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This unique mix of seeds, nuts, apples, and coconut has been carefully crafted to a delicious, grain-free, low glycemic alternative for cereals and other grain granolas.

Ingredients:

Organic seeds (flax, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame), almondshoneyorganic coconut oil, organic dried apples, organic coconut, vanilla, cinnamon, salt.

The story:

KIRFCo. founder Katie Coleman had all but sworn off cereal and granola because of the effect it had on her blood sugar levels. “I tried everything – even super high-fiber cereals, but no matter what, my blood sugar level would go way up then drop a couple hours later without fail. Even though I loved the taste and knew the ingredients were healthy (full of whole grains), I had to give it up.”

She was finally able to control her morning blood sugar levels by eating a breakfast of yogurt, nuts, seeds, coconut, cinnamon and a touch of fruit or honey.

“That’s when I came up with my no-grain granola.  This stuff is amazing; not only does it taste great, but it’s high in protein, and has a ton of fiber. I barely have to take any insulin for it, and I stay full and satisfied even past lunchtime.”

The Health Benefits:

Written by Anne Gienapp, a Seattle-based Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and owner of Smart Nutrition.

I don’t have diabetes. What’s in it for me?

Even if you don’t have diabetes, there are numerous health benefits to low glycemic eating – especially when it comes to breakfast. You probably remember hearing as a kid: breakfast is the most important meal of the day! It’s true, a good breakfast can help you maintain steady metabolism for the whole day. “Typical” breakfast foods are often starchy carbohydrates (think: bagels, toast, baked goods, and cereal). To the body, starchy carbohydrates are essentially simple sugars. So, eating bagels, toast, or cereal for breakfast inevitably leads to a quick blood sugar surge followed in short order by a big blood sugar dip. The blood sugar roller coaster will often leave you feeling tired, hungry and looking for a “pick me up” well before lunch. Studies suggest that a high-glycemic breakfast may contribute to more snacking throughout the day and a greater overall caloric intake.1

Low glycemic foods like Keep It Real Food Company’s No-Grain Granola that contain protein and healthy fats are a better breakfast option to fuel the body, and keep you sated and energized for hours.

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But No-Grain Granola has honey in it – is that low glycemic?

This No-Grain Granola contains a small amount of honey – which is indeed a form of sugar. However, when compared with sugar’s glycemic value, honey’s is significantly lower. Agave has also been found to have a lower glycemic value than other sugars, but agave consists of only fructose molecules. Fructose can cause problems as it cannot be efficiently metabolized, and studies have connected fructose to insulin resistance, fat accumulation around the liver, and other liver problems. Plus, commercially produced agave syrup may have an even higher fructose content than high fructose corn syrup.  2

Honey contains a combination of sugar molecules – glucose, fructose and sucrose – which are more easily metabolized. In addition, since the other ingredients in No-Grain Granola contain plenty of protein, fat, and fiber, it helps ensure blood sugar and insulin rise much more gradually, if at all. Honey is also unique in that unlike other sweeteners, it is minimally refined.

What else about No-Grain Granola is good for me?

Besides being a great low glycemic choice, the mix of ingredients in KIRFCo.’s No-Grain granola offers a suite of powerful nutrients that optimize the body’s functions and contribute to overall health.

Flax seeds are a terrific source of omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient which is essential to health but which our bodies cannot produce. Omega-3 fatty acids help build healthy cell membranes, especially in the brain. Healthy cell membranes are essential for proper nutrition and detoxification, controlling the extent to which nutrients can enter cells and wastes can get moved out. Omega-3s have also been found to offer protection against heart disease and stroke, and recent studies suggest positive smalleralmonds2sassociations between omega-3s and a variety of inflammatory conditions, including IBS, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and some cancers. 3

Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and almonds are a great source of trace minerals such as zinc, magnesium, manganese, copper and selenium, and Vitamin E compounds. The minerals are required to jump start a range of metabolic reactions associated with proper digestion and nutrient uptake, and Vitamin E compounds are powerful antioxidants that protect against tissue degeneration and premature aging.

Coconut and coconut oil contain a type of fat known as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are easily converted by the body to energy, and provide a long-lasting fuel. In truth, the body prefers to convert fats to cellular energy rather than glucose. A number of studies have shown that MCTs like those found in coconut products can promote the body’s tendency to burn fat, and when the body regularly burns fat there is a positive association with effective weight management.

Nutrition Facts for No-Grain Granola 

Ge No-grain Granola Nutrition Label

 

 

 

 

About Smart Nutrition

Anne headshot

Anne Gienapp is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and owner of Smart Nutrition. Anne is passionate about  sharing how smart nutrition supports good heath! Anne’s approach is rooted in the principal that a low-glycemic, nutrient-dense diet helps to ensure optimal body function. Whether to individual clients or in presentations to groups, Anne provides information that helps empower people with basic nutritional awareness. Integrating a whole-foods philosophy with practical guidance that addresses individuals’ unique needs and life circumstances, Anne  provides support to adults, kids and families seeking to address particular concerns and enhance overall health. Anne lives and practices in South Seattle.

Anne Gienapp, MPA, NTP
Seattle, WA
anne@smartfamilyfood.com

 

1 See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23446906

2 See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/agave-this-sweetener-is-f_b_537936.html

3 See: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/omega-3/

 

Related: No-Grain Granola-What’s that? | What Does My Diabetes Mean for You? | What Does Paleo Mean?