It’s true: We all love granola. What’s not to love? It’s fun to make, it’s fun to eat, and it’s certainly fun to think that it’s good for us. What a bonus! The health food industry co-opted granola and granola bars years ago and made them synonymous with a “healthy” lifestyle. As its popularity grew, so did the number of companies mass-producing it, and thus, so did the number of people consuming this touted health food.
Buuut how good for us is granola—really? Is it as nutritious as we’re led to believe? Unfortunately, as you may guess, the answer is—most often—no.
Why granola got the “healthy” label
That’s not to say that nothing about granola is healthy. The main ingredients are things that are good for you. Rolled oats, for one, have plenty of nutritional benefits. Highly fibrous, they help keep you fuller for longer, aid in digestion, and can help lower cholesterol and keep blood sugar levels stable.
Nuts—another staple ingredient in any granola—are packed with protein and healthy fats, which both help to keep you satiated for longer. On top of that, they’ve got loads of antioxidants, which decrease oxidative stress on your cells and lower the risk of heart disease. (The levels of protein, fats, and antioxidants vary by nut type, of course.)
Needless to say, these things are great for you. And if most granola was just oats and nuts, the industry could certainly tout its high-health qualities.
The truth about granola
Naturally, though, granola has lots of other ingredients beyond oats and nuts, and it’s those ingredients that make us hold up a little red flag.
To hold all the oats and nuts together—and make it all sweet and especially tasty—most granola manufacturers add a fair amount of sugar. That sugar can show up in a variety of forms: plain sugar, artificial sweeteners of all varieties, honey, maple syrup, cane syrup, corn syrup, agave, high fructose corn syrup and other fruit syrups. If the granola has dried fruit, it will frequently also have added preservatives (a.k.a. more sugar) for that fruit.
Sugar comes in many different forms and under many different names, and when added to granola, it also comes in large amounts—as many as 18g per serving or more. Considering that the American Health Association recommends no more than 24g of sugar per day for women and 36g of sugar per day for men, with the average granola, you’re looking at knocking out half of that daily allotment in one sitting.
On top of added sugars, oftentimes granola will have added fats, such as vegetable oil, coconut oil, or nut butters. These fats can help bind the granola ingredients, but they drive up the calorie count, which then negates any nutritional benefit it might have had and, in fact, cause more harm than good.
What is a truly healthy alternative? SNACK Superfood Clusters.
SNACK Superfood Clusters are made with our own U.S. grown farm-fresh Spirulina, with delicious nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Spirulina is a nutrient-dense, high protein micro-algae famed for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
So, we are being bold, but we think we can be – for all of granola’s downsides, SNACK clusters deliver upsides:
- There is NO added sugar. Yes, you read that right SNACK Superfood Clusters are diabetic-friendly. They have zero added sugars, preservatives, or other additives. All of the sweetness comes from the fruits themselves—dried fruits that are unsweetened and unsulfured.
- There are NO added fats. All of the fats come right from the nuts and seeds, which provide all the natural oils and fats the products need without adding anything extra to the mix.
- SNACK is grain-free. Without grains, SNACK clusters are a healthy option for those following grain-free or gluten-free diets.
- SNACK is HIGH in protein. Compared to granolas (whether those lower in sugars or not), SNACK beats all when it comes to packing the punch for protein without packing on the calories. Spirulina is naturally high in protein while being incredibly low in calories, so you’re getting the optimal health profile all rolled into one.
While granola has been a gateway for some people into the health food world, it’s also one that can keep people from truly being very healthy. SNACK clusters provide a wonderful alternative to keep the crunch, the flavor, and the nutritional benefits—the good things about granola—without holding onto the things that make it not so good.