Muesli is a ready-to-eat or cold breakfast cereal. It contains a healthy amount of whole grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. You can eat muesli like classic cereal with milk, eat it warm like oatmeal, or grind it up as a flour base for pancakes. That’s why muesli is an important breakfast staple because of its endless versatility.
There is no doubt that breakfast is an important meal in a weight loss diet. It helps kick-start your metabolism and nourishes your body throughout the day. But is eating muesli for breakfast or muesli in general a good option for weight loss? Let’s see.
What is Muesli?
Muesli is a healthy, low-sugar alternative to granola. It originally consisted of raw oats, grated apples, chopped nuts mixed with water, lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk.
Today, muesli more commonly refers to a mixture of rolled oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Because you don’t have to bake muesli, no oil is needed to bind the ingredients together.
Both granola and muesli have similar ingredients. However, granola is baked until it becomes crunchy, while muesli is kept raw.
The main difference between the two is that in addition to dried fruit, granola also uses natural sweeteners such as syrup, honey or cane sugar. On the other hand, the sweetness of muesli only comes from dried fruits.
Muesli is generally lower in calories than muesli, but both contain some form of sugar. Therefore, you should eat moderate amounts.
Nutritional profile of different types of muesli
The nutritional value of muesli varies depending on how you prepare it and the ingredients. Some granola brands contain gluten-free grains, while some mimic a thick, granola-style texture with additional ingredients.
Some people roast the grains, nuts, and seeds to bring out their flavors. Nevertheless, a good combination of crunchy nuts and seeds with chewy fruits and grains still provides a nutritional boost.
according to USDA100 grams of toasted muesli with wholemeal rolled barley flakes (56%), wholemeal rolled oats (15%) and maple syrup (6%) has the following nutrients:
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according to USDA100 grams of roasted oat muesli with organic raisins, wheat flakes, dried dates, cranberries and almonds has the following nutrients:
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A bowl or standard serving of muesli, depending on the brand and mix of ingredients, contains:
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Muesli benefits for weight loss
Muesli can be useful for a weight loss diet for the following reasons:
Packed With Whole Grains
Muesli contains a mix of whole grains suitable for weight loss, such as oatmeal. A studies says that foods rich in whole grains nourish the gut microbiota. This in turn promotes weight loss or better weight management.
Nutritionists also highly recommend whole grain foods as an essential part of healthy eating.
Reduces diabetes risk
People with diabetes are more prone to obesity or overweight than people without diabetes. It may be due to insulin resistance, high glucose levels, or changes in appetite. Therefore, preventing or controlling diabetes is necessary for weight loss.
High-fiber breakfast cereals are said to be protective against the risk of developing diabetes. A studies shows that consumption of muesli lowers the risk of diabetes. Consuming muesli, alone or as part of an oat-based breakfast cereal, can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Muesli with unsweetened almond milk contains a lot of fiber, protein and minerals. As a result, it helps maintain blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. These two benefits of muesli may help prevent diabetes-related weight gain.
Muesli contains fiber, protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. Therefore, it has a high satiety quotient. While the amount of fiber and protein in granola varies from brand to brand, you can still get enough to fill you up.
A ½ cup of generic granola provides over 4 grams of protein. It meets 9% and 7% of the recommended daily amount of protein for women and men, respectively.
Research shows that a high-protein diet leads to weight loss while maintaining lean body mass. This protein weight-loss mechanism works in both low-calorie and standard-calorie diets.
Another striking factor is the fiber-rich nature of muesli. Half a cup of generic muesli contains 3-4 grams of fiber. It meets 12% and 8% of the recommended daily allowance of fiber for women and men, respectively.
Fiber, especially soluble fiber, physically fills your stomach. It slows down the rate at which food leaves your stomach. This means you don’t have to snack between meals. according to a studiesdietary fiber intake promotes weight loss independent of the intake of calories and other macronutrients.
