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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

To muesli or not to muesli?

For many, it comes as a surprise that muesli may not be the best breakfast choice, particularly if you are wanting to lose weight. CHOICE today released a report in which more than 100 different types of muesli were reviewed, and reported that a large number of mueslis commonly marketed as "healthy", "low in sugar", "wholegrain" and "nutritious" are actually packed full of carbs, fat, sugar and ultimately calories.

The issue with muesli is that while it is "healthy" built on grains, nuts and fruit, it is the culmination of high calorie, high fat ingredeints that result in a product that is exceptionally healthy but so full of calories that you could run to Perth and back. The reality is that most of us spend the bulk of our day sitting down, which means our favourite muesli is simply too high in calories to be enjoyed every day.

One of the biggest issues is that an ideal serve of muesli is just 1/3- 1/2 cup, yes, that little but most of us polish off at least double that amount as well as yoghurt, milk and fruit to top it all off. If you do love your muesli, to choose one that is not so high in calories, aim for varieties that contain just 20g of total carbohydrates per serve, and <3g of saturated fat per 100g. Skip the varieties that contain dried fruit, which are packed full of sugar and remember that if you choose one with nuts, you do not also need nuts during the day, as nuts are high in fat and you CAN eat too many.

My personal favourite is definitely the Carman's Fruit Free, primarily because the brand uses a lot of sunflower and pumpkin seeds, which are expensive but which increase the polyunsaturated fat content of the muesli. Most mueslis are packed full of monos, which we get plenty of from avocado, olive oil and almonds, but the polys are rare. Then if you need a gluten free muesli, you cannot go past the Brookfarm.