There are so many options when choosing a breakfast cereal. One tasty option is muesli. Is it healthy?
The world of breakfast cereals can be a confusing one – particularly if your goal is to eat well from a nutritional standpoint. Even the so-called “healthy” breakfast cereals contain large amounts of sugar. One type of breakfast cereal that some find satisfying is muesli. This old-fashioned cereal was developed around the turn of the century and is a popular dish in Switzerland. It’s rapidly gaining in popularity here since it requires little preparation and makes a tasty and satisfying breakfast cereal; but what about its health benefits? Is muesli healthy?
What is Muesli?
Muesli can be bought pre-packaged at most supermarkets. It usually consists of a blend of rolled oats combined with dried fruits, nuts, and seeds. It’s also a popular food product in health foods stores and natural markets because of its perceived health benefits.
Health Benefits of Muesli: Is Muesli Healthy?
The average cup of pre-packaged muesli has around 289 calories. Although it contains little fat, most pre-packaged brands of muesli are high in sugar and one serving can have as much as 26 grams of sugar and 66 grams of carbohydrates – definitely not a good choice if you’re on a carb restricted diet. It does have a significant amount of fiber and it’s a fair source of protein which makes it a food that’s relatively filling and satisfying. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals – including vitamin E, the B vitamins, and iron. When you add milk, it also becomes a good source of bone building calcium.
Other Health Benefits of Muesli
The oats found in muesli contain beta-glucans which is a soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol levels. The dried fruits added to muesli contain anti-oxidants in addition to vitamins and minerals. The nuts add heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and if you buy a brand that contains walnuts, you get alpha-linolenic-acid which is converted to omega-3’s by the body. Omega-3’s are heart healthy and reduce inflammation.
Is Muesli Healthy?: The Bottom Line
All in all a bowl of muesli is a healthy way to start the day – if you buy a low sugar version. If you can’t find one, it’s not hard to make your own by combining rolled oats with the dried fruits and nuts of your choice. You can add a healthier sweetener such as Stevia instead of sugar. Another way to add natural sweetness to muesli is to add a little fruit juice to the milk when you eat it. It can also be mixed with yogurt for a quick breakfast or dessert treat. Enjoy eating muesli!