Sunday, April 15, 2012

SWAP: Bran!

It is not uncommon for foods that are made with healthy ingredients to be given the stigma of "low calorie". The words "healthy" and "low calorie" are often synonymous, so in those times when they are not, it can leave us in a bad position if we're not paying attention.

The not-so-low-calorie food I want to bring forth today is: granola.
Even though it is made with healthy ingredients like oats and wheat and nature's sweetener, honey, these items combined make it a calorie-packed snack...which is great if we're, say, climbing a mountain or running a 10k (because it is an excellent source of fiber and protein). But how often do we grab for it on a normal, non-mountain climbing day, thinking we're making a responsible calorie decision?
I know that for me, before my journey, I would often opt for a yogurt with fruit and granola, and eat something else as well (probably a bagel, tbh), thinking that I had saved myself a lot of calories.

Because my main reason for eating granola in the first place was the crunch, I've started swapping the crunch, grains, protein, and fiber (oh, the fiber!) for none other than...bran flakes!
It took me a long time to give bran a chance. I remember being young and staying with my paternal grandma always made us the most warm and wonderful breakfasts. She would fill up a tiny glass of orange juice, and serve us something wonderful like eggs and sausage. I will never forget sitting at their little table they kept in their kitchen, anticipating my breakfast, and studying the food storage tins on the counter. For some reason, I distinctly remember my grandpa's tin, full of his fiber-rich cereal. I remember the way I would look at it, being unable to think of anything other than rat poison. I was out. I didn't even need to taste it to know that Lucky Charms kicked the pants off of that blandness.
It's better than this looks;)
And now, here I am, shy of 30 and looking forward to dumping my bran flakes into my yogurt every morning. I love it! And I don't miss granola; not even one little bit.

Bran (B) and granola (G), side by side, per 3/4c*
Calories- B: 92 kcal, G: 329 kcal
Fat- B: 0.6g, G: 9.9g
Cholesterol- B: 0mg, G: 2.2mg
Sodium- B: 207mg, G: 39mg
Carbohydrates- B: 22.9g, G: 55.5g
Fiber- B: 5.1g, G: 5.3g
Sugars- B: 4.9g, G: 19.8g
Protein- B: 2.9g, G: 8.0g

Things we should learn from our grandparents: keep the OJ
small, and the bran tin loaded!

Next time you're craving a low-cal crunch, give this swap a try!
(I even like to munch on dry bran flakes from time to time!)

*figures based on Wheat Bran Flakes by Kellogg and 100% Natural Granola by Quaker Oats, courtesy of

No comments:

Post a Comment