Diet Blog

How healthy is your muesli?

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Muesli can be a great healthy choice for breakfast- but be careful which brand you choose. Make sure you check the nutritional panel before you pick out your muesli, as some varieties may contain as much sugar so Coco Pops, or even more fat than a McDonalds Double Quarter Pounder.

Recent research by consumer organization Choice has revealed that many popular muesli products may actually be doing more harm to your healthy eating plan than good. After testing 159 different brands of muesli, Choice has released a report that warns consumers to take the fat and sugar content of products into consideration. (The full report is available here

Some of the stand-out results in the report include The Muesli brand, which contains twice as much fat as a McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder. Similarly, two popular gluten-free varieties, Sunsol Gluten Free and Nu-Vit Low Fat Fruity Muesli Gluten Free, which were found to be 43% sugar- which is 7% more than Coco Pops.

Much of the fat content in muesli is the good, unsaturated type (coming from oats, seeds, and nuts)- but itís still important to keep that percentage in moderation to avoid packing on large amounts of extra calories. The key is to always check the nutritional panel and ingredients list on the back of every product you buy. Always look at the amount per 100 grams, as this will give you a good guide for comparision, and make it easy to see the percentages. In general, you should aim for products that contain less than 10 grams of fat per 100 grams, and less than 10 grams of sugar per 100 grams.

Donít just rely on the health claims that you see on the packaging. The Choice report says that almost three quarters of the products studied displayed at least one health claim, such as gluten-free, wheat-free, or statements relating to fibre or wholegrain content. Youíre also likely to see things about low-GI, low sugar content, or low fat content. The problem, Choice explains, is that these statements can be misleading. For example Morpeth Sourdough Muesli Delux claims to have no added sugar, but a closer look at the label shows that the product is almost 28% sugar already, due to its dried fruit content and added honey.

So be smart when you choose your muesli. Always check the nutritional information, and make sure youíre starting the day out right with a product that is low in sugar, low in fat, and genuinely great for you!

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