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How to choose the best muesli

Nutrition claims, hidden health traps and expensive hipster ingredients. Our guide to muesli covers it all.

muesli and a bowl with milk
Last updated: 16 June 2023

Toasted versus raw? Premium versus plain? No added sugar? When you enter the muesli aisle at the supermarket, trying to make sense of packaging claims and find the best value for money can be overwhelming. 

In this buying guide we help you find the healthiest muesli, and understand common muesli jargon. 

When ranking muesli products we looked at the Health Star Rating (HSR), the added sugars per serve, and the percentage of wholegrains, and used this info to come up with our list of the healthiest options. 

In general, when choosing a muesli, always check the nutrition information panel (NIP) first and don't be swayed by nutrition claims alone – despite its reputation as a 'health food', muesli can be high in added sugars and low in nutritional value.

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Healthiest raw muesli

Here are the healthiest raw mueslis. Raw muesli has not been toasted and tends to have less added oils and sugars than toasted muesli.

Sunsol Muesli Almond Cashew Macadamia Walnut 500g

Recommended: Sunsol Muesli Almond Cashew Macadamia Walnut 500g

  • HSR: 5 
  • Estimated added sugar: 0g per 100g 
  • Wholegrain content: 43% 
  • Price: $1.20 per 100g
Food For Health Liver Cleansing Muesli

Recommended: Food For Health Liver Cleansing Muesli 475g

  • HSR: 5
  • Estimated added sugar: 0g per 100g
  • Wholegrain content: Unclear. The first ingredient is rolled oats (a wholegrain), but the percentage isn't specified.
  • Price: $1.37 per 100g
Community Co Fruit and Seed Muesli

Community Co. Fruit & Seed Muesli

  • HSR: 4.5
  • Estimated added sugar: 1g per 100g
  • Wholegrain content: 76%
  • Price: 53c per 100g

'Liver-cleansing' muesli?

One of the healthiest raw muesli products has "liver cleansing" in its title. Interestingly, when we took a closer look at Food For Health Liver Cleansing Muesli, we noticed that the liver-cleansing claim appears only in the name and is not repeated or explained anywhere else on the packaging.

What's more, while the concept of eating specific foods to help aid liver detoxification is popular, there is actually no evidence to support it. In fact, the liver is constantly working to cleanse the body on its own, without a special diet. 

So, although this muesli has a great nutritional profile, don't read too much into the name, and don't expect it to "cleanse" your liver.

Healthiest toasted muesli

These are the three healthiest toasted muesli products. Toasted muesli usually contains added oils and sugars.

Sunsol Low Sugar toasted muesli almond superseed and dark chocolate

Recommended: Sunsol Pro-biotic Low Sugar Toasted Muesli, Almond, Superseed & Dark Choc 400g

  • HSR: 5
  • Estimated added sugar: 2.2g per 100g
  • Wholegrain content: 57%
  • Price: $1.75 per 100g
Sunsol Probiotic Low Sugar Toasted Muesli Macadamia Coconut  Dark Choc 400g

Sunsol Pro-biotic Low Sugar Toasted Muesli, Macadamia, Coconut & Dark Choc 400g

  • HSR: 4.5
  • Estimated added sugar: 0.4g per 100g
  • Wholegrain content: 57%
  • Price: $1.75 per 100g
Carmans Low Sugar Toasted Almond  Cashew Muesli 500g

Carman's Low Sugar Toasted Almond & Cashew Muesli 500g

  • HSR: 4.5
  • Estimated added sugar: 0.5g per 100g
  • Wholegrain content: 71%
  • Price: $1.30 per 100g

Types of muesli explained

Bircher muesli

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. Bircher muesli is more moist than most packaged mueslis and is like a cold, fruity porridge. These days, Bircher or Swiss-style mueslis tend to be oats mixed with other cereals, nuts, seeds and various dried fruits, but grated apple is still a common ingredient.

