Granola is usually considered a healthy breakfast cereal.
It’s a toasted mixture of rolled oats, nuts, and a sweetener like sugar or honey, though it can also include other grains, puffed rice, dried fruit, seeds, spices, and nut butters.
Yet, some ingredients — such as chocolate, oils, and syrups — may be high in added sugars and fats.
This article explains whether granola is healthy and examines its benefits and downsides
The nutrients in granola vary depending on the ingredients, though some are a good source of micronutrients and fiber. Certain brands may have more calories, protein, fiber, fat or sugar than others.
Benefits of granola: Although there’s little scientific research on granola itself, common ingredients, including oats, flax seeds, chia seeds. And almonds, are linked to numerous health benefits.
Filling and high in fiber
Most granola is rich in protein and fiber, which both contribute to fullness.
Protein even influences levels of important fullness hormones like ghrelin and GLP-1.
High-protein ingredients in granola may include nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews, and seeds like hemp, pumpkin, and sesame.
Additionally, high-fiber foods like oats, nuts, and seeds slow down the emptying of your stomach and increase digestion time, which can help you feel fuller for longer — and may aid appetite control.
Other potential health benefits
Granola may also:
- Improve blood pressure. High-fiber ingredients like oats and flax seeds have been shown to help reduce blood pressure
- Reduce cholesterol levels. Oats are a good source of beta glucan, a type of fiber that works to reduce total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, two risk factors for heart disease
- Reduce blood sugar. Whole grains, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds may help reduce and control blood sugar levels, particularly in people with obesity or prediabetes
- Improve gut health. Granola has been found to increase levels of healthy gut bacteria, compared with refined breakfast cereals
- Provide many antioxidants. Ingredients such as coconut, chia seeds, and Brazil nuts are good sources of inflammation-fighting antioxidants like gallic acid, quercetin, selenium, and vitamin E
How to choose a healthy granola: its best to refrain from granolas high in added sugar, instead selecting ones with more fiber and protein. To control ingredients more carefully, try making this scrumptious breakfast food at home.
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