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Low-Sugar Granola: The 15 Best Dietitian-Approved Products

Updated: Apr 2, 2023


Picture of low-sugar granola in mason jar served with blueberries
Low-sugar granola

Granola is typically made with oats, nuts or seeds, dried fruit, and honey or another sweetener. And while whole grain cereals like granola can be a healthy addition to your diet, the added sugars in granola can be astonishing. To help you prevent your low-sugar yogurt topping or bowl of cereal from being a dessert in disguise, I’m sharing the best store-bought low-sugar granola products to try.


Why you should shop for low-sugar granola

You may be wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to added-sugar consumption. But there is good reason for concern! Americans are currently consuming an average of 17 teaspoons of added sugar per whereas it’s recommended to have no more than 6 or 9 teaspoons per day for women and men, respectively. I've o you can see that we are far exceeding this recommendation!


To meet these recommendations, we can start by making small changes to our eating habits to lower our added sugar intake and reap all the health benefits that come with it.


Excess added sugar intake is associated with an increased risk of developing diseases like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and the list goes on! To add to that list, our gut health takes a big hit with high added sugar intake, which may exacerbate the symptoms of metabolic disease.


If that’s not enough to convince you to lower your sugar intake, too much added sugar has been associated with an increased risk for depression, anxiety, and sleep problems.


If you want to take the leap and lower your added sugar intake, I dive into all my tips and tricks for how to detox from sugar on my blog.


Ingredients to avoid in low-sugar granola

When you’re shopping for the healthiest granola, take a look at the ingredients. The following ingredients are signs that a food is heavily processed. In other words, if you see these ingredients, you can probably find a healthier granola brand.

  • Artificial sweeteners

  • Artificial flavors

  • Excessive sugar

  • Heavily processed forms of soy (such as soy protein concentrate or isolate)


Picture of ingredients to avoid in low-sugar granola
Low-sugar granola ingredients to avoid

What about dried fruit? Is fruit sugar bad?

The sugar that naturally occurs in fruit is very different from added sugar! Added sugar is the type of sugar or syrup that is added to food to make it taste better, like honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, etc.


Naturally occurring sugar is the sugar that naturally occurs in food, which is the case with fruit.


However, there are instances where dried fruit gets coated in added sugar, and that’s what we want to watch out for. The best way to determine whether dried fruit has any added sugar is by reading the nutrition facts label. Look for the added sugars row, which tells you how much sugar is added to the granola. It’s also a dead giveaway if you see any sugar ingredients mentioned in the ingredient list apart from the fruit.


How to pick the best low-sugar granola

When you’re shopping for the best low-sugar granola, read labels for these ingredients and red flags. Also, take note of the serving size. Ideally, products at the top of the added sugar range have bigger serving sizes.

  • No more than 8 grams of added sugar per serving

  • Prioritizes whole grains and other whole food ingredients

  • No artificial sweeteners

  • At least 2 grams of fiber per serving


Image of how to evaluate a low-sugar granola label
How to pick the best low-sugar granola

How to eat low-sugar granola

Granola is incredibly versatile, and it can be enjoyed iIt'sany different ways. It’s important to note that the serving size varies between granola brands, so be sure to take a look at the portion sizes because if you eat a bigger serving, the added sugar goes up.


When eating low-sugar granola, it is a good idea to eat it with a source of protein (yogurt, cottage cheese) or fiber (fruit) to make it a more filling meal or snack. When your meals are balanced with protein, carbs, and fat, you are able to better control your blood sugar levels and sustain your eneIt's levels for longer. It’s also a strategy that contributes to filling up at meals, so you won’t be hungry an hour after eating.


Here are some of my favorite way to eat low-sugar granola:

  • Over low-sugar yogurt. tick to natural yogurts with no artificial flavorings or sugar substitutes. So to I cover my favorite low-sugar yogurts in my blog about low-sugar smoothies.)

  • Mixed with low-sugar whole grain cereal. Try a ¼ cup granola with a ¼ cup bowl of cereal. (Here are my picks for the best whole grain cereals.)

  • Stirred into oats or overnight oats, or used as a topping for baked oats, like my high protein baked oat breakfast.

  • On top of fruit

  • In yogurt parfaits. Layer low-sugar yogurt, low-sugar granola, and fruit to make a ready-to-go breakfast.

  • Oven-baked or poached fruit. Poached apples and granola are a delicious go-to.

  • Atop ricotta or cottage cheese.

  • Mixed into a low-sugar trail mix. I often add popcorn to a trail mix for more volume and crunchy goodness.

