How to buy healthier granola

Granola can be yummy and packed with healthy nutrients, but some brands are loaded with sugars, fat, and calories. Consumer Reports has some tips on how to choose one that’ll start your day off right.

A little sweetness in your granola can help make it tasty, but you want it to come from dried fruit. Be wary of added sugars in the ingredients list, such as maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, or tapioca syrup. A good rule of thumb is to look for no more than 8 grams of total sugars per serving.

And some manufacturers pump up the protein or fiber content of granola by adding processed ingredients like chicory root fiber or isolated soy protein. But it’s always better to get your nutrients from whole foods like nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Once you get that granola home, CR says to check out the serving size, because it may be less than you’re used to pouring!

Consumer Reports’ food-testing team asked a group of consumers to pour out their typical amount of breakfast cereal and granola. Over 90 percent poured more than the serving size recommended on the package.

The average overpour for the granola was two to four times the recommended serving size. But a great way to prevent getting too much of a good thing is to use granola as a topping for plain yogurt, or have it with a piece of fruit to keep you full and get some fiber.

Consumer Reports says that when choosing any cereal, look at the ingredients list first. Cereals with fewer ingredients tend to have more natural ones than processed ones.