The Philadelphia Inquirer published an interesting article about how fast-food and convenience-food makers are vying for your breakfast dollar. It criticizes a few popular morning choices (McGriddles, McMuffins, and Starbucks' Venti Caffé Mocha with whipped cream), and offers a side bar (not available online) advocating more nutritionally balanced breakfasts you throw together at home in three minutes or less. Unfortunately, it also offers a Granola Recipe that (to quote the author) makes the denigrated 300-calorie McMuffin "look like diet fare".
Sure, the granola is chock full of natural, wholesome ingredients. But each serving (maybe 3/4 cup) provides over 400 calories. That's a nice snack if you are an iditarod musher, but a bit heavy in the cereal bowl for the rest of us.
By my calculations, each serving (maybe about 3/4 cup) amounts to about
- 1 serving of grain
- about an ounce of nuts and seeds, which counts as 2 ounces of meat (http://www.mypyramid.gov/pyramid/meat_counts.html)
- 21 grams (1 1/2 tablespoons) of fat, 5 grams of which is saturated
- 1 1/3 tablespoons of sugar
- No dairy
- No fruit or vegetables
Instead of this nutty, high-fat granola, I would choose:
- 1 serving of grain: 1/3 cup oatmeal (prepared with 1 cup of water), 1 slice of whole-grain bread, or 1 cup of cheerios (60 - 110 calories)
- 1 serving of dairy: 8 oz skim milk (93 calories)
- 1 serving of fruit: 1/2 cup fruit (40 to 80 calories)
Total: under 300 calories. Save the nuts for an afternoon snack (1/2 oz walnut halves is under 100 calories).
How many calories do you need a day? How many servings of which foods do you need? Find out at mypyramid.gov.
(correction to serving size of rolled oats 4/24/2007)