How to Find the Healthiest Granola

granola

Food Network Kitchen's Granola for Healthy Eating

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Who doesn't love the crunchy goodness of granola? Check for some of these qualities the next time you reach for a bag.

Look For: Whole Grains

Any suitable granola should be made from whole grains, like rolled oats, brown rice and barley flakes. These fiber-filled goodies should be at the top of the ingredient list. Some brands offer unique varieties such as quinoa and spelt.

Look For: Natural Sweeteners

Granola without some sort of sugar would taste like cardboard. But the best bet is to choose a granola with minimally processed sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey and agave. Dried fruit will also add fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Look For: Healthy Boosts

Granolas fortified with extras like flaxseed and chia seeds are fabulous for a post-workout snack or for a dose of Omega-3 fats.

Look For: Gluten-Free

Those who are on a gluten-free diet needn't miss out on granola goodness. Many popular gluten-free brands now offer granola made with certified gluten-free oats.

Look For: M.Y.O

Control the ingredients by making your own specialized granola mix. Pick up some oats, nuts and dried fruit at your local grocery store or try some online recipe development with a company like Mix My Own.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

Next Up

The Healthiest Social Pages

Our top recommendations for who to follow on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Perfecting the Healthy Pasta Salad

It seems like no cookout would be complete without a pasta salad. Everyone has their favorite recipe -- some lighter than others. Avoid the common pitfalls and keep your mix nutritious and delicious with our tips and recipes.

The Healthy Eats Gift Guide

Still have some holiday shopping to get done? Choose any of these simple gifts for the for the food lover in your life.

Holiday Nuts the Healthy Way

Head to the store and pick up these tasty nut mixes to roast and serve at your next holiday gathering — or, prepare your own spiced nuts at home with our easy recipes.

"Fried" Calamari the Healthy Eats Way

Calamari is loaded with nutrients but it's usually served fried, which adds tons of fat and calories. Try Robin Miller's baked calamari and get the benefit, not the guilt.

Which Airlines Have the Healthiest Food?

A new study fills flyers in on which airlines serve nutritious midflight meals and snacks, and which leave healthy eaters high and dry.

What's the Healthiest Non-Dairy Milk?

Here's a breakdown of the most popular milk alternatives on the market.

Cooking with Beer (the Healthy Way)

Did you know beer is more than for just drinking? Enjoy the flavor in some of your favorite dishes. Cooking with beer can actually be a healthy way to flavor food—here’s why.

The Healthiest Restaurant Mexican Food Options

If you think indulging in Mexican fare will sabotage your healthy eating plan, think again! There are plenty of options to choose from.

How to Love Cheese the Healthy Way

Here are some creative ways for you to enjoy a little bit of cheese in your everyday healthy diet.