I'm sure you've read about not so good fast food recently and McDonald's oatmeal didn't make the cut … as an avid oatmeal eater, I rather expected McDonald's oatmeal with fruit and brown sugar to be pretty high in sugar and the fiber isn't really all that great after processing either … tossing on a couple “fresh” pieces of apple with the skin intact (we won't even talk about the chemicals that may be on the skin of the apple) and some raisins and nuts and what do you have? Well, comparatively, it beats some alternatives available on the road, though I was troubled by a couple of items on the nutritional analysis … if you request the oatmeal without brown sugar some interesting numbers changed:
- Cholesterol dropped from 10mg to 5 mg
- Sodium dropped from 160mg to 115mg
- Carbohydrates dropped from 57 to 48
- Sugars dropped from 32 to 18
- The percentage of the daily Calcium dropped from 10 to 6
- Calories dropped from 290 to 260
- and … the saturated fat increased from 1.5grams to 2
Here, let's compare McDonald's Sausage McMuffin with McDonald's Oatmeal:
- Calories: 370 (oatmeal: 260 without sugar / 290 with sugar)
- Calories from fat: 200 (oatmeal; 40)
- Total fat: 22 (oatmeal: 4.5)
- Saturated fat: 8 (oatmeal: 1.5 with sugar / 2 without sugar)
- Sodium: 850 (oatmeal: 160 with sugar / 115 without sugar)
- McDonald's Oatmeal - Whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color.
- Diced Apples - Apples, calcium ascorbate (a blend of calcium and vitamin C to maintain freshness and color).
- Cranberry Raisin Blend - Dried sweetened cranberries (sugar, cranberries), California raisins, golden raisins, sunflower oil, sulfur dioxide (preservative).
- Light Cream - Milk, cream, sodium phosphate, datem, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium citrate, carrageen
I know I've been picking on McDonald's on this post and I'm sure other fast food restaurants have similar comparative offerings, I had just seen so much hype about McDonald's new oatmeal that I had to check it out.
Another recent hype is the “new” sugar … fructose and high fructose corn syrup … which is causing quite a stir for nutritional nuts, too … I found this information on Summit Total Health's website:
“ … Commenting on the potential mechanism, Welsh and her co-workers noted that, while the actual mechanism is “not completely understood”, studies have indicated a role for fructose – “a monosaccharide found in large quantities in nearly all added sugars”. The sugar has been reported to increase fat production in the liver and the production of both triglycerides and very low density lipoproteins ...”
The new ad for the sugar industry says fructose and high fructose corn sugar is still just a sugar, plain and simple. Watch this from MSNBC News.
The fact that Americans are getting bigger and bigger and bigger isn't so much what is offered it is what is NOT being offered by schools, parents, peers … when my children and now grandchildren ask for something to drink, they get water! If I do give them soda, they split one sugar-free 12 ounce can three ways. Many children today down a full sugar soda THREE times a day!! Add to that juice and juice drinks and all their calories …a better option next time would be to offer water and a piece of fruit. Juice offers nothing but sugar (albeit natural), but the fruit itself lends itself to a powerful nutritional analysis! What do you drink at mealtimes? Soda? Sweet tea? C'mon … have a big glass of water Or maybe a glass of wine? Your call. Your choice.
So here we are again, friends, bottom line hasn't changed … think smart, buy smart, eat smart and your heart will be happy. You can still eat fast food but look for better options ... and go home to eat as often as possible ... your heart and your pocketbook will thank you.