Granola: Healthy or not healthy?
[Independent, 3/20/19] Granola is often advertised as a healthy option, and while it usually has a base of healthy ingredients, it can also contain large amounts of additives our bodies don’t need. When shopping for granola, there are a few things I like to consider, as not all granola is created equal. Here are a few things I look for:
1.What is the first ingredient?
When picking out a granola, I like to choose an option that has a whole grain as the first ingredient. A common whole grain found in granola is oats. For those who may have a gluten allergy, there are granolas made with gluten free oats. If you are looking for a grain-free granola, look for a granola that has nuts or seeds as the first ingredient.
2. What are ingredients two, three and four?
While many store bought granolas start off strong by having a whole grain, nut or seed as the first ingredient, often times one of the next ingredients is some form of sugar. Because ingredients are listed on the ingredient list by weight, the higher up on the list a sweetener is, the more we get in each bite. A few names for sweeteners to keep an eye out for include honey, maple syrup, molasses, nectars, sucrose, dextrose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup and more. While most granola has added sweetener, there are options that have less. Look for options where the sweetener is further down on the ingredient list. Ingredients we want to find towards the top of the list include options such as whole grains, nuts, seeds and dried unsweetened fruit such as unsweetened coconut or dried unsweetened blueberries.
3. What type of fat does it have?
While it’s important to include healthy fats in our diet including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, it is important to minimize saturated fats and avoid trans fats the best we can. Many oils found in granola contain saturated fat which, in excess, is linked to heart disease.
Overall, when choosing a granola, look for one that is full of ingredients such as whole grains, nuts and seeds, unsweetened dried fruit, flaxseed and chia seed and low in added sugars and unhealthy fats. If one isn’t able to find a store bought granola of their liking, there is always the option to make a homemade variety. Making granola from scratch allows us to have control of what goes in and minimize less healthy additives………
Read the Full Article at: Independent
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Jaelin Stickels, CNM, WHNP
Owner, SHEis & Holistic Heritage, Spring, TX
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