Before tucking into your morning muesli be warned, you may be about to eat more fat than there is in a McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder, Australian consumer watchdog Choice says.
The consumer organisation tested 159 types of muesli and discovered that the popular breakfast meal isn’t necessarily a healthy choice.
“Whilst much of the fat content in muesli is the ‘good’ unsaturated type, coming from oats, seeds and nuts, the high fat varieties can still pack a high number of kilojoules,” Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said.
One brand, The Muesli, contains twice as much fat as a McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder, Choice said.
And two gluten-free varieties – Sunsol Gluten Free and Nu-Vit Low Fat Fruity Muesli Gluten Free – contain a whooping 43 per cent of sugar, seven per cent more than Coco Pops.
“If you are eating muesli to try and lose weight then the overall fat and sugar content needs to be taken into consideration,” Ms Just said.
Choice has called for traffic light colour labelling on all mueslis that make nutrition or health claims, which would rate fat, fibre, energy and sugar content.
Choice found almost three quarters of muesli products contain at least one health claim.
“The most common are gluten-free and wheat-free claims or relate to fibre and or wholegrain content,” the report says. “But low in salt, no added sugar, high protein, low GI and low fat claims are also popular.”
The problem, the report says, is that nutrition claims don’t tell the whole story.
“Morpeth Sourdough Muesli Delux says it has ‘no added sugar’ but its dried fruit content and added honey result in a product that’s almost 28 per cent sugar,” Ms Just said.
When out shopping, Choice suggests you check the nutritional information panel and the ingredients list for added sugars such as honey or glucose.