Saturday, April 2, 2011

Oatmeal: As a Quick Nutritional Snack

I have been wanting to do a post on healthy snacks (like oatmeal) that contain less than 250 calories. One option is the Starbucks version. A recent NY Times article by Mark Bittman trashes the McDonalds version but the key is what your adding to it in terms of toppings that can make it less healthy. I have tried the Starbucks version a few times recently while waiting at airports. If you watch the syrup, milk and sugar topping and just add the nut medley that they offer it it not that bad. Here is a breakdown by nutritionist Mary Hartley, R.D., MPH from an article on the Calorie count website of one of the better known brands.

Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal (about 8 ounces) has 140 calories, 2.5 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 105 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 5 g protein. It’s made with quick-cooking oats.  Don’t want the plain variety? Add the Nut Medley—although it bumps the calories up to 240 (more than just adding the brown sugar and the same as adding the dried fruit) and the total and saturated fat to 11.5 g and 1.5 g, respectively (also more than the other toppings). The walnuts, pecans and almonds deliver good-for-you fats and 2 extra grams of protein, but no unhealthy added sugars as the brown sugar and sweetened dried fruit do.

If your looking for a quick, healthy snack, your best option is to make your own oatmeal at home (stay away from anything in packages though, i.e. instant) and if your traveling consider oatmeal as an option but stay away from the unhealthy toppings.



Anonymous said...

Michael Wood said...

Will check out that url - thanks

Michael Wood said...

Thanks for the url -