Natural muesli

Natural is one of those overused terms that has come to mean very little. While you might assume it means a product is healthier, in the context of muesli it usually just means that the product is raw rather than toasted or baked.

Toasted, roasted or baked muesli

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 is often used in the heating process to give that shiny, glazed look common to toasted mueslis.

Cheap muesli vs expensive muesli

Muesli has gone upmarket. For $20 (or more!) a kilo, you can get stylishly packaged organic grains mixed with exotic ingredients like wild figs, biodynamic pears, white mulberries and pistachios. While posh muesli may be delicious, the extra dollars you fork out – which can be more than $40 per kilo for some brands – won't necessarily buy you a healthier product.

At the cheaper end (for as little as $3/kg) the fruit ingredients are more likely to be sultanas and apricots than barberries and goji berries. You'll also usually get fewer nuts in the mix (mainly almonds), but you're just as likely to get a nutritious start to the day.

Nutrition claims

When choosing a muesli always check the nutrition information panel (NIP) first and don't be swayed by nutrition claims alone – despite its healthy image, muesli can be sugary and kilojoule-dense.

The most common claims on muesli packs are gluten and wheat-free or claims about 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 total sugar, for example, and on the flip side, products that are low-fat or contain more than average fibre may not proclaim it.


Adults should be eating about 30g of fibre a day, and a bowl of high-fibre breakfast cereal is a good starting point – muesli will often fit the bill.

Tips for choosing higher fibre:

  • Foods that contain at least 4g or 7g of dietary fibre in a serving are defined in the Food Standards Code as "good" and "excellent" sources of fibre respectively, so check the NIP.
  • Don't rely solely on claims like "good source of fibre" or "high in fibre" – many mueslis with above-average fibre may not actually claim that on the packaging.


With its healthy image, you might not expect muesli to be laden with added sugar. But even when sugar isn't listed as an ingredient, muesli can still be high in sugar if it's full of dried fruit. While it can provide valuable nutrients, dried fruit is also a concentrated form of sugar. A muesli might also claim "no added cane sugar" but contain enough dried fruit and honey (sugar, just in another form) to give you a decent sugar hit.

Tips for choosing lower sugar:

  • Genuinely "low-sugar" mueslis have no more than five percent (5g per 100g) sugar, according to the Food Standards Code, so check the NIP. 
  • Check the ingredients list for added sugar. It can be disguised as honey, maple syrup, golden syrup or glucose, for example.
  • Watch out for dried fruit in the top three ingredients.


Mueslis are intrinsically higher in fat than other cereals, but the fat is often from oats, seeds or nuts, so it's the "good" unsaturated type (and you get the valuable nutrients that are found naturally in these ingredients). 

Tips for choosing lower fat:

  • Check the NIP. For true low-fat muesli look for ones with three percent (3g per 100g) fat or less.
  • The type of fat is also important. Again, check the NIP – the lower the ratio of saturated fat to total fat the better. The ingredients list can help you determine whether the fat comes mainly from nuts and seeds (unsaturated fat) or added fat, depending on which is listed higher up. Where added fat is listed as "vegetable oil", it could be from coconut oil, which is a saturated fat, or "hardened" vegetable oil, which can contain trans fat – as bad for us as saturated fat.
  • Rather than avoiding higher fat mueslis, simply be restrained with the portion size you serve yourself – this will mean you get the benefits of these good fats while limiting your intake of the associated kilojoules.

How we got our results

We categorised a wide range of breakfast cereal products and collected their label data. We then calculated Health Star Ratings, used the ingredients list to determine wholegrain content where possible and used the George Institute for Global Health's FoodSwitch app to determine added sugars per 100g. We then ranked the mueslis by Health Star Rating, added sugars and wholegrain content.

In some cases, there wasn't enough information to get the most accurate Health Star Rating calculation, as percentages of fruit, nuts and seeds were not stated. In these cases, we calculated the rating without these figures. The manufacturers were given a right of reply.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.