Healthy & happy

Why Granola is Not a Health Food

Written by Health Guru

Do you enjoy a cup of granola with milk in the morning for breakfast, or a yogurt parfait with granola?

How about some granola to snack on during the day?

Think again. Even though granola is made from heart healthy oats, it is not always healthy.

We need to remember what else it is made with: oils and sugars.

1 Cup of Granola Contains 450 Calories


This is an average. It depends on what brand you buy. Still, 450 calories is a lot for 1 cup of a grainy product.

Second, there is sugar and oil added. There is a small amount of oil used when baking the granola, and plenty of sugar (15-17 grams of sugar is common per serving).

Where do all these calories come from? The oats themselves are pretty dense because they are an uncooked grain. Any uncooked grain has not absorbed the water that is normally does in cooking. Therefore, the grain remains calorie dense.

Brands of Buy or Avoid

  • Avoid: Kellogg’s Granola- Due to high sugar content and some processed ingredients.
  • Avoid: Kellogg’s Special K Granola- Also mainly due to the processed ingredients.
  • Choose this!: Bear Naked Protein Granola- Watch your portion size. Contains 140 calories, and 6 grams of sugar per ¼ cup serving. The slightly higher protein content will help to ease the blood sugar increase.
  • Choose this!: Udi’s Au Naturel Granola- Only 5 grams of sugar per ¼ cup serving. Made only from oats, honey, and canola oil.
  • OK: Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Granola- Uses omega 6 richsoybean oil.
  • Choose this!: Kind Granola Clusters- Contains a blend of whole grains including quinoa. All natural ingredients.
  • Avoid: Cascadian Farms Cinnamon Raisin Granola- Due to higher sugar content, but try one of their other flavors which are all lower in sugar.
  • OK: Kashi GoLean Crunch- Not a true granola, but similar. A little high in sugar and some people don’t digest chicory root well.

Bottom Line

You must portion control your granola to about a 1/4 to 1/3 cup serving. This way, it is easier to keep the sugar intake under control.

Avoid purchasing parfaits at coffee shops that are loaded with granola and sugary yogurt.

Or, Try Making Homemade Granola

It is pretty easy to make granola at home. All you need is a little honey, rolled oats, olive oil, and some cinnamon!

Two of my favorite recipes can be found here at Diet Girl and here at Healthy Green Kitchen.

Do you eat granola?