Yogurt topped with fresh berries and granola can be a tasty breakfast or snack, but granola isn’t necessarily as healthy as you might think. Although it’s impossible to universally deem granola healthy or unhealthy, given the variety of products available on the market, noting the nutritional content of the granola at your supermarket helps you know what you buy is on the healthier end of the spectrum.
Granola can be beneficial in several ways, due to factors such as the high fiber and iron content in its oats. Fiber positively affects your health by slowing the speed at which you absorb sugar, helping you feel full and helping maintain regular bowel movements. Iron, meanwhile, contributes to healthy functioning cells and helps oxygen travel to your muscles. The omega-3 fatty acids in granola ingredients such as seeds can benefit your heart health.
Granola can be loaded with sugar and calories, which can lead to weight gain and eventual obesity-related illnesses such as heart disease. It can also contain hydrogenated oils that are unhealthy for your heart. When shopping for granola, look for brands low in sugar and fat, high in fiber and that use healthy coconut oil. An ideal portion size is one-quarter or one-third cup to keep calories in check.
References and ResourcesWell+Good: Is Granola Good For You?
University of California at San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital: Why Fiber Is So Good For You
National Institutes of Health: Iron
University of Maryland Medical Center: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Shape: 50 Seemingly Healthy Foods That Are Bad for You