By the Fitness and Member Services Staff at Century Fitness
The greatness of granola has been around since the 1880’s. Three key individuals launched the mixture. The first was a physician and health reformer named Jackson, and shortly after the famous cereal guy named Kellogg got involved. He was formally accused of stealing the name and formula from Jackson… (that must have driven everyone nuts!). Around the same time Swiss physician and nutritionist, Max Bircher-Benner, made health claims about eating mostly oats, and putting in fruits and nuts. Granola, also known as muesli in Europe, is a healthy, staple item (when in the pure form) with the health conscious around the world.
Remember this guy? Euell Gibbons put a face to granola in the 1970’s as the spokesperson for Grape Nuts. It was a bit of a tough sell in the ever-sweetening cereal business. If only Euell could see the shelves in the grocery stores now!
Here are some tips to ensure your granola is as nutritious as possible:
- Granola is nutritionally dense with nutrients, fiber, vitamins and phytonutrients and is a good source of iron, zinc and magnesium, as well as vitamin E and B vitamins. However, it is typically more calorically dense, so watch your serving size and frequency especially when losing weight. Suggested serving size is often ½ cup.
- Avoid the “not so natural” ingredients such as seed oil fats, trans fats, artificial colors and preservatives – even though the manufacturer may use “Healthy” in their labeling.
- Eat real granola without the added sweeteners, which may include chocolate chunks, maple syrup, honey. Instead look for cinnamon and other spices as ingredients. Read the label or know your source such as a farm stand/share. Ideally make your own fresh granola with the main ingredients being oats, seeds and nuts… but the oven will be on for over an hour! Try to stay away from granola bars as most nutritionists find the majority of them to not be healthy enough according to a poll performed by the New York Times.
This article is intended to be provide knowledge of general health and fitness principles and is not medical advice. Please consult with a physician if you have questions.