You’ve likely enjoyed some granola in your life, whether in the form of a bar, in a bag or even in a box, as it is an extremely common snack option within the modern diet. However, with a switch over to the Paleo diet and you may be confused as to whether or not it is permitted and on track with the healthy guidelines of this new lifestyle you have taken on. Don’t worry! We have you covered as we get to the bottom of whether granola is Paleo!
What is Granola?
First and foremost, you must discover what granola actually is because in truth, it isn’t one item at all. Granola is a baked crunchy cereal that typically consists of oats, nuts, dried fruits, seeds, sweetener and oil. As you could imagine, there are many variations of granola products and even more flavor combinations. Some even offer additional ingredients such as rice flakes, buckwheat groats and can be enjoyed with some greek yogurt or by handful. It’s crunchy. It’s delicious and it’s a quick and healthy snack, but is it Paleo?
Is Granola Paleo?
Since granola doesn’t consist of one item, it is absolutely impossibly to classify it as Paleo or not as it is based on the entire mixture of ingredients. As a rule of thumb though, grain-based granola items are not Paleo and this tends to rule out the majority of granola products as many of them contain oats. On the contrary, granola mixtures made of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, natural oil and natural sweeteners are Paleo. Unfortunately, these aren’t as common and can be difficult to find in the majority of groceries stores but they are very easy to make from home.
As mentioned, with so many options of granola products out there, you can certainly find options that are Paleo, specifically those that use alternative options of oats since that is the main ingredient that makes such products non-Paleo. However, it is important to know that granola shouldn’t be a staple in your diet, regardless. It should only be used for the occasional breakfast or a snack. Since granola products typically contain a lot of nuts and seeds, which results in high levels of polyunsaturated and omega-6 fatty acids. So when granola is consumed on the regular, it can cause inflammation problems.
Paleo isn’t only about eating foods that could be hunted and gathered. It’s about the health behind those exact items, and this topic is an excellent example. Although there are some granola products that are specific to the Paleo guidelines, you should still only enjoy in moderation as it can be harmful otherwise.