Whether consumed as a granola or used as a yogurt topping, granola can give you some impressive health benefits – that is, of course, as long as you buy the right variety.
Granola is often found on lists of “healthy” foods that aren’t actually healthy, and it’s easy to see why. This whole grain snack is traditionally made by covering oats and other ingredients with a mixture of sugar, oil, and spices and then baking them until crispy. It makes for a perfectly crunchy yogurt topping or a tastier cereal, but it comes at a price. Some store-bought granolas can contain up to 13 grams of sugar per serving – just like in two packs of Smarties Candy Rolls.
But while there is a strange sugar bomb on the shelves of grocery stores, many food manufacturers have started to dress up and cut the amount of sugar in their offerings significantly. Now it’s not hard to find healthy granolas (just check out the 10 healthiest granolas in the world). So if you grab a bag of low-sugar, crunchy oats, you will end up reaping some formidable health benefits. Read on to learn more about how eating granola affects your health and to learn more about healthy eating, Don’t Miss Out on the 7 Healthiest Foods You Should Be Eating Right Now.
When you go for a serving of granola instead of highly refined granola, you will reap some incredible benefits from whole grains. (Especially if you usually eat one of the world’s most unhealthy grains and switch to cereal.) Whole grains are healthier than others because of their higher levels of fiber and antioxidants, and studies have linked whole grain intake to a reduced risk of cancer , Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, and better digestive and microbiome health. Eating cereal for breakfast makes up one of the three recommended servings of whole grains per day.
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If you’re a fan of kernels and nuts, adding this breakfast food to your yogurt can help prolong the feeling of satiety. Seeds and nuts are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats – three nutrients that help satisfy hunger pangs and help you feel full. It’s not just the supporting characters in the muesli that help keep this meal full. A review published in Nutrition Reviews found that oats were also linked to increased feelings of satiety due to their content of a certain type of fiber, β-glucan.
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As a whole grain food, oats are associated with a longer lifespan. A circulatory study conducted by the American Heart Association found that regular intake of whole grains in the diet can contribute to an inverse mortality rate.
Even low-sugar granolas have added sugar – only 4 grams, but as mentioned earlier, up to 13 grams of sugar. In combination with a fruit yogurt, eating a muesli and yogurt parfait for breakfast can result in consuming more than 20 grams of sugar or around 40% of the recommended limit. Over 50% of Americans exceed the recommendation of the American dietary guidelines to limit added sugar intake to 50 grams per day, which the CDC states may contribute to health problems such as weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease Keep an eye on daily sugar intake if you consume granola regularly. Or, make it easier for yourself by pairing your granola with the top 15 low-sugar yogurts recognized by nutritionists.
Because some bags of cereal are high in sugar, and sugar provides calories rather than other nutrients, consuming too much cereal can lead to weight gain. Since cereal has some health benefits, alternating your morning meal with one of these 19 high-protein breakfasts to keep you full can reduce your risk of weight gain.