ThePaleoList Answers: Is Granola Paleo?
Prior to your venture into the Paleo/Primal world your hikes through the wilderness probably consisted of granola bars stashed in your backpack for a timely energy boost. But it seems like most of those off the shelf granola bars are packed with grains, a paleo no-no right? Alisa at paleoinpdx took on granola’s multiple forms this week due to reader request. Keep the requests coming! So this week…is granola Paleo?
What is Granola?
Granola is a baked crunchy cereal, generally consisting of oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, sweetener and oil. There are many variations and flavor combinations, and some people even substitute brown rice flakes, amaranth or buckwheat groats in place of the oats. It is most often eaten with milk or yogurt, or even by the handful.
Is Granola Paleo?
To be able to classify granola as paleo or not solely depends on what’s in the mix. Grain-based granolas are definitely not paleo, but when made with only nuts and dried fruit, along with a suitable oil and unrefined natural sweetener, it is paleo. Generally, this type of granola cannot be found in stores, but are easy enough to make at home.
Even though paleo granola is an option doesn’t mean it should be a staple in your diet. It’s great as the occasional breakfast treat or as a snack for traveling, but like other nut and seed products, it’s easy to go overboard and one handful can quickly turn into a few more. Additionally, as mentioned in previous posts, nuts and seeds contain higher levels of polyunsaturated and omega-6 fatty acids, which tend to be pro-inflammatory when eaten in excess. Also, heating the nuts and seeds in the baking process causes the polyunsaturated fatty acids to oxidize, which also contributes to inflammation.
Again, eating a paleo-friendly granola is fine on occasion, but it’s best not to make it a regular event. In other words, don’t make it your everyday breakfast, especially since there are more nutrient-dense options out there like pastured eggs and bacon.
Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo? Do you need help planning some Paleo meals? Check out this great Paleo cookbook: