Just as with other “not-so-healthy” foods like olive oil and cow’s milk, granola is synonymous with “healthy eating” for most people in the Western world. But again, when we take a closer look, we realize that “all that glitters is not gold.” Here’s what we said about granola in Chapter 10:
How could granola not be good for you? Two clues: added sugar and too much fat content. Remember, you’re looking for an average of less than 20% of your calories from fat and you’re looking for near zero added sugar. One serving of a home-made granola cereal on nutritiondata.com contains 24 grams of sugar and a whopping 264 calories from fat—accounting for 44% of the total of 597 calories per serving.
While granola is nowhere near as harmful for you as cow’s milk and other dairy products, it is not a powerful health-promoting food like many other options that you might choose for your breakfast. Links to two of my favorites are shown here for your convenience; my very own “Sailors Oatmeal” at mid-morning or my all-time favorite for the first 250 calories that I put in my body each day: Eating healthy in the morning…first course is fresh fruit only.
Both of these meals are high in the 4-Leaf range of our simple scoring system. The key to vibrant health is just two words: WHOLE PLANTS, with lots of variety among the choices of greens, beans, grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
To be fair, if you loaded up a small portion of your favorite granola with several hundred calories of fresh fruits, you might be able to turn it into a 2-Leaf or 3-Leaf meal. The choice is obviously yours, we’re just trying to help you establish your new eating habits at the healthiest possible level that you can maintain. Ready for #4? Cheese; not a health food…4th in a series of 6
Handy 5-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
- Dr. Campbell’s new book: WHOLE, Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.
Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to email@example.com
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—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation