Best Granola For Low Carb, Grain Combination, and More

Fix your snack cravings with the best granola options available.

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Granola is a popular and potentially versatile snack, typically made from a base of whole grain, lightly toasted rolled oats. These oats are often burnished with a few other ingredients, such as nuts, brown rice, hemp seeds, flax seeds (a great source of iron), or dried fruit, and often sweetened with sugar, honey, or other artificial sweeteners.

While the nutritional profile of granola varies from brand to brand, it is generally a calorically rich, filling, high-fiber snack. However, it is often also very high in sugar and fats. Many folks enjoy granola as a quick snack, while others eat it with milk or over yogurt for a more substantive breakfast option than cereal. There are a ton of granola options on the market. Before deciding which to purchase, it’s wise to compare a few to figure out exactly what’s inside the bag. We rounded up some of the best granola, taste-tested them, and determined our top picks.

Best Granola On The Market

Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended to diagnose, prevent, and/or treat health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. Individual needs for vitamins and minerals will vary.

Best Granola

With a hint of honey for sweetness, this granola relies on its unique ingredient profile — including hemp and pumpkin seeds (another solid way to supplement your iron intake) — to create a fantastic taste profile. Here’s the macro breakdown for a one-third cup serving: 111 calories, four and a half grams of protein, and 13 grams of carbohydrates. From a snackability standpoint, Manitoba Harvest’s granola earns points for its texture. Rather than having little bits of seeds and granola running out of your hand when you grab a handful (never a good thing!), the structural integrity of this granola creates little mini clusters as the pumpkin seeds, oats, and hemp seeds all stick together.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Honey and Oats

Taste-wise, this granola leans on the flavor of its ingredients, augmenting it slightly with honey and tapioca syrup, a natural sweetener and binding agent. The result is a very natural tasting snack with just enough sweetness to leave you wanting more. The only real knock we had against this granola was the price tag being on the higher end of the market. However, the other reasons to deduct points in our rankings were fairly subjective and didn’t hold much weight.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Honey and Oats
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Honey and Oats
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Honey and Oats

Coming in with delicious clusters of granola goodness and a punny name to boot, Manitoba harvest Hemp Yeah! would make a great addition for folks who enjoy a fresh tasting, crunchy, natural tasting granola.

Who Should Buy Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Honey and Oats

  • Those who appreciate a rich, non-crumbly texture.
  • People who appreciate a not-too-sweet flavor.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Honey and Oats

  • Penny pinchers. This granola was pricier than most of the competitive options on the market.

This is the kind of granola you can take with you to a heavy deadlift or squat session and get some fast carbohydrates in your system without making a mess of the place. It’s little things like that that we appreciate in a product even though that is not what the manufacturers are thinking about in production. To top it all off, the manufacturer is certified as a B Corporation, a movement intended to signify businesses that use ethical practices.

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Best Whole Grain Granola

From a taste and texture perspective, this was one of our favorite choices. Nature’s Path offers a delightful crunch, with some granola sticking together in small clusters — it’s sweet without being cloying. In a bowl of milk, this granola holds its form, remaining crunchy while the nooks and crannies of each hunk of grainy goodness serve as a perfectly structured vessel for your milk of choice. The sweetness also mellows out a bit when mixed with milk. In addition, this granola is USDA Organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free to appeal to a wider array of diets and is pretty affordable than the rest of the market.

Nature’s Path Honey Almond

Here is a macro breakdown per one-third cup serving size: 140 calories, 21 grams of carbohydrates (including seven grams of sugar), and three grams of protein. Despite its title, there aren’t a ton of almonds in the mix here. There is certainly a smattering of roasted almond bits throughout the bag, and encountering one is truly a delight, but it’s also possible to grab a whole handful and come up with nothing but oats.

Nature's Path Honey Almond
Nature's Path Honey Almond
Nature's Path Honey Almond

Nature’s Path offers a crunchy and tasty honey almond granola. This straightforward product, made gluten free whole grain rolled oats and bits of roasted almonds, earns top marks for taste.

Who Should Buy Nature’s Path Honey Almond

  • Anyone who prefers crunchy granola.
  • Those who enjoy eating their granola with milk like cereal.
  • People who appreciate their products being USDA Organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. 
  • Folks who need to take it easy on their wallets.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Nature’s Path Honey Almond

  • People who are looking for granola with a high nut density in the recipe.
  • Those who need to increase their protein intake.

The pros are pretty obvious with this choice: great for gluten-free diets, a great replacement for cereal as it goes well with milk, and the price tag is quite nice. The biggest downside is the low protein and potentially the let down of nut quantity. But, aside from that, this is a great pick-up from the store, particularly if you’re looking to save a buck and buy granola in bulk.

