Saturday, March 14, 2009

The BAD/BETTER/BEST of Foods Challenge Post # 3


BAD(ish) –Plain English Muffin

Although they are reasonable in terms of calories, most ranging varieties ranging from 130-150, they are made from refined, white flour which is devoid of whole grains and fiber, with the majority having 0-2 grams fiber at most. They are like the iceberg lettuce of English muffins.

BETTER- Whole Grain English Muffin

For the same amount of calories as plain English muffin, these have the goodness of whole grains which contain all the essential parts and naturally occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed-these parts are the bran, germ and the endosperm. In contrast to refined grains that are processed or “broken down”, leaving the whole grain intact means it has more fiber, protein, minerals (like magnesium, and selenium) as well as vitamins (like Vitamin E, B6 and niacin). Most whole grain English muffins are good sources of fiber with 3-6 grams each, depending on the variety. (A few have a only 2 grams, so try to choose a brand that has at least 3, which is not hard to find!). Whole grain English muffins tend to be a bit higher in protein as well, averaging 6 grams or more vs. 2-5 grams in plain English muffins. Some brands even make whole grain varieties with flavors such as cinnamon raisin. For a sweet treat, try them in my Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding recipe.

BEST- Low Calorie/Light, Extra Fiber English Muffins

For only 100-110 calories, these have plenty of whole grains, are loaded with fiber at 8 grams per serving and most have a fair amount of protein as well, ranging from 4-8 grams depending on the brand. These also have the goodness of whole grains discussed above, that have plenty of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals for energy all of which are protective against chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Not to mention these are great for weight control because the calories are low but the fiber helps to fill you up. Use them in place of bagels, to cut calories, for sandwiches/mini pizzas, top them with egg whites/egg substitute and low fat cheese for a healthy Mc Muffin or try my Apple Cinnamon Whole Grain Bread Pudding recipe for a great, low calorie dessert.


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