Stopped in for coffee this morning and notice their new drive-thru sign touting 3 breakfast items at 300 calories or less each: the parfait, the Egg McMuffin and the oatmeal.
Figuring the parfait as the lesser of two evils, I went for that. It’s basically two layers of vanilla yogurt with a band of fruity stuff between, consisting of strawberries, blueberries, and some unidentified sugary goo. It tasted ok, though the fruit seemed pretty frozen. And the actual little cup was smaller than it looked in the photo, but hey, that’s the trend across the board.
Was it healthy? Better than their popular choice sausage and cheese with pancakes for bread, but it still not all that good. It’s an excellent illustration of why we need to look not just at the calories when choosing a food. The parfait had only 160 calories but 20 grams of sugar, which means that 80 of its 160 calories are sugar. So it’s going to give you a nice little sugar fit followed by a sugar crash later.
As far as the other two choices, the oatmeal sounds healthy but we’d already seen the list of unusual ingredients and noted its high sugar content.
The net effect being that McDonalds has taken yogurt, fruit, and oatmeal, and made them palatable to the sweet tooth and non-useful as part of a reasonable food plan.
The Egg McMuffin has an unfortunately high fat content, 5 grams of which is saturated fat. So that’s a Sometimes food.
The about.com food grades for all three are similar: the muffin meal is a C and the others are B-.
The bottom line: Take some vanilla yogurt and drop berries into it and eat that. The McDonald’s version is more expensive than that and has 5 teaspoons of sugar in it. Use the drive thru as a Sometimes food if there’s no good choice available. We’ll give it a B.
- Homemade Parfait (theofficialtta.wordpress.com)
- Deceptive Snacks (foodfitnessfeed.wordpress.com)
- Parfait Recipe, Berry Parfait & Berry Parfait Recipe | Pottery Barn (potterybarn.com)