating the sugar cravings and the feelings of being `weak with hunger` which I used to suffer from frequently. The diet consists of a lot of grain, fruit, nuts, pulses etc but I won`t go too much into it. Most muesli fits nicely into the low GI category, but not all. Although it doesn`t actually state the GI rating on the Alpen, the food groups that it contains are good, tasty and satisfying. They are similar to other muesli`s that state that they are low GI. I prefer the taste of Alpen so have stuck with it. I have emailed Weetabix (makers) customer services to ask about the GI status. If they reply, I will add it to the review.
The most important meal of the day. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Well they say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What better way to start the day than with a tasty cereal like Alpen. I don`t know if I agree that it is the most important meal, but I agree that it is important to eat proper food to keep you hunger at bay and to prevent a dip in blood sugar levels. It is no good snacking with chocolate mid morning because you haven`t had time for breakfast it by then you are feelling weak and light headed. You are better off having a good breadkfast. There are lots of breakfast cereals available. There is so much variety, you could spend ages in the supermarket isle. I tend to look for the healthier ones now like Alpen.
About Alpen. * * * * * * * * *
Alpen is muesli. There are various types of Alpen, but I am concentrating on the museli with no added sugar. Alpen is made by Weetabix which is a well known brand. It contains 100% natural ingredients. It is made from wholegrains (recommended on he GI diet), rolled oats, juicy raisins and slivers of roasted hazelnuts and almonds. The no added sugar Alpen is also available with sultanas, dates, apricots, pistachios and hazelnuts. As they say, it is the original Swiss style muesli. Rolled oats are a well known source of slow release energy that make you feel full for longer. Alpen no added sugar is also high in fibre, low in saturated fat and contains no added sugar or sweeteners. Also stated on the packet, its only when you eat ALL of the grain that you get ALL of the goodness. The wholegrains provide a valuable source of essential nutrients.
Alpen contains per serving:-
Energy 141kcal Protein 4.3g Carbohydrate 25.7g of which sugars 6.3g Fat 2.4g of which saturates 0.3g Fibre 3.1g of which soluble 0.9g of which insoluble 2.2g Sodium 0.07g Salt 0.17g
It looks pretty good and sounds healthy, but does it pass the....
Taste Test. * * * * * * * *
Alpen tastes delicious in my opinion. I enjoy a cereal that takes some chewing, not one that dissolves in your mouth almost like some of them do. I always feel that I have eaten more if I chew more. Some of the supermodels chew each mouthful 20 times, I don`t go to that extreme, well far from it, but more chewing seems to make it more satisfying. That makes it sound difficult to chew though, it isn`t. The wholewheat flakes and rolled oats are easy to chew. It does not taste dry like some cereals. The raisins, roasted sliced hazlenuts and almonds offer enough variety, so that not every mouthfull is the same. I can`t really explain a taste but we all know what nuts and raisins taste like. I enjoy the taste of the no added sugar. I am used to eating it, but when I try the sweetened version, I could see why some people prefer it. I always buy the no added sugar just to try to be healthy though I do really enjoy the taste. It is not as sweet as the others, so some may find it a bit bland, I don`t. I like adding things to the Alpen and do so regularly. This is not because the taste is boring, but because it is part of my healthy eating and because I eat it every day, it ensures that I never find it boring. I frequently have Alpen with blueberrys, delicious. Some days I will add brazil nuts, a bit more tedious to eat but they go well and I love brazil nuts. Other days I will add mixed seeds, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin. Sometimes I wll add pine nuts. It is delicious with chopped banana. I have tried it with yogurt and even a smoothie. I have also had a bit on ice cream. I think with muesli you can add almost any fruit and it will taste nice, black grapes, green grapes, the choice is endless. Start your five a day early in the morning and you will be well on your way. Alpen is so versatile. I certainly give the taste the thumbs up. The smell is quite nice, but don`t smiff too hard, some will end up your nose.
Packaging. * * * * * * * *
The Alpen with no added sugar is in a pale blue box (the sweetened version is red). The box is quite eye catching, it is a nice pale blue with Alpen written accross the top in white with no added sugar just above it. On the other side at the top it has a picture of a piece of wheat, with Weetabix family, wholegrain goodness in a circle around it. There is a lovely scene of the Swiss Alps in the background with snow capped mountains and lovely grass in the foreground. In the very front there are grapes, nuts and wheat. Then there are 3 ticks with wholegrain, high in fibre and 100% natural ingredients. I would be drawn to the box as it looks so lovely. It makes it look healthy and inviting.
On the back of the box, Weetabix have some of their other cereals advertised, ready brek, serously oaty, weetabix, weetos, weetabix minis. I have also seen Alpen cereal bars.
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My box of Alpen contains 560g, approx 14 servings and was £2.12. It is also available in larger bags though I am unsure of the price, it makes it cheaper buying it this way.
On the side of the box, it states the Alpen no sugar was Slimming Magazine, winner of the year, so may be of interest to slimmers.
Weetabix also has a colourful website - www.weetabix.co.uk which offers more information about their cereals.
Recommended. * * * * * * * * * * * *
I highly recommend Alpen with no added sugar. Not only do I enjoy the taste, I also enjoy the health benefits. It must be good to be a Slimming Magazine awards winner. I like it so much, I even take it to work for my morning break.
I have tried but I just can't make myself like this - lyn x
duskmaiden 20.10.2006 14:57
I like my Tesco Museli. Am i right in thinking muesli is medium GI because of the dried fruit which have concetrated sugars whilst nuts are low GI bt just high in good fats??
Another thing why th need to pad the review out with a long paragraph on the pckaging which is not constructive
satyamkhurana 20.10.2006 12:01
Good review.. I too like cereals which have a chew to them. I have never tried this before but think I will after reading your review.. this very much sounds like a cereal I would like to eat everyday.