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 »

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