We scrutinise 159 mueslis to find one that's right for you, whether that be low fat, low sugar, high fibre, a variety of nuts and seeds or a variety fruit.
To see how your regular muesli compares with the top-rating mueslis in each of our categories go to our muesli comparison table.
More for your money?
Muesli has cast off its sawdusty image and gone upmarket.
For $20 (or more!) a kilo, you can get stylishly packaged organic grains mixed with exotic ingredients like wild figs and blueberries, biodynamic pears, white mulberries and pistachios. While posh muesli may be delicious, the extra dollars you fork out —
we paid just under $50 per kilo for the Healthy Friend range of muesli —
won’t necessarily buy you a healthier product.
At the cheaper end (for as little as $3/kg) the fruit variety is more likely to include sultanas and apricots than barberries and goji berries. You’ll also usually get fewer nuts in the mix (and then mainly almonds), but you’re just as likely to get a nutritious start to the day.
You might also like to make your own muesli using the CHOICE recipe.
When choosing a muesli always check the nutrition information panel (NIP) first and don’t be swayed by nutrition claims alone — despite its healthful image, muesli can be laden with fat and sugar.
We reviewed the mueslis on test for on-pack nutrition claims and found almost three quarters contain at least one. The most common are gluten and wheat free claims or relate to fibre and/or wholegrain content, but low in salt, no added sugar, high protein, low GI and low fat claims are also popular.
The problem with nutrition claims is that they don’t tell the whole story — products claiming no added sugar can still be high in sugar, for example, and on the flip side, products that are low fat or contain more than average fibre may be claim free.
CHOICE has called for mandatory front of pack traffic light labelling on all products making nutrient or nutrition claims as well as high level health claims to ensure that consumers who want to make healthy decisions are able to do so. For more information check out our Food labelling campaign.
Muesli was created around 1900 by Swiss physician Max Bircher-Benner, who used a diet of raw vegetables, fruit and nuts to treat patients. The original Bircher muesli was uncooked rolled oats soaked in water or fruit juice, served with grated or chopped fresh fruit. Nowadays, Bircher- or Swiss-style mueslis tend to be oats mixed with other cereals, nuts, seeds and various dried fruits.
- Natural implies that the muesli hasn’t been toasted or baked, but it’s a meaningless term for helping you choose a healthy muesli.
- Toasted/roasted/baked. In the past, toasted mueslis were often higher in fat. But these days many toasted (and roasted and baked) mueslis contain lower than average fat, and not all of them list oil as an ingredient. On the other hand, many contain added sugar, often in the form of honey. Honey could be used in the heating process to give that glazed look common to toasted mueslis.
- Granola (originally ‘granula’) is a type of muesli-like cereal invented in New York at the same time as the Swiss were inventing muesli, and because of its similarities to muesli we’ve included it in this review. Granula consisted of wholegrain products clustered together and baked until crispy. It was revived as a ‘health food’ in the 1960s, when fruits and nuts were added. The name ‘granola’ is trademarked in Australia by Sanitarium, but there are plenty of granola-style products on the shelves, usually marketed as ‘clusters’ or ‘crunchola’. Most granola-style cereals, like most mueslis, are oat-based. The majority contain added oil and sugar (sometimes in the form of honey or other sweet syrups) to hold them together.
For more information on Groceries, see Food & drink.