Dr Oz: Granola, Health Food Or Impostor?
Dr Oz’s Food Truth Series has been successful at helping viewers find out whether some of the most popular foods are truly good for them or even safe to consume. Recently granola, once thought of as a health food, has been labeled an “impostor” that actually does more harm than good. Because there are more granola options available now than ever before, investigator Mark Schatzker was sent to find out the truth about the so-called “health food.”
In 1863, a more nutritional breakfast was created with dense, unsweetened bran nuggets soaked in milk, called granula. Then Dr John Harvey Kellogg stole the idea, and after the original creator sued, changed the name to granola. Kellogg’s brother William later started the company we all now know, using their family name. Granola then went mainstream and suddenly became loaded with sugar and fats.
But most granola contains nuts, which are high in fat, but the good kind of fat. Plus, granola is loaded with other nutrients like vitamin E, potassium, and iron. If you avoid granola with a lot of added sugar or sweets added, you should be in the clear.
Dr Oz: How To Find Healthy Granola
There are hundreds of granola available, but not all of them are created equal. If you see granola bars, you could be looking at processed food that’s a lot more like a candy bar. Even if they’re low-calorie, think about where those calories are coming from. Don’t automatically assume the word granola means healthy.
For boxed granola, especially cereal, read the ingredient list. If you see sugar, corn syrup, or vegetable oil, you likely aren’t getting the health food you want.
To reap the benefits, look for plain, old-school granola. The healthiest kind contains just oats, flax seeds, nuts, or other health foods. If you see sugar on the ingredient list, just be sure that it’s pretty far down the list. Also look for at least 3 grams of fiber per serving as well as rolled oats as the first ingredient.
To truly be “safe” you can always make your own granola. You can combine rolled oats, sesame seeds, wheat germ, oat bran, flax seeds, and chopped nuts, as well as just a little honey to add some flavor. I also really enjoy adding cinnamon to mine!
Dr Oz: Is Oatmeal Good For You?
If Dr Oz was going to look into granola, you may have suspected that he’d want to find out more about oatmeal as well. Oatmeal is usually one of the first foods listed when discussing healthy breakfasts. Nutritionist Maya Feller explained that, lately, people just can’t get enough of oatmeal. There are actually three kinds: steel cut, rolled oats, and instant oats.
It’s typically assumed that steel cut oats are the healthiest, but according to Maya, nutritionally all three types are the same. However, steel cut is slightly healthier when looking at the vitamin and minerals it has, because it’s the least processed. Rolled oats are pretty similar to steel cut oats as well. While instant oatmeal is the most processed, again, it’s still better for you than other nutritionally-void breakfast options. So then what’s the problem?
Dr Oz: How Oatmeal Becomes Dessert + Guilt-Free Version
The problem with oatmeal begins when people start adding things to it. Plain oatmeal is typically 150 calories and 1 gram of sugar per serving. But when you consume twice the serving, suddenly you’re consuming 300 calories and 2 grams of sugar. If you add sugar that big bowl of oatmeal as well as other toppings like granola, sweetened dried fruit, coconut flakes, and even chocolate chips, you could be looking at a breakfast with more than 600 calories and 45 grams of sugar!
If you purchase oatmeal from a chain, you could also be consuming cream and preservatives, as well as other ingredients you weren’t even aware of. To boost the flavor of your oatmeal without calories and sugar, try using tea! Blogger Michelle Williams explained that you can make tea like you normally do and then use that tea to cook your oatmeal. Then try adding cinnamon and fresh, raw berries.