Granola, beloved by fitness enthusiasts and families alike, certainly seems healthy. You can buy it in health food stores and specialty supermarkets, with words like “pure” and “natural” stamped right on the label.
Is granola healthy? It absolutely can be. But products vary greatly and knowing whether or not the nutty snack lives up to its nutritional claims can take a little bit of digging. Here’s what our resident dietitian at BARE Creations says you should know about granola before crunching down.
What is granola made of?
“There is no one standard formula for granola, so whether it’s healthy really depends on the ingredients and how it’s made. Granola tends to be made from whole oats, some nuts or seeds and dried fruit.
Oats are filled with fiber, which may help lower cholesterol. And nuts can provide healthy fats and dried fruits contain potassium, an electrolyte that’s essential for bodily processes including cell function and muscle contractions.
Granola is also packed with carbs. For active people, granola is best known for being a source of carbohydrate to fuel the muscles and provide energy for a busy day.
But often, ingredients like oats and nuts are bound together by a sticky sweetener, which can increase granola’s sugar content. This is one of the reasons we suggest you use BARE Creations as your dry mix base for granola and add healthier sweeteners and moist ingredients like bananas or apple sauce to your dry mix.
What should you look for in granola?
First, look at a product’s ingredient list. “It can give you some insight into the sugar content, as the higher up on the ingredient list a sweetener is the more it contributes to your calorie and carbohydrate intake And remember: added sugar can masquerade under names including anhydrous dextrose, corn syrup solids, dextrose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), honey, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, maple syrup, molasses, nectars, sucrose and more. None o f which are in BARE Creations.
Ideally the ingredient list on a granola package should read like a recipe you could have made in your own kitchen. Check out our BARE Creations ingredient list you may be pleasantly surprised.