Granola Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Granola

granola nutrition facts and health benefits
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Is granola healthy? The answer can depend on how you include the snack food in your total eating plan. But in most cases, granola is less healthy than you would imagine. And if you are trying to slim down or maintain your weight, it may be a food that you want to avoid.

Granola Nutrition

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1/4 cup (29g) of classic granola.

  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 9g
  • Sodium: 85mg
  • Carbohydrates: 14g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugars: 4g
  • Protein: 3g

Granola Calories

A quarter-cup serving of classic granola contains about 140 calories, about the same as a cookie or other baked treat. Even though many people consider granola to be a healthy food, some store-bought brands and even homemade mixes can be a significant source of empty calories—those are calories that come from added sugar and solid fat. Health experts advise that we limit our intake of empty calorie foods.

Carbs in Granola

You'll consume 14 grams of carbohydrate in a single serving of granola. Since granola is usually made using whole grains, you'll usually benefit from about three grams of fiber. You'll also consume about four grams of sugar.

Fats in Granola

Most types of granola contain fat. Classic granola provides nine grams of fat per serving.

Protein in Granola

The nuts and grains in granola help to boost the protein grams in granola. However, it is still generally a low protein snack. Each serving provides about three grams of protein.

Micronutrients in Granola

Depending on the ingredients, granola can provide substantial micronutrients. 

Granola provides vitamin E, thiamin, vitamin K, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, and pantothenic acid.

Minerals in granola include manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, and selenium.

Granola Calories and Nutrition by Brand

How you make granola at home or the brand that you buy can make a big difference in the granola calories, carbs, and fat that you consume. Depending on the ingredients used, the nutrition information can vary quite a bit.

Serving size is also an issue when you evaluate granola nutrition. Some granola brands list a serving size as a one-quarter cup. But many people eat far more than that. Granola is a food that is easy to eat mindlessly, especially when you consume it right out of the bag. As a result, you may eat much more than a single serving.

Since the serving size can vary be sure to check the Nutrition Facts label of your favorite brand before you calculate the calories in your granola.

Health Benefits

Granola can provide a quick and convenient source of carbohydrate. Many hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts like to carry granola to fuel their activity when they have a long day of exercise. Granola can also provide a boost of protein if you include nuts, like almonds or walnuts. The fiber from whole grains in granola can help you to feel full for a longer period of time.

But granola can also provide a significant number of calories from added sugar. Some brands are made with added sugar like brown sugar or cane sugar. Also if you buy or make a brand with dried fruit, you'll also get more added sugar.

So should you eat granola or avoid it? It depends on how you use it. If you need a convenient source of carbohydrates, it's a good choice. But someone trying to lose weight might want to skip this food unless they can control the portion size. Eating whole fruit or vegetables at snack time will provide a better source of fiber and healthy calories.

Granola Recipes and Healthy Preparation Ideas

If you make granola at home, you can control the ingredients to fit your nutritional needs. Use these recipes to make your own batch with nearly no fuss.

Once you have your batch of healthy granola, throw it on top of a serving of plain non-fat Greek yogurt for a low-calorie meal in the morning. You can also just enjoy it plain with skim milk. Later in the day, enjoy it with a few fresh veggies as a mid-afternoon snack or top a tiny serving of ice cream with berries and granola for a healthier version of an ice cream sundae.

Allergies and Interventions

If you avoid grains or gluten for health reasons, you should avoid granola as it usually contains a blend of whole grains. Additionally, those with nut allergies should only consume brands without nuts and be sure that there has been no cross-contamination in the processing.

Lastly, since this is usually a food that contains added sugars and dried fruit, those who monitor blood sugar and try to avoid high sugar intake may want to avoid granola.

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Article Sources
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