  • Sprinkled over a smoothie bowl as a topper. Think: breakfast ice cream! This is a refreshing summer breakfast idea


Low-Sugar Granola: 15 of the healthiest granola products

Here are 15 low-sugar granolas that you can adYou'llour grocery list! You’ll noticI'veat all the products I’ve selected contain less than 8g of added sugar per serving; this is the benchmark I like to use when determining if a granola is low in added sugar or not. If your favorite granola is not mentioned below, this would be a good way to see if it would make my list!


Note that I use affiliate links for the products I vet for my readers. These are my genuine recommendations and represent my years of experience testing and vetting products. It doesn't cost you anything to shop through these links, and you're under no obligation to shop or purchase through my site. When you do make a purchase through an affiliate link, I receive a nominal commission, which helps me provide this service to you. Thanks for supporting my site!


Purely Elizabeth, Organic Original, Ancient Grain Granola, Gluten-Free, Non-GMO

This granola stands out for using ancient grains and oats, plus chia seeds and coconut oil. It provides a good balance of healthy fats, fiber, and protein, through ingredients like quinoa flakes, sunflower seeds, and puffed amaranth. This nutrient-dense granola is a good choice if you’re scouting for a gluten-free option.

Sugar stats: 7g added sugar per ⅓ cup serving.


Cascadian Farm Organic Granola with No Added Sugar, Coconut Cashew, 14 oz.

One of the best and healthiest options since it has no added sugar! Another bonus is that it contains 4 grams of fiber per ⅔ cup serving, a heftier portion than many competing brands. Most granolas tend to run around 2 grams of fiber per serving. This granola is also naturally sweetened using dates, so you won't be missing out on any sweetness if you go for this brand.

Sugar stats: 0g added sugar per ⅔ cup serving.


Back To Nature Lower Sugar Granola, Non-Gmo VHere's Coconut, 8 Ounce

Here’s another granola with no added sugar. However, I want to draw attention to the fact that it incorporates zero-calorie sweeteners, like monk fruit extract, which I recommend eating in moderation. This granola is great for anyone who is looking for grain-free granola. You’ll notice that this one only incorporates nuts, seeds, and natural flavorings.

Sugar stats: 0g added sugar per ⅓ cNatural'sg.


This granola is lightly sweetened with maple syrup and incorporates natural ingredients (like oats, nuts, and cinnamon), making it a healthy granola option. What I like about this product is that it does not have an extensive ingredient list, and yet it contains 3g of protein and 2g of fiber per serving.

Sugar stats: 6g added sugar per ¼ cup serving.


They call this a ‘Superfood’ granola, and for good reason! It incorporates whole almonds, cinnamon, flaxseed meal, oats, and sunflower seeds, boosting its fiber, protein, vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant status. It is lightly sweetened with honey and monk fruit extract (a sugar substitute).

Sugar stats: 5g added sugar per ⅓ cup serving.


If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, this is a great option. With 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber per serving, you’re getting some hunger-busting nutrients per serving. This granola is sweetened with maple syrup, making for a delicious sweet afternoon snack. To make this a balanced snack option to balance blood sugar levels, serve it with cottage cheese and fresh fruit.

Sugar stats: 5g added sugar per ⅓ cup serving.


What I particularly love about this brand is that it provides 6 grams of fiber per ½ cup serving– that’s pretty impressive! The freeze-dried berries give it a touch of sweetness, while still keeping the added sugar relatively low. It also supplies 7 grams of protein per serving–more than a boiled egg. All-in-all, this is a great low-added-sugar option!

Sugar stats: 5g added sugar per ½ cup serving.


Peanut butter and dark chocolate is one of my all-time favorite flavor combos–would you agree? When I discovered a granola with this exact flavor combo, I knew I needed to add this to my list. While this granola is low in added sugar, be aware of the serving size, as the added sugar will go up if you have more than a ¼ cup. To increase the fiber and protein content of this granola (without piling on the added sugar), serve it with nuts and yogurt.

Sugar stats: 6g added sugar per ¼ cup serving.


If you like a granola with dried fruit in it, this may be your top pick! While the ingredient list is simple, it uses monk fruit extract, a sugar alternative that adds extra sweetness to the granola without packing in the calories and added sugar. Because monk fruit extract is very sweet, only a small amount is needed to reach the same level of sweetness as sugar. The net-net is that it contains no added sugar.

Sugar stats: 0g added sugMichele'scup serving.


If you’re on the hunt for a wheat and grain-free granola, this one's for you. With 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per ¼ cup serving, this crunchy almond butter granola will be delicious over yogurt or eaten by the fistful. It also includes ground flax, which adds heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids.

