Quick:  Granola.  What’s the first word or phrase that comes to your mind?


Diet food?

Low calorie?

If so – think again. While aggressive marketing campaigns have led many of us to think that granola is a healthy food choice – it’s actually loaded with sugar and calories, and often high in fat as well.  And if you did think that granola is healthy, you’re not alone – a recent survey found that 80% of Americans said the same.

Granola is essentially a conglomerate of rolled oats, nuts, seeds, sometimes puffed rice, sometimes dried fruit or chocolate bits, stuck together with honey or brown sugar, and baked until golden brown.  A typical serving of granola (commercial or home made) at breakfast is about a cup – which can range from 400-600 calories.   (for comparison, a Big Mac has 563 calories)

Granola bars are no better.  While some are reasonably low calorie by way of portion control (say, around 100 cal), most are in the 150-200 calorie range for only 25-30g of food, and often not much different in composition or calories than a cookie of the same weight.

There is nutritional value in some of the components of granola (eg the nuts, whole grains), so if you’re a granola lover and struggling with weight, consider having it as a dessert or snack instead – pair 1/4 cup with 1/4 cup of non fat plain greek yogurt for a delicious treat!


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