Is There a Healthy Granola?
Many granola options are full of extra sugar, refined grains, and loads of dried fruit, shredded coconut, and nuts. A half cup can have as much as 250 calories or more, which means if you pour yourself a full bowl and add milk, you can end up with 600-900 calories.
How do you find a lower calorie, healthier version? Read nutrition labels and:
- Look for whole grains only, including rolled oats, barley flakes, brown rice, and quinoa.
- Look for small amounts of added sugar (less than 6-8 grams of sugar per serving).
- Look for at least 5 grams of protein which will help to temper the sugar levels.
Some brands that meet these parameters include: Cascadian Farms, Bear Naked, Nature’s Path, and Purely Elizabeth. Just make sure you are clear on a serving size. Granola is better suited to use as a topping rather than a main ingredient. There are also loads of recipes online so you can make your own low sugar/low fat granola, but most of them still have about 250 calories per ½ cup serving. That’s precisely why granola should be a treat sprinkled on a healthy food choice like yogurt or a fruit salad.
-Amy Hendel, PA/HealthCoach