The HealthifyMe note
Muesli is a combination of whole grains, dried fruits, nuts and seeds that can be part of a weight loss diet. The complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein and healthy fats support weight loss by creating a feeling of fullness. However, be careful with portion size to limit calories. You can also adjust the composition and portion size of the muesli to suit your needs. Choosing sugar-free muesli will be a better option for weight loss diets and especially for people with diabetes.
How to eat muesli for weight loss?
Serve muesli with higher protein, low-fat and low-calorie milk. You can use unsweetened hemp, almond, or oat milk. With sweetened milk, watch out for sugar, as it can easily add up. In addition, look for unprocessed versions of non-dairy milk when making muesli porridge for breakfast.
A studies shows that unprocessed or minimally processed muesli from native crops has better nutritional value. However, it is better to eat homemade muesli for weight loss. Making muesli at home allows you to adjust the ingredients and keep the sugar content to a minimum.
The general formula for preparing muesli is as follows:
Muesli formula: 4 cups of grains + 1½ cups of nuts and seeds + ½ cup of dried fruit
Here are some suggested ingredients for making muesli for weight loss:
- Cereals: Oatmeal, wheat bran, whole barley, rye, quinoa flakes, millet puffs, sorghum, or millet flakes.
- nuts: Sliced almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts
- Seeds: Sunflower seeds, chia seeds, linseeds, sesame seeds
- Dried fruit: Dried cherries, dried figs, dried apricots, raisins, golden raisins, currants, unsweetened coconut flakes, apple chips
You can also talk to a HealthifyMe nutritionist for real-time personalized advice on nutrition and meal preparation. For example, Pro Coaches can help you find the ideal muesli formula that works for your weight loss goals and calorie needs.
You can also receive nutrition and lifestyle suggestions based on your metabolic health, BMI, diabetes risk, and other underlying conditions.
Muesli is often a healthier breakfast choice than other packaged breakfast cereals. It contains less refined sugar and more protein and fiber. While granola contains some natural sugar from dried fruit, it also contains plenty of beneficial minerals and healthy fats.
Plus, the nuts, seeds, and whole grains help promote satiety and keep you feeling full longer. It can prevent unhealthy snacking and lead to better weight management. However, remember that calories still count when you’re trying to lose weight. Therefore, pay close attention to how much muesli you eat.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. When should I eat muesli to lose weight?
A. The best time to eat muesli is morning and afternoon. The proportionate amount of protein, carbohydrates and fiber in muesli is the best breakfast for weight loss. It keeps you feeling full for longer and helps prevent unnecessary snacking. You can also make your lunch extra filling by adding a bowl of muesli.
Q. Is muesli better than oats for weight loss?
A. Both oats and muesli are healthy and nutritious. However, oats are a better choice because they do not contain any additional ingredients. It is also a better choice for diabetic patients on a weight loss diet. However, muesli has a higher protein content due to the extra components such as nuts and seeds. So, if more protein is your focus, opt for muesli.
Q. Is muesli healthy or fattening?
A. Muesli, in moderate amounts, is a healthy and nutritious food. Compared to other sugary breakfast cereals, muesli is not fattening. However, roasting the nuts and grains in oil or adding sweeteners can make the muesli thick. It is therefore better to opt for sugar-free muesli.
Q. Can I eat muesli every day?
A. Yes, you can eat muesli every day. However, do not take more than half a cup if you eat muesli daily. Excess granola can cause digestive problems and weight gain, especially if it contains added sweeteners and oil-roasted nuts. Also, be sure to buy sugar-free or low-sugar granola brands.
Q. Can we eat muesli with milk to lose weight?
A. Yes, muesli with milk is a good breakfast for weight loss. You can soak muesli in milk overnight and enjoy a refreshing breakfast the next day. Or make a muesli porridge with warm milk and freshly cut fruit as a topping. Use low-calorie milk or vegetable milk to lose weight better.
Q. Is muesli full of sugar?
A. The sugar content of muesli depends on the ingredients or the brand you buy. You can buy sugar-free muesli. Or adjust the sugar content to your liking with homemade muesli. Unlike many other processed breakfast cereals, granola offers ingredients that are better for you. However, try to avoid mueslis with excessive amounts of dried fruit.