Shopping for muesli or granola? Do you know the difference between muesli and granola?

Muesli and granola are similar and are often confused on store shelves.  With common ingredients of grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds, these breakfast choices are actually quite different in origin, nutrition, and health benefits.  Muesli is often endearingly called the healthy sibling of granola.  In our products, we don’t use any oil sweeteners other than the dried fruits.  Granola tends to contain lots of sugar and other sweeteners.  Our muesli is not baked or toasted, as baking grains creates acryalmide, a potentially hazardous carcinogen.

Because muesli is not baked with oil, it is drier and, thus, is typically eaten as a breakfast cereal.  It can be eaten cold with any sort of milk or yogurt or it can be cooked hot like oatmeal.

Side by Side Comparison

Muesli Fusion Athlete FuelCommon Granola, from USDA Nutritional Database
Athlete Fuel Organic Muesli CloseupGranola
Serving Size 1/3c (41g)
Calories 160
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat .5g3%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0g0%
Sodium 0mg0%
Total Carbohydrate 25g8%
Dietary Fiber 3g12%
Sugars 3g
Protein 7g14%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Serving Size 1/3c (41g)
Calories 170
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat .5g3%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 19mg1%
Total Carbohydrate 31g10%
Dietary Fiber 4g16%
Sugars 11g
Protein 4g8%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Ingredients: Organic Oats, Organic Almonds, Organic Raisins, Organic Cashews, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Flax Seeds, Organic RyeIngredients: Oats, Wheat, Brown Sugar, Canola Oil, Dried Cranberries, Almonds, Dehydrated Apples, Inulin, Whey, Sugar, Nonfat Dry Milk, Glycerin, Whey Protein Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Honey, Sunflower Oil, Natural Mixed Tocopherols (Added To Preserve Freshness)

 

History

Despite the differences between muesli and granola, they were created around the same time by doctors with similar intentions.  Granola was developed in the late 19th century by US citizen, Dr. James Caleb Jackson in Dansville, New York.  Jackson served his “granula” at his health spa in Dansville into the early 20th century.  Around the same time, John Harvey Kellog developed a “granula,” later changing the name to granola to avoid trademark infringement. Granola remained unpopular for many decades until its growth with the hippie movement in the 1960s.  At this time, granola became popular with the hippie movement while health conscious hippies stuck with muesli.

Muesli reached the United States around the 1960′s although it was created around the same time as granola.  Muesli was created at the break of the 1900’s, in the German section of Switzerland by physician and nutritionist, Bircher-Benner. Bircher-Benner created muesli as a natural health food to help his patients during hospital rehabilitation.

Even with the difference in nutritional facts muesli and granola both contain health benefits. Equally both products are high in fiber due to the presence of oats, nuts, and fruits. The dried fruits, more commonly found in muesli, will provide antioxidants while nuts will offer an adequate proportion of healthy fats and protein.  Both products can be bought in multiple varieties at local food markets but can also be made at home. Combining products with low fat milk or yogurt can make a great meal or snack for any time of the day!

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