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The popular oat-based cereals, Muesli and Granola, are two of the most popular breakfast options ever known. These are not just delicious but also very nutritious. Both are stacked with essential nutrients such as dietary fibre, which helps in improving digestion and keeping the body active. Oats, berries, beans, and fruits are all prime components of muesli and granola. Both are safe choices for breakfast; both are eaten with cream, milk, or yogurt; and they are similarly delicious. You may have also noted that they look very alike, leaving you wondering what separates them. What is the difference between Muesli and Granola? Let’s give you all the answers that you’re searching for with a descriptive analysis of muesli and granola.
Muesli v/s Granola: Differentiation Based on the Definition
What is Muesli?
Muesli is a cereal which is uncooked and combines rice, nuts, seeds and fruits. It is a ready-to-eat breakfast option combined with several ingredients including almonds, peas, dried fruit, etc. consisting of a foundation of oats and whole grains. It is a popular food for breakfast worldwide. Muesli can be relished either hot or cold. The constituents of muesli are not fried, unlike granola, implying they’re raw and loose. Traditionally, it’s soaked in milk or juice overnight and served cold.
What is Granola?
Granola is a baked cereal that usually mixes grains with sweetener and oil to combine all the ingredients. It can be eaten straight out of the bag. Granola is one of the most common and popular breakfast foods made of rolled oats, crushed almonds, and honey. From gluten-free and low-sugar to super food-enriched, it can be obtained in all types of ways. Instead, Granola features all of the same ingredients as muesli, but it’s still baked.
Nutshell: Muesli is an uncooked cereal, Granola is always sweetened and baked.
Differentiation Based on Nutritional Value
Since both Muesli and Granola comprise almost similar ingredients, their nutritional qualities are relatively similar.
Given below is a comparison table between 100 g (each) of Muesli and Granola:
|Dietary Fibre||7.3 g||9.0 g|
|Sugars||31.0 g||20.0 g|
|Protein||9.7 g||14.9 g|
|Omega 3 Fatty Acids||61.0 mg||620 mg|
|Omega 6 Fatty Acids||1242 mg||8591 mg|
|Vitamin A||546 IU||19.0 IU|
|Vitamin E||7.2 mg||11.1 mg|
|Vitamin K||2.9 mcg||8.7 mcg|
|Niacin||12.1 mg||2.1 mg|
|Vitamin B6||1.2 mg||0.3 mg|
|Vitamin B12||3.6 mcg||0.0 mcg|
|Folate||243 mcg||82.0 mcg|
|Iron||8.7 mg||4.2 mg|
|Magnesium||78.0 mg||175 mg|
|Phosphorus||243 mg||456 mg|
|Potassium||486 mg||540 mg|
|Sodium||231 mg||25.0 mg|
|Zinc||3.6 mg||4.0 mg|
Nutshell: Even when muesli does not include added sweeteners, if it contains dried fruit, it has a reasonably high sugar content, just like granola. Also, there are more calories in Granola than Muesli.
*The nutritional values may vary from one brand to another. This happens because the components like grains, nuts, and dried fruits can cause variation in nutrient values.
The Healthier Breakfast Option: Muesli or Granola
Both muesli and granola are oat-based cereals and have balanced beta-glucans. Nevertheless, they each have some disadvantages of their own, including high sugar content and the occurrence of antinutrients.
- Presence of Beta-Glucan: The key source of fibre in oats is beta-glucans. They are soluble, which means that when combined with water, they form a gel and are believed to boost gut wellbeing, stimulate weight loss, and lower levels of blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
- Nutritious Nuts and Seeds: These two types of cereals also contain nuts and seeds that have monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs and PUFAs) that help mitigate risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
- High sugar content: The sugar content in granola is hugely influenced by added sweeteners such as honey or syrup. Meanwhile, it should be noted that some Muesli brands are sweetened while the cereal, in itself, is not usually sweetened. Also, dried fruit (an important ingredient in both products) increases the sugar content further. The risk of type 2 diabetes, extra weight, and heart disease may be raised by unnecessary sugar consumption.
- Phytic Acid is Bad: A source of phytic acid is the raw oats in muesli. Phytic acid is an antinutrient that further glues to minerals, including zinc and iron, that can inhibit their absorption. However, soaking muesli in water, milk, or juice considerably decreases the phytic acid content of the oat and increases the absorption of minerals.
Which One is ideal for Your Breakfast? Muesli or Granola?
As we have already discussed, both Muesli and Granola have their pros and cons. Nonetheless, it is also evident that Granola has a higher calorie count than Muesli. For individuals who are calorie conscious, Muesli would be the better option.
Nonetheless, it is suggested that while shopping for muesli or granola, the customer should be very critical of the ingredients and nutritional value. Look out for Muesli options which are unsweetened. And, for Granola, select the one that does not contain candied fruits or chocolate, as the sugar count would be increased further.
How Muesli and Granola are made is the biggest distinction. Granola is baked and typically includes additional sweeteners along with dried fruits, such as honey or sugar, while muesli is uncooked, fresh, and sweetened entirely with dried fruits. Though granola appears to have a higher calorie content than muesli, both are equally high in sugar and should be eaten in moderation.