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Best Unique Flavor Granola

Made with rolled and kiln-toasted whole grain oat groats and brown rice, this very simple granola might be a great option for someone looking for a sweet breakfast option.&nbFlavor-wise, Bob’s Red Mill Apple Blueberry Granola is heavier on the blueberry than the apple. Though there are some small dried apples in the mix, the overall vibe of this granola bag is definitely blueberry.

Bob’s Red Mill Apple Blueberry Granola

The ingredient list includes: whole grain rolled oats, sugar, brown rice, and dried apples, as well as other flavorings. Served in a bowl with milk makes a lovely breakfast option and can even be warmed up and served as a hot cereal instead of oatmeal. From a cost perspective, this is one of the most reasonably priced granolas on the market.

Bob's Red Mill Apple Blueberry Granola
Bob's Red Mill Apple Blueberry Granola
Bob's Red Mill Apple Blueberry Granola

True to its name, or at least half of its name, Bob’s Red Mill Apple Blueberry Granola provides a strong blueberry flavor, with maybe a hint of apple thrown in for good measure.

Who Should Buy Bob’s Red Mill Apple Blueberry Granola

  • Anyone who is a fan of berry flavor in their granola
  • Those who are looking for breakfast substitutes to cereal and oatmeal.
  • From a cost perspective, this is one of the most reasonably priced granolas on the market. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Bob’s Red Mill Apple Blueberry Granola

  • Those who aren’t fans of softer granola.
  • People who want blueberries as part of the ingredient list of their granola.

There isn’t much to knock this granola for. If you prefer softer textured granola, then this is a great pick. However, what struck our taste buds in testing out this granola was the blueberry-ness of the flavor without any blueberries being listed in the ingredients.

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Best Keto/Low-Carb Granola

This snack is higher in fat but lower in carbohydrates than typical granola. Folks looking for a low-carb granola alternative may want to check this out. Low Karb Keto Nut Granola recreates the texture and general ethos of whole-grain granola with sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, and pecans. Though not quite as crunchy as other crispy granola on the market, this texture certainly works.

Low Karb Keto Nut Granola

Low Karb Keto Nut Granola is sweetened with erythritol (sugar alcohol), monk fruit extract, butter, and cinnamon from a taste perspective. According to the nutrition label, they live up to their name as a potential part of a keto diet as the is less than one gram of sugar. Here is a macro breakdown of a one-third cup serving: 10 grams of carbohydrates, 18 grams of fat, and less than one gram of sugar.

Low Karb Keto Nut Granola
Low Karb Keto Nut Granola
Low Karb Keto Nut Granola

Low Karb Keto Nut Granola is a unique and delicious combination of sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, and pecans blended in a manner that resembles the texture of whole grain oat granola. The result is a snack that is higher in fat, but lower in carbohydrates than a typical granola. Folks looking for a low-carb granola alternative may want to check this out.

Who Should Buy Low Karb Keto Nut Granola

  • Anyone following a keto or other low-carb diet.
  • Those who are looking to steer clear of sugar.
  • People who are happy to have a granola heavy on the nutty flavor.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Low Karb Keto Nut Granola

  • Anyone who needs to keep their budget low.
  • Those who have nut allergies.

Due to the cost of its ingredients, this product is a bit more expensive than most traditional granolas on the market. Additionally, since this granola cannot use any additional sugar or natural sweeteners to keep the carbohydrate count low, the ingredient list goes heavier on the nuts to improve the flavor and simultaneously ups the fat content.

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Best Granola Clusters

KIND’s Vanilla Blueberry Clusters are made with oats, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, and quinoa, making this a unique combination of grains. It offers a very serviceable taste profile, with vanilla extract, molasses, and blueberry puree added to create a balanced bite. A big payoff here is that it remains crunchy when paired with milk.

KIND Vanilla Blueberry Clusters

Here’s the macro breakdown for a one-third cup serving: 110 calories, 21 grams of carbohydrates, and three grams of fat. Though these are labeled clusters, they’re not very clustery. Instead, a handful is a lot of diffuse bits of grains and seeds. This doesn’t affect it as a cereal or yogurt topping but makes it a bit tricker to eat as a dry snack. We should note that flax seeds in this granola might get caught in a consumer’s teeth if they are caught unaware.

KIND Vanilla Blueberry Clusters
KIND Vanilla Blueberry Clusters
KIND Vanilla Blueberry Clusters

For a straightforward granola with a unique combination of grains and fruit, check out KIND Vanilla Blueberry Clusters. Made with oats, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, and quinoa, this is a solid tasting combination available at a reasonable price. 

Who Should Buy KIND Vanilla Blueberry Clusters

  • Anyone who wants a unique ingredient list for their granola.
  • Those who enjoy the flavor profiles of vanilla and molasses.
  • People who like their granola crunchy.

