Registered nutritionist Clarissa Lenherr, who operates a practice in Harley Street, is particularly critical of granola products, which are sometimes branded as being healthy due to their fibre content and lack of refined sugars.
Lenherr feels this is often misleading, as a closer examination of the ingredients can reveal multiple forms of sugar such as syrups. While these are better than refined sugar, they can still cause spikes in blood sugar.
“A supposedly healthier granola can contain date syrup, maple syrup, coconut blossom syrup or coconut sugar,” she says. “That sugar content is going to affect your blood sugar levels and give you cravings later in the day.”
In addition, Lenherr feels that the actual fibre content within many granolas is often insufficient. “A typical 30 or 40 gram serving can have three or four grams of fibre, and we should be eating 30 grams of fibre per day,” she says. “So it’s giving you just 10 per cent of your fibre intake, which isn’t enough. At breakfast, we ideally want to be getting closer to a third of our daily fibre requirements.”
Replace with: Lenherr recommends looking for brands that contain a maximum of just one source of unrefined sugar and have closer to 10g of fibre.
“There’s a brand called Paleo Foods that is really high in fibre,” she says. “There’s another called Olara, which makes mueslis and other cereals with quite a lot of fibre and not too much sugar. Spoon also does low-sugar granola. So those products are a little better than the standard sugary granolas.”