What Is Muesli?
What Is Muesli? The world of breakfast cereals can be a confusing one – particularly if your goal is to eat well from a nutritional standpoint. Even the so-called “healthy” breakfast cereals contain large amounts of sugar but one type of breakfast cereal that some find satisfying is muesli.
It is a famous healthy breakfast cereal that is made with uncooked rolled oats, nuts and fruits the cereals was developed in the 1900’s and it was made by a physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner who was Swedish and he used it on his patients at his very own hospital, provided them with both packaged and fresh varieties.
Muesli can be bought pre-packaged at most supermarkets. It usually consists of a blend of rolled oats combined with dried fruits, nuts, and seeds. In Switzerland and Germany, it is also eaten as a light evening dish called Birchermüesli complet, or muesli with butterbrot and coffee with milk. You may have heard that muesli is a great healthy breakfast, but do you know what it is and whether it’s actually good for you?
When it was first developed, it was typically a dry cereal made from toasted whole oats, nuts, fruit and wheat flakes. Now, you can find many versions, including gluten-free muesli, fresh muesli (soaked overnight in water or fruit juice to soften), toasted or untoasted muesli, and its close cousin: granola. Depending on how it is made, it’s often more natural and contains less calories and sugar than granola, which usually has more added syrup to aid in the toasting. It’s also a popular food product in health foods stores and natural markets because of its perceived health benefits.
Health Benefits of Muesli: The average cup of pre-packaged muesli has around 289 calories. Although it contains little fat, most pre-packaged brands of muesli are high in sugar and one serving can have as much as 26 grams of sugar and 66 grams of carbohydrates – definitely not a good choice if you’re on a carb restricted diet. It does have a significant amount of fiber and it’s a fair source of protein which makes it a food that’s relatively filling and satisfying. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals – including vitamin E, the B vitamins, and iron. When you add milk, it also becomes a good source of bone building calcium.
The oats found in muesli contain beta-glucans which is a soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol levels. The dried fruits added to muesli contain anti-oxidants in addition to vitamins and minerals. The nuts add heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and if you buy a brand that contains walnuts, you get alpha-linolenic-acid which is converted to omega-3 by the body. Omega-3’s are heart healthy and reduce inflammation.
The Bottom Line: All in all a bowl of muesli is a healthy way to start the day – if you buy a low sugar version. If you can’t find one, it’s not hard to make your own by combining rolled oats with the dried fruits and nuts of your choice. You can add a healthier sweetener instead of sugar. Another way to add natural sweetness to muesli is to add a little fruit juice to the milk when you eat it. It can also be mixed with yogurt for a quick breakfast or dessert treat. Enjoy eating muesli!