Who Shouldn’t Buy KIND Vanilla Blueberry Clusters

  • Folks who want to snack on granola as a standalone treat.
  • People who are prone to getting food stuck in their teeth.

Overall, this wasn’t our top pick, but it was still solid enough to rank in our top list as the flavor profile was much more unique than the rest of the field. In addition, the unique grains used compared to the rest of the market made this a nice standout for anyone feeling a bit more adventurous.

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Best Granola for Fruit

This is uniquely structured granola featuring raisins, cranberries, almonds, and pecans, in addition to whole grain oats and honey. From a texture standpoint, this is not very crunchy granola. In fact, it’s labeled as soft-baked. While some may prefer a crunch, folks who prefer softer granola may enjoy Bear Naked’s offering, especially since it is very competitively priced compared to other options we checked out.

Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola

Here is the macro breakdown per half-cup serving: 270 calories, 12 grams of fat, 39 grams of carbohydrates, and six grams of protein. Since this concoction features some big chunks of nuts and fruit, its flavor really depends on the bite. Cranberries may overpower one bite while the next has a decidedly smoky hue to it. That inconsistency in texture was a big knock in our rankings but not enough to push it out of the number one spot for fruit-packed granolas.

Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola
Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola
Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola

Those who prefer dried fruit in their granola may want to check out the Fruit and Nut Granola offering from Bear Naked. Featuring raisins, cranberries, almonds, and pecans in addition to whole grain oats and honey, this is a uniquely structured granola. 

Who Should Buy Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola

  • Anyone who prefers chewy granola.
  • Folks who need to keep their budget in check.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola

  • People who want consistent tasting granola in each bite.
  • Those who dislike having too many berries in their granola.

We think this would be a nice snack to bring in your gym bag as the carbs are a good boost before a heavy day of overhead pressing or lunges. Also, being a chewier (read: not messy) granola makes it a great pick for those in a solid training routine.

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How We Decided Our Picks

Some folks carry a bit of a misconception that granola is a uniformly “healthy snack.” While opting for whole grains and nuts is always a great idea, it is still a calorific idea. If weight management is a goal, it may be wise to consult a dietician or health professional. In addition to checking the sugar levels, it may be wise to check out the added sugars level. Finally, when looking at granola options, it’s wise to consider some key differentiators.

Ingredients 

Probably the most important consideration when shopping for granola is checking out the ingredients list. Many granolas start with a base of whole grain oats and build from there, sometimes adding in a combination of other grains, fruits, and nuts. Low carb granola options replicate the texture and idea of granola while utilizing nuts instead of grains. 

Nutritional Facts

Not all granolas are created equally. Depending on your dietary needs, it’s wise to take a look at the nutritional facts. Some are decidedly more calorific, while others utilize recipes that look to cut down on added sugars. If weight management is a goal, it’s wise to consult with a medical professional. 

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Cost

Try to compare the total cost by the number of ounces in a bag. You’ll note that the serving sizes on each label are not uniform, so it’s wise to consult the ounces in the bag to get a true feel for the value.

Taste

One of the biggest variations of taste in various granolas is in their sweetness. Some granolas use cane sugar as their second listed ingredient, and the result is a very sweet taste. Other brands do not focus on sweetening their ingredients, allowing the grains and nuts, and whatnots to speak for themselves.

Texture

Some granolas feature decidedly crunchier oats. Others do not toast their oats quite as much, and the result is softer granola. This one comes down to preference. One area where we did add extra weight to our rankings was texture consistency. Having texture change heavily from bite to bite can be a fun experience, but for the most part, we think customers want the texture and flavor they are told they are getting.

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Wrapping Up

Granola is a simple term that can encompass several different types of products. With so many different granola types available, it’s important to gain as much information as possible before selecting one. If you’re unsure which granola you should pick as the market is fairly flooded, try to isolate which aspect is most important to you and then go with that. There are many different granolas to try, but stick to our list, and it is unlikely to steer your wrong.

FAQ

Why is granola so bad for you?

Generally speaking, granola can be quite a calorie-laden snack. As long as you’re being diligent about how much granola you have, however, it’s not necessarily bad for you! If weight management is an issue, it may be wise to consult a dietician. 

Is granola full of sugar?

The amount of sugar in a given package of granola varies greatly from brand to brand. Take a peek at the nutrition facts to determine how much sugar, and how much added sugar, is present in a bag of granola.

Is granola healthy for weight loss?

As with any food, an individual’s habits and the amount they eat goes a long way towards determining its health benefits. For some, granola may be a healthier alternative to breakfast cereals high in added sugars. However, it’s wise to consult a dietician or a health professional with weight management goals.