Kickstart Your Breakfast with the 6 Best Healthy Granola Options
Discover how to choose the healthiest and tastiest granolas and learn how to incorporate them into your diet to maximize their health benefits.
We can't think of a more versatile breakfast food than granola. Granola is the best. Whether eaten on its own as a breakfast cereal, added to your greek yogurt or smoothie bowl for added crunch, or baked into an apple crumble, healthy granola is a nutritional workhorse that does a lot of heavy lifting around the kitchen.
It’s also one of the most dietary-friendly cereals you can buy. Are you avoiding gluten? No problem. You can find a brand that incorporates quinoa or other ancient grains into its recipe for gluten-free granola. You can also try completely grain-free granola that’s keto- and paleo-friendly. Is reducing your consumption of processed sugar or artificial ingredients a dietary priority? You can find delicious granola sweetened with honey, maple syrup, and other natural sweeteners. Whatever you desire, there’s granola to suit every taste.
So whether you’re looking for a healthy snack alternative or the best granola for your yogurt, we can help you find your next favorite.
1. Olde Man Granola Chocolate Nut Granola 12oz
Sweet and salty, this chocolate nut granola is made fresh in Colorado.
Olde Man Granola started some time ago, inspired by the wisdom of the past. Their granola is hand-baked with toasted oats, brown sugar, and real butter. Its rich, full, and creamy flavor will remind you how food was meant to be. Olde Man Granola is the perfect morning yogurt topper or mid-afternoon snack, thanks to its all-natural, gluten-free, and GMO-free recipe.
2. Early Bird Choc-a-Doodle-Doo Granola 12oz
The early bird may catch the worm, but when it’s feeling extra fancy, our winged friend goes for delicious dark chocolate and coconut granola to break their fast.
Using the three most integral ingredients at a cook’s disposal: olive oil, salt, and love, Early Bird slowly roasts their delicious granola in small batches to guarantee that every mouthful is chocked full of wholesome sweet and salty goodness. By the hand, spoon, or bagful, Early Bird Granola is a vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free treat that always fits the bill.
3. Golden Girl Granola Original 10oz
Sometimes, you want nothing to come between you and a delicious whole-grain crunch. Golden Girl understands this, and their original granola mix is a straight-up mix of granola lusciousness. This delightful mix is a hearty, all-natural blend of whole grains, sliced almonds, coconut, and raw wildflower honey with a satisfying crunch.
You can eat this non-GMO verified, low in sugar and salt, flavorful cereal blend from the bag, sprinkle it on top of yogurt, or use it to lightly sweeten any dish. Golden Girl Granola’s mission is to provide a natural, healthy, and deliciously crunchy product of the highest quality, and their Granola Original recipe delivers.
4. Granola Factory Native Berry 11oz
Shake up your morning routine with delicious granola from Granola Factory that includes sweet blueberries, tart dried cranberries, and pure vanilla extract. Granola Factory’s granola is baked the way it should be with real food ingredients that you probably use at home — butter, honey, pecans, rolled oats, and brown sugar. The result is a homemade, just-baked flavor you can enjoy anytime.
5. Grandy Oats Organic Coconola Coffee Crunch Granola 9oz
Calling all coffee addicts. GrandyOats has crafted the next evolutionary step in granola: Coconola Coffee Crunch. Made with fair-trade certified, grain-free, and low-carb ingredients, this granola combines your two breakfast must-haves — granola and coffee — with a touch of chocolate to make it really decadent.
This paleo-friendly, gluten-free, organic granola is vegan and loaded with unsweetened coconut chips, seeds, nuts, and dark chocolate. Made in small batches in a solar-powered bakery, Coconola Coffee Crunch provides you with sustained energy to power your adventures, just like the sun.
6. Made Good Organic Chocolate Chip Granola Minis 3.5oz
Granola, only portable! Granola Minis are the perfect any-time snack that both kids and grownups love. MadeGood Chocolate Chip Minis are delicious with just the right balance of vegan chocolate chips to gluten-free oats. Organic and free from the nine most common allergens, this granola treat can be eaten straight from the bag, packaged for lunch, or crumbled over your smoothie bowls or ice cream for a crispy boost of nutrients.
