Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sorting out breakfast sides

In my ever-expanding quest to diversify and expand my breakfast options, I figured I'd take a look at breakfast sides. Typically, I eat an energy bar for breakfast but below I talked about my want and desire to find a good cereal and ultimately decided to go all the way and look at what else makes for a healthy and nutritious breakfast.

You think of breakfast and you think of eggs, bacon, sausage, maybe some oatmeal along with, of course, cereal. Now, I don't like eggs so that's not really something I need to explore for myself but I'll mention them as they are a key part of most breakfast tables I'd imagine.

All of these statistics are courtesy of Men's Health.

First, the stuff they recommend you avoid:

1. Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon (per two slices): 70 cal, 6 g fat, 380 mg sodium
2. Egg Whites (2 large eggs): 35 cal, 110 mg sodium
3. Ore-Ida Original Roasted Potatoes (3/4 cup): 130 cal, 5g fat, 380 mg sodium
4. Hilshire Farm Lite Polska Kielbasa (2 oz): cal 110, 8 g fat, 530 mg sodium
5. Banquet Brown 'n Serve Original Links (3 mini links): 200 cal, 18 g fat, 490 mg sodium

Again, I don't much care for eggs but yolks provide vitamins A, B and E and choline, litein and zeaxanthin, which apparently are beneficial. The egg whites have protein and little more. Also, a Harvard study showed that people who eat the most potatoes - one serving three or four days a week - have a 14 percent greater risk of diabetes.

As far as the good stuff, there are some decent choices.

1. Oscar Mayer America's Favorite Bacon (two slices): 70 cal, 6 g fat, 290 mg sodium
2. Whole Large Egg: 70 cal, 5 g fat, 70 mg sodium
3. Quaker Quick Grits (1/2 cup uncooked): 260 cal, 0 mg sodium
4. Al Fresco Apple Maple Chicken Sausage (two links): 140 cal, 6 g fat, 340 mg sodium
5. Banquet Brown n' Serve Turkey Sausage (three links): 110 cal, 7 g fat, 290 mg sodium

The list corresponds to each other, so instead of item 1 from the first list, they recommend you have item 1 from the second list. It's startling to see the difference in some, for instance turkey sausage as opposed to regular sausage. The turkey sausage has almost 100 fewer calories and 200 fewer mg sodium.

Now, turkey doesn't always equate to good as the turkey bacon is actually worse than the regular bacon. But in the case of sausage turkey is best.

As with the cereal, I'll have to try some of these out. I'm interested in tasting the different types of sausage available and I may incorporate some bacon every now and then as well. Let's just hope, as with the cereal, that it's all tasty as well.

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