I remember when I first met my hubs-to-be. He loved his granola (or what I call fart in a box) so much that he probably went through four boxes a week.
I know, you might be thinking you've been doing a body good this whole time, right? And now you find yourself asking, "Is granola healthy?"
Now I'm sure your consumption may not be as extreme as Arik's used to be but even a daily ritual with the stuff is something I tell all my patients to avoid. Why: because it's not digestive friendly at all and trust me there's a lot that you can tell about your health by looking at your poop. It's why I developed my free poop chart that you can get right here.
But listen, I realize people will eat it in the morning with yogurt, add the clusters of so-call goodness to make a batch of muffins or even bread. You see this once-hippie and hiker lovin’ food has been around since the mid-19th century, but is it really all that’s cracked up to be?
Newsflash: Granola is fart in a box.
You may be confused as you read this holding your granola bar in mid chew and allow me to apologize, but the media hasn’t given you the straight goods. In fact, I believe foods like granola cause stress on the body and seriously, who needs more stress? So I thought I would give you the straight shooting, damn tooting goods and oh, of course, give you a tasty alternative.
Granola & Sugar
Let’s just say that I feel that depending on the granola, not all of them are ridiculously high in sugar. In fact if you make your own, you can make a low-sugar alternative and control what kind of sweetener you put in. Most store-bought granolas have more than 12.5g of sugar (some as high as 29g of sugar!) per 100g, much of which has been deliberately added to make it taste more palatable than the granola once found in health food shops. And don’t be fooled that it has honey rather than the white refined crap. The incredible amount of honey they use is likely pasteurized and regardless, it’s still a form of sugar. And from what I’ve seen in private practice, an excess of sugar is a huge culprit behind weight gain, digestive issues, plus they're mood and hormonal disrupters. Sure we’re all going to have a sweet fix every now and then but before grabbing a box, consider this: many granolas have more sugar than a can of Coke.
Granola & Gluten
Granola has long been considered a stick-to-your-bones type food. And of course, when you factor that it has oats in it. But gluten-phobes beware! These oats are likely contaminated with gluten giving you a host of butt bursting, butt plugging or butt singing techniques. And gluten (think wheat, spelt, rye, barley, kamut) acts like glue in your intestines making it kryptonite for your digestive pipes. But wait, you say, “Well Melissa, I eat gluten-free granola, so take that mama!” Hold the puck up. I’ve got news for you.
Gluten-free Granola: The solution?
What I’ve been seeing in private practice is this: many people even consuming gluten-free are still consuming an over-excess of carbs. I’m not a carb-free mama, so don’t think I’m a relative of Atkins. What I am for is balance! So if you’ve been eating these alternatives but yet are still a poop gopher, then it may be time for you to scale back or take it out for a while. Chances are the offender in this case is still the sugar that’s found it in the form of excess, poor quality honey or raisins, dates, etc. And be careful folks, read labels! Chicory root extract tries to make granola appear healthier is mostly inulin and adds in sugar and supplemental fibre that’s largely indigestible. So look beyond the gluten-free label or make your own (just make sure you consume it in moderation).
So what’s the alternative?
No matter what, any form of granola recipe (gluten-free or nut-based recipes) I’ve seen should be eaten in moderation. Why: because they’re still acidic and we need that alkaline balance (think green like smoothies for example). But for those of you who want a grain-free, gluten-free option, here it is:
Grain-Free Chocolate Granola
1 cup walnuts
1 cup almonds
Pinch of sea salt salt
1⁄4 cup raw unpasteurized honey
3 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 300 F.
Using a food processor, coarsely chop the walnuts and almonds. Not too fine though! Leave the nuts in the processor and set aside for later use. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the coconut oil with the honey and whisk occasionally. Once combined, add the cocoa powder, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Whisk together and pour the chocolate mixture, into the nuts in the food processor. Pulse briefly, just until the chocolate is consistently mixed in. Spread the mixture out over a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven at 300. Once the granola has finished baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Break the granola apart into small chunks and store into a large mason jar.
What I love about this recipe is that the fat from the nuts will help to slow down the absorption of the sugar so that you don’t get a quick jolt followed by a crash.
In the meantime never fear, there are healthier alternatives and solutions to your beloved granola. In fact, you can control your stress levels with food! Simply give your digestive system the love it deserves by putting away the foods that promotes the butt yodeling thunder from down under.
Oh and you can tell your partner that I said, “You’re welcome.”
PS - Want to find out what your poop says about YOUR health? Struggle with digestive issues? Download my free poop chart now.