Sugar stats: 5g added sugar per ¼ cup serving.

A grain-free, paleo-approved granola, packed with healthy fats and protein from different nuts and seeds, and lightly sweetened with honey and dried cranberries. The addition of coconut and cinnamon is an extra flavor bomb that tricks your tastebuds into thinking you’ve had something sweet, even with a tame amount of sugar.

Sugar stats: 4g added sugBob'sr ¼ cup serving.


You can never go wrong with good old Bob’s Red Mill granola. The natural and simple ingredients list includes oats, a variety of seeds and maple syrup. And I’m not gonna lie: The Sea Salt balances out the sweetness. It's a nice touch. You’ll get 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein per serving. Use this granola as part of a yogurt parfait with unsweetened or low-sugar yogurt, and fresh berries. (I covered my fave low-sugar yogurt in my post on low-sugar smoothies.)

Sugar stats: 4g added sugar per ¼ cup serving.


As the name implies, this minimally processed granola contains sprouted grains and seeds for easier digestion, and increased availability and absorbability of the nutrients for the body. This granola is naturally sweetened with dates, making it free from any added sugars.

Sugar stats: 0g added sugar per ¼ cup serving.


This is a protein-packed granola with 10 grams of protein per serving! It is also a good source of omega 3’s, which are beneficial for brain and heart health. The added sugar content looks higher compared to other granolas on the list, but note that the serving size for this granola is bigger compared to other granolas mentioned above. So comparing apples with apples, the added sugar content is on par with the other options. But a big part of why I am including this one on my list is because my boy found it, and that just put the biggest smile on my face!

Sugar stats: 8g added sugar per ¾ cup serving.


Another sprouted grain granola that uses a delicious roundup of ingredients like oats, hemp seeds, honey, and brown rice. Consider serving these crunchy clusters over a smoothie bowl for extra texture and flavor. The 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving will increase satiety and give you the energy you need to get through the day.

Sugar stats: 7g added sugar per ⅓ cup serving.


Final thoughts about low-sugar granola

Granola can be a sneaky source of hidden sugars–as much as dessert in some cases. But, it’s also easy to swap out sugary granola for a low-sugar variety, and I’ve given you several to consider.


Detoxing from added sugar isn’t easy, but you will thank yourself for it once you start to see and feel the difference that less added sugar has on your body. For example, you might experience improved mood, sleep, energy levels, and overall health.


If you want to learn how to eat a low-sugar, plant-forward diet without giving up dessert or anything else you love, you’re in luck! My comprehensive 4-week meal plan ‘The Refresher’, was designed to provide a balanced, plant-based guide to healthy eating and includes 4 weeks of easy meal plans and more than 60 healthy, delicious recipes.


As a bonus, I’ve also included a crash course in eating more mindfully, even if you’re in front of a screen (because, hey, we all do this sometimes). If this is something interested in, be sure to register and get your copy here.


9 comments

9 Comments


Guest
Mar 15

Discovering low-sugar granola options that are dietitian-approved is a step forward in embracing a healthier lifestyle. These 15 best products not only provide a nutritious start to the day but also cater to those mindful of their sugar intake, aligning with contemporary wellness trends. While focusing on diet is crucial, the overall ambiance where we enjoy our meals plays a significant role in our wellness journey. Incorporating an air quality monitor can enhance this experience by ensuring the air is clean, which is vital for a healthy environment. Companies like Sensibo, known for their high-quality air purifiers and humidifiers, further complement this healthy living space. They provide innovative solutions to maintain optimal air quality, ensuring that our pursuit of wellness…

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Kubetin do
Kubetin do
Jan 15

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Jan 06

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Guest
Jan 03

thank your for this info, but please consider calculating sugar content based on a standard serving size. No one eats just a quarter cup, so consider 3/4 cup servings for you work.

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Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD
Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD
Feb 06
Replying to

Thank you for your feedback. I went off of the manufacturer's serving size, but I agree that it's usually low. Next time I can standardize the serving sizes.

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Guest
Dec 07, 2023

It's very cool that people are now promoting proper nutrition and how to start it properly. But I remember my childhood and the time when you would visit your grandmother in the village and no one had even heard of healthy eating. So when I think of this, I immediately think of the poultry farm images that was not far from our house, which made the air not very pleasant from time to time. But even with all this background, I now eat a healthy diet and am proud of my achievements in sports.

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Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD
Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD
Feb 06
Replying to

Very glad to hear you're interested in nutritious foods and that healthy eating has been beneficial for you!

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