Granola Nutritional Facts: What You Should Know
Are you thinking of adding granola to your diet? Granola is one of the most versatile breakfast foods out there. You can enjoy it plain, or you can enjoy it with your favorite milk or yogurt.
But is granola good for you? What’s granola’s nutritional content? If you’re looking to learn more about granola, you’ve come to the right place.
Read on to learn about granola nutritional facts.
Related: Let’s Talk About Granola Bars!
A Brief History of Granola
Before we talk about the nutritional content of granola, we first need to answer the question, “What is granola?”
Granola has been around for nearly 150 years. In 1863, James Caleb Jackson invented a dry breakfast cereal he called “granula.” Soon after his invention, John Harvey Kellog of the famous cereal company Kellog’s made a “granula” mixture consisting of oatmeal, cornmeal, and wheat flour.
Jackson sued Kellog for stealing his recipe, and Kellog soon after changed the name of their formula to granola. By 1899, Kellogs was selling four tons of granola per month.
By the late 1960s, granola had all but fallen off the map. But thanks to a man named Layton Gentry, granola started to make a comeback around this time thanks to the new recipe Gentry created. Gentry sold the rights to his modern granola recipe, and shortly after, granola became one of America’s favorite breakfast foods.
Since then, the granola-making industry has only gotten bigger and bigger, and now, you can enjoy granola in all kinds of varieties and flavors.
What is Granola?
A granola mixture typically contains a mixture of rolled oats, nuts, dried fruits, and some type of sweetener such as maple syrup or honey. However, some granola varieties also include other grains, nut butters, seeds, rice puffs, and spices such as cinnamon. Some also include chocolate, olive oil, or cacao nibs.
Typically, the ingredients are combined, drizzled with sweetener, and then baked until they turn a crispy, golden brown. Throughout the baking process, the mixture is usually stirred to ensure the granola maintains the same consistency as a loose breakfast cereal.
If it’s not stirred properly, you may end up with one giant granola bar.
Granola vs Muesli
Many people think granola and muesli are the same, however, they’re slightly different breakfast items. Granola and muesli are both usually made from oats, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.
However, granola is usually mixed in with a sweetener before baking. On the other hand, muesli remains unbaked and can be served either hot or cold. While granola was invented by an American, muesli was invented by a Swiss physician and nutritional pioneer named Maximilian Bircher-Benner.
The word “mus” means porridge in German. Europe first introduced muesli to the masses in 1959, and from there, the tasty breakfast food spread to other continents. While granola is the more popular of the two food items in the United States, you can still find tasty muesli stateside.
Granola Nutrition Facts
So, how does granola stack up nutrition-wise? One thing that’s great about granola is that it’s a calorie-dense food, which means it can provide your body with a lot of energy and help keep you full throughout the day.
The nutritional breakdown of granola can vary widely from brand to brand. For example, the number of calories per serving will be dependent on the sweetener content and other added ingredients. Generally speaking though, most granola varieties contain around 130 calories per ¼ cup. Depending on the variety, protein content can be anywhere from 2 to 6 grams per serving.
The fat content usually hovers around 6 grams per serving, and the carb content is usually around 16 grams per serving. A serving of granola also typically contains a couple of grams of fiber. Your granola may also have some calcium, iron, potassium, and sodium.
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Benefits of Granola
Granola is more than just a tasty breakfast option. It can also provide your body with a lot of benefits.
One of the best things about granola is its fiber and protein content. Fiber and protein are both key nutrients for keeping you full and satiated throughout the day. If you want an extra protein boot, look for granola varieties that contain almonds, nut butter, pumpkin seeds, or hemp seeds.
Oats, one of the primary ingredients in granola, are also an excellent source of beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a type of fiber that can help reduce your cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease.
A recent study also found that granola can help increase the healthy bacteria in your gut, therefore promoting your gut health and protecting you against gastrointestinal diseases.
How Can You Enjoy Granola?
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, granola is a versatile breakfast good. You can enjoy it straight from the bag if you’re in a rush to get out the door, or you can pour it on top of milk, yogurt, smoothie bowls, or chia pudding bowls.
Granola can also fit into many different types of diets, such as vegetarian diets, vegan diets, paleo diets, or keto diets. Some varieties of granola are also gluten-free, but make sure to check the label first if you have an allergy or sensitivity.
Related: Let’s Talk About Granola!
Granola Nutrition Facts: Conclusion
Now that you know about granola’s nutrition facts, it’s time for you to start purchasing this breakfast item. Before buying granola, make sure to read the nutritional label to ensure you’re purchasing a variety containing tasty, wholesome ingredients.
If you’re looking to buy some granola online, check out our options!