Unusual for the mid-20th century, the combination of cereals, berries and milk, loved by all patients of the hospital where Dr. Birher-Benner worked, quickly spread throughout Europe, and today interest in muesli has increased due to a new wave of popularity of healthy eating. But how much do they correspond to his dogmas? What are the benefits and harm of muesli?
Muesli: general characteristics and varieties of the product
This dish was developed by a German doctor who prepared the food plan for the hospital. His task was not only to saturate the patient without overloading the digestive tract, but also to increase endurance, to ensure the overall strengthening of the body. Therefore, cereals, fruits and berries should have been the basis. Given the fact that the dish could not be dry, the liquid came out milk, because of its healing properties and a large number of useful trace elements. For a start, you should pay attention to the fact that this product is divided into two broad categories: it is baked cereals, focused on long-term storage, as a result, are excellent as food "on the road", and raw, not subjected to heat treatment.
- Baked muesli in the first place enough calories. To increase their shelf life, as well as improve taste, the ingredients are immersed in honey and / or fruit juice, which creates a protective sheath during the heating process. Thus, of course, the product becomes much tastier, but its energy value and, in particular, the proportion of carbohydrates, greatly increased.
- Raw muesli, contrary to its name, is still minimally heat-treated, but does not have any casing, as a result of which it is completely canned and not stored for a long time. Their composition is the same as in baked ones - these are flat flakes of various cereals, seeds, nuts, dried fruits. They do not require steaming and are easily soaked with a simple cool liquid. Calorie content is much lower, so that they are better suited for diet.
The main plus of any type of cereal, of course, is the convenience of cooking. It is enough to fill with milk, yogurt, kefir or water, regardless of their temperature, wait 1-2 minutes, and you can start the meal. This is a great option for a quick breakfast, and for a hearty snack. However, with regard to health, there are positive and negative qualities are closely interrelated. What moments more depends on the ingredients.
Should muesli be included in the daily diet?
Without studying the composition, it is impossible to evaluate the product, therefore it is from his analysis that one should begin a conversation about the dangers and benefits of muesli. What components are present in any recipe?
- Flakes. Often used oatmeal, thin, which do not require cooking. If they do not have glaze, this is the undisputed source of valuable substances for the body. First, they contain complex carbohydrates, which allow the body to produce energy for a long time, which means that the break until the next meal will last for 3-4 hours, or even longer. And unlike simple (empty) carbohydrates, polysaccharides do not cause strong fluctuations of glucose in the blood.
Also, oatmeal is a good source of fiber and magnesium, which has a beneficial effect on blood, vascular walls and heart function, which are involved in protein synthesis. Phosphorus, which is present among the main trace elements of oats, strengthens bone tissue, and the minimum amount of salts helps to stabilize the pressure. There is no reason to speak about the benefits that oatmeal brings to digestion, stimulating it and helping to cleanse the intestines.
- Sunflower seeds. There may be sunflower, pumpkin, flax, sesame. Their deficiency is only in high calorie content and in the percentage of fats (especially in sunflower and sesame), but the share of seeds in muesli is usually minimal. But the use of their chemical composition deserves a special mention: first, it is Omega-3, indispensable for the work of the heart, brain, vascular walls; secondly, protein and enzymes that have a positive effect on metabolic processes; thirdly, antioxidants that slow down the process of internal aging.
- The nuts. Like seeds, they have a high calorie content and a no less high percentage of fat, but the last parameter is only for the benefit of observing the right portions. Nuts in muesli can be used any - from peanuts to cashews, but most often almonds, walnuts and pine nuts fall here.
In the chemical composition of the leading positions are magnesium and potassium, zinc, omega-3, vitamin B3. This ingredient has an effect on the entire body: it increases the elasticity of the skin and hair, vascular walls, strengthens the nervous system, reducing the likelihood of mood swings, depression, general asthenia. In addition, nuts have a positive effect on the state of the heart muscle, as well as gently increase insulin levels. However, you should pay attention to the fact that this ingredient in large quantities may contribute to the violation of the intestines.
- Dried fruits. The most frequent representative of this group, found in cereal - raisins. He is followed by dried apricots and banana, but prunes rarely appear in this dish. The most valuable element that these dried fruits possess is potassium, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the heart, as well as the prevention of spasms of the esophagus. A high level of polysaccharides supports insulin and stimulates the production of energy. It is also impossible not to take into account the high content of boron required by the bones, and phenols that prevent cell destruction.
These components are the basis absolutely for any muesli and, as can be understood from their thorough study, have most of their positive properties. Their benefits are obvious, and the harm (highly controversial) can be only in high caloric content and the percentage of fat. Everything changes when it comes to baked muesli - the benefits and harm in them are already at different levels, since several new components are added.
- Honey. Its main feature is the strengthening of immunity and the destruction of pathogens. In addition, the composition of honey includes phosphorus and zinc, iron, calcium. His contribution to health is enormous, one cannot call a system on which it does not act: digestion, heart, vessels, nervous system, blood formation - they all get valuable substances from honey. However, the use of the product is significantly reduced after its heat treatment, when most of the sugar remains. And in muesli it gets exactly warmed up.
- Fruit juice. Depending on what it was obtained from, the spectrum of useful substances is determined, but any of the juices will necessarily contain a high proportion of ascorbic acid, which strengthens the body's defenses. But, as in the case of honey, the benefit can be felt only when using a fresh product, and after heat treatment there is practically nothing left of it.
In addition, to obtain a golden crust, vegetable oils are mixed in as well, which do not improve the situation at all. About what is more in cereal bars - good or harm - and there is no need to say: icing overflowing with sugars, sweet syrup as a binder material and fried components do not comply with the principles of healthy eating.
Is it possible to use muesli for weight loss?
Since it has already been said that the caloric content of this product (more precisely, of all its components) is extremely high, muesli is very rare in the dietary diet. In particular, it is worth refusing baked ones at all, because here there is more pure sugar that does not carry good than the grains and fruits necessary for the body. But the raw (not glazed) options are quite possible to be, if you put them in the morning meal: 100 g of dry product, filled with water or milk, will forget about hunger before lunch and send the complex carbohydrates it needs into the body. In addition, due to the dried fruit, the dish will be sweet enough to reduce the need to have a snack with chocolate or cake.
If you are not sure whether there is any sense in store muesli for weight loss, the benefits and harms of the initially proper and good food can be balanced by making it yourself. By adjusting the components falling on the plate, you definitely do not harm yourself. Below are some of the most successful recipes.
- 2 tbsp. thin oatmeal, 1 tbsp. wheat bran, 1/2 tsp sesame, 50 g of raisins and dried lingonberries. For sweets you can take 1 tsp. honey
- 3 tbsp. thin oatmeal, 1 tsp corn flakes, 30 g of dried apricot and banana, 1 freshly grated apple, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. thin oatmeal, 1 tbsp. rice cereal, 2 tbsp. chopped almonds, 1 tbsp. dried cherries, 1 tsp cocoa.
If you want to make baked muesli, you can take 5 g of butter, soften it at room temperature, then rub the flakes with it and dry them in the oven. However, this is the maximum amount of vegetable fat permissible for this dish, if you follow the figure.
Thus, whether muesli makes sense can only be solved after determining the share of additives in them - 10-15% are not critical, and 50% of the “empty” composition make you wonder whether it is really worth including such a controversial dish in your diet. However, the rare use of 100-150 g of muesli, even if they are baked, will definitely not harm you.