Is granola as healthy as oatmeal?
Oatmeal is a great way to start the day. It’s comforting, delicious, and versatile, packed with healthy carbohydrates, fiber, and antioxidants. But granola? Granola is essentially oatmeal that has had an upgrade. Both can be healthy depending on the kind you choose.
Most traditional granola recipes incorporate the goodness of oatmeal into the mix, so you’re still getting all of its benefits. The bonus comes from what’s been added. Granola often has pecans or walnuts for added grams of protein and dried fruit that delivers extra vitamins and antioxidants. You’ll also find flax seeds, pepitas, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds that serve up some healthy fats. Some even incorporate peanut butter or almond butter. The result is a nutrient-dense whole food meal that packs a wholesome punch. Choose granola with low added sugar, and you’re on your way to having a healthy breakfast.
Not willing to give up the warm comfort of your morning porridge? You don’t have to. You can top your oatmeal with granola for a flavor and nutrient boost. You can also mix your granola cereal with warm milk for a hearty whole-grain breakfast treat.
Whether you’re Team Oatmeal, Team Granola, or a combination of the two, you’re kicking off your day with a healthy start.
Is granola healthy to eat?
Healthy granola is a nutritional powerhouse, and incorporating it into your diet can have a lot of benefits.
A little goes a long way. Granola is packed full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, which all work together to keep you feeling fuller longer.
Whole foods are the best foods. Most granola brands incorporate healthy, unprocessed ingredients into their recipes, so you get the benefits of whole grains, healthy fats, antioxidants, and other micronutrients from dried fruits, seeds, and nuts without additives or preservatives.
A touch of sweetness. Granola brands often use dried fruit to add a kick of flavor to their cereals. That makes them naturally sweet, so there’s less need to add sugar from other sources, reducing their total carb count.
Go anywhere convenience. If you’re looking for a portable but healthy snack, you can’t go wrong with granola. Grabbing a quick handful on the go or eating a granola bar or some bites is an easy way to get the energy and nutrients to get you through your day.
As great as those health benefits are, there’s another reason to eat granola. It’s absolutely delicious. There are so many flavors that you’re bound to find one that satisfies even the pickiest eaters.
How do you pick the best granola?
Like any food, granola does have its downside. As it’s gained popularity, more and more breakfast food producers have gotten into the granola market, and with them have come some questionable products. When you’re looking to purchase healthy granola, there are a few things you need to remember.
Serving size. Granola incorporates nuts like cashews and pecans, whole grains, and other delicious and healthy ingredients. And as healthy as those foods are, they are also high in calories. It’s easy to have too much of a good thing. Always read the label and pick the variety with a hunger-satisfying recommended serving size — one-third of a cup serving is pretty generous.
Low sugar. Choose low-sugar granola with 5 to 10 grams of sugar per serving. And check the ingredients list. Some producers sneak sugar into their recipes using brown rice, tapioca, or corn syrup. If you’re looking to reduce your carb intake even further, you can look for brands that use stevia or monk fruit to sweeten their cereal.
Sodium. With the addition of sugar, there’s a need to balance that flavor overall. The usual solution is to add salt. While adding a little bit of sodium, like sea salt, is acceptable and can round out the flavor profile, too much can be problematic and indicate an overreliance on sweeteners. If your granola includes salt, make sure it’s the last item on the ingredient list.
Real ingredients. Accept no substitutes. Granola needs to list whole grains like oats as its first ingredient to be considered healthy. Dry ingredients can also include almonds, chia seeds, millet, and sunflowers rounding out the dry ingredients list. Together, these ingredients will supply lots of nutrients and fiber to keep you feeling fuller longer than their processed counterparts.
By reading the ingredients list and checking your serving size, you can easily incorporate the great taste of granola into a healthy diet. It’s a delicious way of getting the fiber, protein, and nutrients you need in so many forms and flavors that you’ll never get bored.