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Is Granola Good for You?

Because granola originated in a health movement and then reemerged during a “back to nature” movement, it benefits from a “halo effect” — many people assume that all granola is healthy. The real answer is that it depends on the ingredients included and how it is made.

Granola Brands to Watch Out For

Storebought granola, for example, is often a lot less healthy than you might assume. Its ingredients may include refined sugar or other added sugars. Some granola brands actually deliver more sugar to your bloodstream than popular breakfast cereals such as Cheerios. For example, Nature Valley Oats & Honey Protein Granola contains 16 grams of added sugar while the original Cheerios only contains 1 gram of added sugar per serving.

Commercially produced granola also typically contains refined oils, including GMO varieties of canola and other oils. Even if the oil used is non-GMO, its inclusion raises the caloric density of the granola. For example, Cascadian Farm Dark Chocolate Almond Granola has 260 calories per two-third cup serving, of which 72 calories (over 25%) come from fat (organic sunflower oil is fourth on the ingredient list, after oats, sugar, and rice).

Storebought granola is also often enhanced with “natural flavors,” which, in reality, may actually be far from natural.

Ironically, the original granola brand inspiration, Kellogg’s, also adds corn syrup, which contains GMO corn, and BHT — a food additive and known endocrine disruptor banned in the UK, EU, and Japan — to their granola.

Healthy Granola Brands

Fortunately, you may be able to find healthier premade granola brands. Purely Elizabeth (also available in bulk), Go Raw, and Lark Ellen Farm granolas are naturally sweetened and contain organic ingredients that don’t come from bioengineering or chemistry labs. However, if you follow a no-SOS diet (that eliminates added salt, oil, and sugar), or avoid all processed oils, these brands do contain coconut oil, so they probably aren’t for you.

( Excerpt from The Food Revolution Network)

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