Chew on this
From inside a bowl to a snack-sized bar, granola is a complex carb that conquers hunger like a champion. Often made from a mixture of oats, nuts and dried fruit like raisins and cranberries, granola has been a popular breakfast choice since it’s introduction in the 1800s.
Despite the healthy reputation that surrounds granola, many varieties are packed with excess sugars and fats. That can leave us asking, is this stuff a nutritious breakfast angel or a calorie-bomb wolf in sheep’s clothing?
Assistant professor and director of the coordinated program in dietetics Samantha Ramsay said granola can be a beneficial fiber and a good source of complex carbohydrates, but can also hide a surprisingly high calorie count per serving.
“Granola can be a healthy option,” Ramsay said. “However, there are many granola cereals that have a lot of added fat as well.”
Carbohydrates, the little conglomerates of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, are energy sources for your body, but not all carbs are created equal.
According to Ramsay, the complex carbohydrates found in whole-grain granola can also supply the body with nutrients like fiber, B vitamins and other minerals. Granola is a complex carbohydrate source, but it also usually has a lot of added sugar.
“For this reason, most serving sizes for granola are about ½ cup, (and that’s) something to keep in mind,” Ramsay said.
Granola, largely consisting of rolled oats and nuts, uses it’s carbohydrate power to the fullest when combined with a complimentary item.
“Overall, selecting a low-fat granola is a healthy option,” Ramsay said. “With the addition of non-fat milk or a light yogurt and a side of fruit, you have a wonderful breakfast.”
Chloe Rambo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org