Granola is usually considered a healthy breakfast cereal.
It’s a toasted mixture of rolled oats, nuts, and a sweetener like sugar or honey, in addition, it can also include other grains, puffed rice, dried fruit, seeds, spices, and nut butters. Granola is calorie-dense, as well as rich in protein, fiber, and micronutrients. In particular, it may provide iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, vitamin B, and vitamin E.
However, some ingredients — such as chocolate, oils, and syrups — may be high in added sugars and fats.
Let’s explain whether granola is healthy and examines its benefits and downsides.
Benefits of granola
Most granola’s ingredients, including oats, flax seeds, chia seeds, and almonds are rich in protein and fiber. In addition, they slow down the emptying of your stomach and increase digestion time, which can help you feel fuller for longer — and may aid appetite control.
Other Granola’s potential health benefits such as Improve blood pressure, Reduce cholesterol levels, Reduce blood sugar, Improve gut health, Provide many antioxidants.
Especially, granola is so easy to take on the go. Granola has long been a top choice for hikers and backpackers, as it’s easy to store, keeps for a long time and provides extra energy and protein during endurance activities. However, these tend to be more highly processed and loaded with added sugars, oils, and additives.
Downsides of granola
Although granola contains several healthy ingredients, it can be high in calories and packed with added fats and sugars.
However, these can supply excess calories. Eating more than the specified portion may increase your risk of many conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cavities, and even some types of cancer. Thus, you should watch out ingredients like chocolate chips, honey, and dried fruits with added sugar.
How to choose a healthy granola
Because ingredients vary widely by brand, it’s important to read nutrition labels carefully when shopping for granola.
Finally, you can make granola yourself to minimize or eliminate added sugar and fat. However, remember that nuts and seed are still calorie-dense, so be sure to watch your portions even for homemade varieties.
Granola is a nutritious, filling cereal. However, many varieties are high in calories and packed with excess sugar, which can harm your health.
Be sure to carefully read labels, choosing products with whole ingredients that are high in protein and fiber like raisins, seeds, and nuts.