Exactly How To Pick The Healthiest Muesli For Breakfast, Per Experts

by | Mar 14, 2024 | Nutrition

If you’re wondering if there’s such a thing as the healthiest muesli for breakfast, wonder no further. We’ve spoken to the experts about how to use this breakfast delight in ways that won’t leave you hanging by 9:30.

Is breakfast important anyway?

Things we know: Jeremy Allen White is bae, exercise can do wonders and breakfast is important. If you don’t believe us on the last part, hear this: there’s a well-researched connection between people who regularly eat breakfast and their long-term physical well-being, along with their energy levels. To boot, health experts assert that skipping breakfast has been scientifically associated with an increase in various health conditions including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. To add insult to injury, some studies even suggest that skipping breakfast affects women more than it does men. But not everyone has the time for a full fry-up in the morning.

READ MORE: Chew Slowly, Don’t Skip Breakfast And Eat 30 Plants A Week: 15 Easy Food Changes For 2024

Is muesli healthy?

Enter muesli: the breakfast champion that strikes a balance between taste and health benefits. Yet, a potential pitfall emerges when deciding on which box of deliciousness should be chosen: sugar. Yes, that sweet temptress that can transform our beloved morning staple from a wholesome delight into a sugary trap. “All muesli either contain sugar or honey as the second ingredient listed. Honey contains almost double the calorie content of sugar,” warns dietician Carey Seady.

That’s important, since “the first ingredient makes up the biggest part of the product (by weight),” explains dietician Lindie Mosehuus. “Ideally, this first listed item should have the ability to be released slowly into the bloodstream, i.e. have a low glycaemic index (GI) and or be high fibre and or be a wholegrain ingredient.” But if your chosen muesli doesn’t have sugar or honey listed as a top ingredient, you’re setting yourself up for a meal that could be filling and nutritious. That’s because the bulk of muesli is made up of oats, which are naturally high in fibre and promote regular bowel movements, blood sugar stability, can lower cholesterol and help you to feel fuller for longer.

READ MORE: Two-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

What should I look for when choosing a healthy muesli?

Fibre, fibre, fibre, baby! Experts note that looking at the amount of fibre per 100g serving would be a good way to compare products. You want to aim for about 6g of fibre per 100g serving. When purchasing a box of muesli, Claudine Ryan, a Gqeberha-based dietician, suggests looking at the ingredient list to make sure that the basis (i.e., the first ingredient) consists of wholegrain carbohydrates like oats, wheat, barley, or rye as these are “rich in fibre, antioxidants, and B-vitamins,” she says. Additionally, look for a muesli with less than 5g of sugar per serving.

How to make the healthiest muesli

If you’re looking to bulk up the nutritional value of your muesli, there are tons of options. Boost your fibre by adding more fruit, up the protein content by mixing in some protein powder or add a healthy helping of protein-rich Greek yoghurt. You can also add extra fibre and protein by mixing in some chia seeds to your bowl. If you’re looking to boost your omega-3 intake, sprinkle in some walnuts, ground flaxseeds, or chia seeds, says Mosehuus.

READ MORE: Your Ultimate Protein Pancake Recipe

Healthy muesli picks

These muesli picks have more fibre and less sugar, ticking the boxes for what constitutes a healthy breakfast choice.

healthiest muesli woolworths fruity muesli
Woolworths Fruity Muesli
sally ann creed bircher muesli
Sally Ann Creed Bircher Muesli
vital muesli
Vital Muesli

alpen dark choc muesli healthiest muesli
Alpen Dark Choc Muesli
faithful to nature fruit nut & seed muesli
Faithful To Nature Fruit, Nut & Seed Muesli
healthiest muesli tia's real granola
Tia’s Real Granola

Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

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