SERVING VOLUSIA COUNTY…
Granola- it’s healthy right? The package is covered with words like “whole grains”, “high-fiber”, and “natural”. In fact, on the cereal aisle it looks like the healthiest alternative for breakfast (it doesn’t take a nutritionist to know that it’s best to steer clear of boxes filled with cocoa and marshmallows). Interestingly, in 2017 the New York Times polled 2,000 everyday people and 80% said granola was a health choice.
It turns out that granola is a pretty controversial “health food”. There are health benefits to eating granola. Whole grain oats, seeds, nuts, and dried fruit- how can you go wrong? The problem is, however, manufacturers cover all those wholesome ingredients with lots and lots of sugar and oils. No matter what term they list on the label- honey, maple syrup, cane sugar, brown sugar, molasses - it all just means sugar. Another important downfall of granola is how many calories are packed in one serving size. It is not uncommon for the serving size to be a quarter of a cup. An average bowl for breakfast can start your day with 600 calories, 28 grams of fat, and 24 grams of sugar. That will easily derail your weight loss goals.
So what do you do? Give up on granola?
Here are a few options to help you out!
- Look at the ingredient list and nutrition label before you buy. Pay special attention to sugar, fat, and calories per serving size. Don’t choose a granola with any type of sugar listed in the top 5 ingredients.
- Use granola only as a mix-in- sprinkle a little on yogurt, cut up fruit, or oatmeal. Avoid eating it solely as a breakfast cereal.
- Make your own granola at home so you can control what ingredients you put in.
- Use a measuring cup to control your portions.
- Mix a smaller serving size of granola with a different whole grain cereal that contains less calories and sugar.
- Instead of using granola, choose an alternative such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, raw sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raw nuts, sliced almonds, fresh fruits, and berries.
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