On a Low-Carb Diet? This Breakfast Food Could Be Quietly Sabotaging Your Efforts

Photographer: Lexi LambrosNo Restrictions: Internal and editorial use approved. OK for Native and co-branded use.
POPSUGAR Photography | Lexi Lambros
POPSUGAR Photography | Lexi Lambros

While granola is typically considered healthier than other cereals, its crunch and sweetness beg the question: should you eat it on a low-carb diet? Turns out, that's a complicated question.

"Granola can vary widely in nutrition makeup," Kris Sollid, RD, senior director of nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation, told POPSUGAR. For example, "some varieties have more fiber than others, so be sure to read the label carefully." If you're following a low-carb diet, choosing foods with high levels of dietary fiber can help keep your blood sugar stable and slow digestion, ultimately curbing cravings. Fiber also helps you stay within your daily limit for net carbs. (Net carbs are calculated by subtracting fiber from your total carb count.)

You'll also need to inspect the label for added sugars, as they can quickly prevent granola from fitting into your low-carb lifestyle. "Use the nutrition facts label to compare products and, as often as you can, choose the one that is higher in fiber and lower in added sugars," Kris said. If you're making your own granola, look for recipes that use less added sugar, like this ginger-molasses granola.

When it comes to serving sizes, Kris's stance is refreshing. "People often mistake the serving size for a recommendation, but they're not designed to guide the amount you should eat," he said. "Granola can be calorie-dense, so it's crucial to use the nutrition facts label to calculate how many calories, fiber, and added sugar are in a portion of your favorite granola. Use that information to decide how many portions you're hungry for — it could be a half-serving, or it could be two servings."