Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it can set the tone for your eating habits for the day ahead. Your breakfast affects your hunger and cravings throughout the morning and into the afternoon depending on your eating schedule. So picking a nutritious breakfast is important in keeping with a healthy diet. The downside? Many breakfast foods are marketed as “healthy,” but are actually closer to the opposite.
Keep reading for more details.
Granola is commonly recognized as a healthy food option. Unfortunately, it’s high-sugar content means that it could be trouble for your overall health and weight loss goals.
“This seemingly-innocent food is almost always loaded with added sugar,” Lisa Hayim, RD, and founder of The Well Necessities, tells Eat This. “In fact, most companies use synonyms or alternative words for plain old ‘sugar’ to disguise it. When choosing a granola, look for a ‘no sugar’ added and steer clear of coconut sugar, agave, and even evaporated cane juice.”
Writing for Doctor Oz, Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD, explains that the tiny portion size of granola can also contribute to its lack of nutritional substance.
“For most (but not all), a teeny tiny amount of granola will give you a wallop of trans fats and sugar – both have been shown to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke – and calories,” she write. “Plus, the portions are so small that we tend not to be satisfied with the initial bowl and continue to fill the bowl until the milk is gone … and then add a little more milk, what I like to call the vicious cereal cycle.”
Even if you avoid the cereal cycle, granola in the morning could still affect your cravings later in the day, prompting you to pick more high-sugar treats. Soon, the calories and the sugar will add up, putting your diet in a precarious position.
If you do love granola, take the extra step to read the label and search for options that are low in sugar. Once you’ve found one that works for you, try eating it with Greek yogurt (rather than by itself or with milk). Greek yogurt will give your breakfast a boost of protein, making it a more well-rounded meal that should keep you full for longer.