Is Granola Paleo? (& What Ingredients To Look At)

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You can make paleo in a variety of ways. Find out whether these tend to be paleo and if not, what ingredients you want to replace.

The first thing to note is that different people have different definitions of a paleo diet. In the case of granola, this will make the difference.

Many people would not consider grains like oats paleo. Since this is typically an ingredient of granola, this mix would not be paleo-friendly for these people.

If you do consider oats to be paleo, you could say that granola is paleo since it is mainly a combination of nuts, oats, and honey.

Some ingredients that are sometimes added to granola but you want to avoid on a paleo diet include sugar, other sweeteners, puffed rice, and chocolate.

One thing you do want to keep in mind is that granola, even the ones that are more paleo-friendly, tends to be high in calories. This can be suboptimal for goals like losing weight.

Is granola part of the paleo diet?

From a high-level view, the paleo diet is supposed to only include foods that were eaten by humans in the Paleolithic era.

One challenge with this is that there are not particularly printed menus from that area. Different people can consider different things.

That being said, some foods that are generally considered paleo-friendly are vegetables, nuts, meats, fish, fruits, and roots.

On the flip side, sugars, processed oils, processed carbohydrates, etc. are typically avoided on the paleo diet.

Some foods that are in the grey zone that some people consider ok and others don’t include grains, legumes, and dairy products.

With that in mind, granola typically contains ingredients like rolled oats, nuts, honey, and sometimes other sweeteners, puffed rice, dried fruits, and chocolate.

If you are on a stricter paleo diet without grains, granola is not considered paleo. If you are fine with grains, it depends on the other granola ingredients.

Paleo granola ingredients

More specifically, some of the paleo-friendly ingredients in granola include:

  • Nuts
  • Raw and unfiltered honey
  • Dried fruits (without added sugar)
  • Seeds
  • Coconut
  • Spices like cinnamon and vanilla
  • Potentially oats depending on how strict you are

On the flip side, some common granola ingredients that are generally not considered keto include:

  • Potentially oats depending on how strict you are
  • Sugar and other sweeteners
  • Puffed rice
  • Chocolate

When in doubt about the store-bought granola, you can consider making your own with the right ingredients.

Is paleo granola good for you?

Whether a certain food is good for you is a relatively vague concept, hard to measure exactly, and often depends on things like your exact genes.

Most people will agree that nuts, seeds, coconut, and spices are generally good for you.

On the flip side, there are potential arguments about honey, oats, and dried fruits raising blood sugar by a relatively high amount.

Having elevated blood sugar for extended periods of time does seem to be bad for human health but the impact of the occasional blood spike is currently not clear, at least to my knowledge (1, 2).

One precise thing that can be noted about granola is that it is relatively high in calories per 100 grams. Even though it also contains a nice amount of fiber, it could be possible to overeat on granola and in turn, gain weight.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.