How to buy a healthier granola

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By: Consumer Reports
September 20, 2019

(Consumer Reports) — Granola can be crunchy, yummy and packed with healthy nutrients, but some brands are loaded with sugars, fat and calories. Consumer Reports tells you how to sift through them all and choose the one that’ll start your day off right.

“A little sweetness in your granola can help make it tasty, but you want it to come from dried fruit,” says Consumer Reports Health & Food Editor, Trisha Calvo. “Be wary of added sugars in the ingredients list such as maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar or tapioca syrup.”

A good rule of thumb is to look for no more than eight grams of total sugars per serving. As for protein and fiber…

“Some manufacturers pump up the protein or fiber content of granola by adding processed ingredients, like chicory root fiber, or isolated soy protein,” says Calvo. “But it’s always better to get your nutrients from whole foods, like nuts, seeds and whole grains.”

And once you get that granola home, CR says to check out the serving size, it may be less than you’re used to pouring! Consumer Reports’ food testing team asked a group of consumers to pour out their typical amounts of breakfast cereal and granola. More than 90% of people poured more than the serving size described on the package.

“But, we found the average ‘over-pour’ for the granola, was two to four-times the recommended serving size,” says Calvo.

CR says typically, the cereals with fewer ingredients listed in the nutrition facts tend to have more natural ones than artificial ones.

A great way not to have too much of a good thing, use granola as a topper for plain yogurt, or have it with a piece of fruit to keep you full and get some fiber.

Copyright 2019 Consumer Reports. All rights reserved.

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