Is Trader Joe's New Granola Actually Healthy?

Trader Joe's is famous for its seasonal fall product releases, from Pumpkin Cheesecake Croissants to Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese. One of the newest drops at the grocery store is the Cinnamon Roll Drizzled Granola. Spotted and shared on Instagram by Trader Joe's fan account @traderjoeslist, the granola features oat clusters covered in a sweet yogurt drizzle. Essentially, it's the taste of fresh-baked ooey gooey cinnamon rolls but in neatly packaged, portable form. You can enjoy it on its own as a quick snack or toss it onto yogurt for an easy on-the-go breakfast.

One of the draws of opting for the cinnamon roll granola over, well, the real deal hot out of the oven is that it may be more nutritious. After all, granola should be better for you than an icing-coated cinnamon roll, right? And granola gets such a good rap from nutritionists and dietitians alike. But is the new Trader Joe's product really a healthy choice? Here's what one health expert has to say about it.

The granola has some nutritional benefits

To determine whether or not the new Trader Joe's Cinnamon Roll Drizzled Granola is healthy or not, Mashed spoke with Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, best-selling author and MyFitnessPal nutrition consultant. While the calorie amount (250 calories per 1/2-cup serving) is higher than standard breakfast cereal, it's right on the same level as other granolas. "The majority of the calories in this granola come from carbohydrates, which provide energy," Palinski-Wade explains. "However, they do digest more rapidly than proteins or fats, which can leave you feeling hungry quickly after." She recommends pairing it with a protein, like Greek yogurt. She also isn't a fan of the fact that most of the fat content of the granola comes from palm kernel oil, rather than good-for-you nuts and seeds.

As for the sugar content? "Many granolas do have added sugar, however 17 grams of added sugar in ½ cup serving is equivalent to 4 teaspoons of sugar in each serving!" Palinski-Wade says, cautioning, "This would be fine to enjoy as a treat, but I wouldn't recommend it as a daily breakfast option."