There are a lot of muesli and cereals on the shelves in the supermarkets, and most of us tend to just pick the first package that seems to be the most attractive. I have to admit I am not a fan of muesli and until last week I haven’t ever had them for breakfast.
Everyone thinks they’re so yummy and amazing so – I decided to give them a shot! I have to be honest, it took me about 30 minutes and all my nutritional knowledge before I chose the suitable pack. I have to say I picked up some quite useful things from this experience. Again, reading the label is of crucial importance – even more important than reading which type of chocolate or dried fruit goes into your muesli. Especially if you’re careful with your weight, it is important that you follow the right steps when picking your muesli:
1. First examine a few packages
2. Pick 3 or 4 that seem at the same time tasty and most healthy to you
3. Pick the healthiest out of them
Now I am going to define the word “healthy” in the world of muesli. Obviously, everyone of us has a different perception of what healthy is – however if you are on a diet and your goal is to lose or maintain weight, you have to follow some basic guidelines for “healthy” in this case.
First things first, so when you’re studying the label of your muesli, you should look at:
Note: Your goal is to pick the package that suits best to your taste and has a relatively decent amount of all the above listed.
To give you a real-life example, after 30 minutes of examining and struggling with my choices, I picked a muesli mix made of: rolled oats, wheat, cereals, seeds and nuts. Quite a traditional muesli mix, which had 53 grams of carbohydrates and 5.6 grams of fat per 100 grams of muesli.
I believe it was the most decent and tasty choice (for myself) that I’ve made. Some packages that contained added chocolate or dried fruits had from 70 to 77 grams of carbs and about 6 to 8 grams of fat per 100 grams of product. Watch out for preservatives like honey and syrup added to make your muesli taste better. Those mixes should have about 77 grams of carbs and 8 grams of fat in a 100 grams (which is a lot). And what about those chocolate cornflakes in your muesli? Dramatically, their presence can already add 4 extra grams of carbs and 2 extra grams of fat to your portion.
I would also stay away from mixes that contain cornflakes in general, since that only adds up to the overall carb and fat amount and doesn’t contribute that much to the taste. Beware of added sugars as well. Some producers tend to add sugars to the mix just to make them taste better – that ruins the concept of healthy and your diet alltogether.
Diet implications of muesli:
Now let’s get back to basics. In order to lose weight a person needs to eat around 50 to 100 grams of carbs per day. If your breakfast muesli makes up to 50% of carbs that you need during the entire day, I can imagine it will be very hard to NOT to slip out of this range by the end of the day.
The same applies for weight maintenance. If you’re aiming at maintaining your current weight, you should be eating between 100 and 150 grams of carbs a day. If you have a generous portion of muesli in the morning, it will be hard to stay within that limit.
As a conclusion I would just like to point out that you should be careful with muesli. I do not recommend having them on a daily basis, especially if you are aiming at losing weight. I hope this article also gave you an insight on how to pick the most innocent muesli and still enjoy them with less harm for your diet.