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Granola, Reconsidered

Many of us love our morning bowl of granola. Not only does granola taste great, it’s great for us, too. Right? Well, maybe not. An article in the New York Times addressed granola’s path from unsweetened food in the 19th century to modern, sugary cereal. Granola was created in 1863 by health reformer Dr. James Caleb Jackson, who ran a sanitarium in New York. Dr. Jackson advocated vegetarianism, and his original recipe for granola (he called it granula) consisted of unsweetened bran nuggets soaked in milk. Dr. Jackson’s recipe was eventually stolen—and sweetened—by the Kellogg brothers, one of whom started the cereal company we know today. As granola became increasingly popular, cereal makers continued to add more sugar to make it as appealing as possible. The result, according to some nutritionists and even the FDA, is a grain-based dessert, not a health food.

That’s not to say you should avoid all granola, as certain brands add little or no sugar. Just be wary of some popular brands—which may contain more sugar than protein by weight—if granola is part of your everyday breakfast routine. Or, consider making granola yourself: with a little sleuthing, you should be able to find a sugar-free or low-sugar granola recipe.

Source: New York Times

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