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    Old 06-13-2004, 11:27 AM   #1
    IOMEGAZZ27
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    Question Are Muffins Healthy?

    I have just started buying mini banana muffins (6 to a pack/no nuts) from a local bakery. I have 1-2 and low-fat milk for breakfast with juice. I am trying to improve my eating habits. Are muffins good anytime or should I be eating something else for breakfast instead?

    Thanks All.

     
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    Old 06-13-2004, 12:02 PM   #2
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    Re: Are Muffins Healthy?

    Depeding on the muffin, they can be fairly healthy. Obviouslyother things are healthiER (such as eggs, cottage cheese, granola, etc), but some muffins aren't as mad as, say, donuts. I don't know the specifics of your particular muffins, but if theyre low-fat, then they are good. They will be more caloric with nuts, but nuts are very healthy, so you could look into that. There are also new muffins that are made with soy milk(from certain bakeries/grocery stores) that have protein as well. Obviously the more nutrients, the better. In my opinion, muffins for breakfast arent the worst food to have, but I wouldnt have them every day. Also, you may want to add some fruit to your breakfast just to round it out a bit more.

    Last edited by girlygirl11; 06-13-2004 at 12:02 PM.

     
    Old 06-13-2004, 01:55 PM   #3
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    Re: Are Muffins Healthy?

    Yeah, instead of the juice, eat fresh fruit. Aren't muffins loaded with sugar and refined carbs? Or are they whole-grain muffins?
    IOMEGA are you trying to lose weight, or just maintain your health?

    Last edited by justme_; 06-13-2004 at 01:56 PM.

     
    Old 06-13-2004, 05:09 PM   #4
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    Re: Are Muffins Healthy?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IOMEGAZZ27
    I have just started buying mini banana muffins (6 to a pack/no nuts) from a local bakery. I have 1-2 and low-fat milk for breakfast with juice. I am trying to improve my eating habits. Are muffins good anytime or should I be eating something else for breakfast instead? Thanks All.
    Iomega, Lets break down the nutritional value of your breakfast... I don't know your exact muffin, but these numbers are approximate (based on an average of several varieties):

    1 7 oz muffin + 8 oz of skim milk + 8 oz OJ:
    Calories: 855
    Protein: 17 grams
    Fat: 27 grams
    Carbs: 136 grams
    Fiber: 3 grams

    Your breakfast, if you eat one 7 oz muffin (or perhaps your 2 mini-muffins = 1 normal muffin) is approximately 64% carbs, 28% fat, and 8% protein. This is a bit heavy on the carbs and not enough protein. This will result in slower metabolism and lack of energy - your food will not sustain you as well throughout the day. You may find yourself quite hungry before your next meal, or you may feel tired and unable to focus mid morning.

    If you increase your protein and decrease your carbs you will have a more balanced meal. Have 1/2 muffin or in your case, just 1 minimuffin, choose between the milk and the OJ (but not both) and add an egg or some lean meat, or other protein source to your breakfast. You will probably feel better throughout the morning, have more energy, and be less hungry as the day progresses.

    Do you want some suggestions?

     
    Old 06-14-2004, 12:52 AM   #5
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    Re: Are Muffins Healthy?

    855 calories? you sure you want that big of breakfast?

     
    Old 06-14-2004, 10:33 AM   #6
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    Re: Are Muffins Healthy?

    It really depends on what's in the muffin..you could ask the bakery what they use to make them if you're that worried. I wouldn't have them every day, as you should try to eat various types of foods for breakfast throughout the weeks. Breakfast is supposed to be the largest meal of the day, especially if you are trying to lose or maintain weight, as if you eat the most calories in the beginning of your day you will burn them off by the end of the day...whereas the calories you eat at night tend to still be in your system when you go to sleep. You could even get the recipe for the muffins from the bakery and re-vamp it to make them healthier at home (ie: using low-fat products or egg whites). Muffins aren't the worst breakfast in the world and hey, they taste really good.

     
    Old 06-14-2004, 10:47 AM   #7
    IOMEGAZZ27
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    Re: Are Muffins Healthy?

    Thanks for the responses! Wow, I did not know muffins were that bad! I don't think I will ever eat another one! Yes, I will take any suggestions anyone has because I am trying so hard to change my way of eating from now on. I just want to get rid of my bad eating habits so I can maintain my weight. There is so much information out there and it seems confusing sometimes. I just started exercising last week and plan to keep that up also.

    Thanks again!

     
    Old 06-14-2004, 01:01 PM   #8
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    Re: Are Muffins Healthy?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IOMEGAZZ27
    Thanks for the responses! Wow, I did not know muffins were that bad! I don't think I will ever eat another one! Yes, I will take any suggestions anyone has because I am trying so hard to change my way of eating from now on. I just want to get rid of my bad eating habits so I can maintain my weight. There is so much information out there and it seems confusing sometimes. I just started exercising last week and plan to keep that up also. Thanks again!
    Hi Iomega, its great that you are trying to eat a healthier diet. You will feel better and you will likely prevent the onset of common adult diseases.

    One of the most important things to consider is eating a balance of carbs, protein, and fat. You will need to tweak the percentages to what feels best for you, but most people do quite well with a diet of 50% carb, 25% fat, and 25% protein.

    Another primary goal should be to maintain blood glucose levels throughout the day. This will help you feel good all day and avoid after meal slumps or pre-meal hunger. To maintain these levels you need to spread out your food consumption throughout the day - could be 5 equal meals or 3 meals and 2 substantial snacks about 3 hours apart. Each of these meals/snacks is best if you use the same carb/fat/protein ratios at the meal level. As with your muffin breakfast - you were short on protein and heavy on carbs - this effects your entire day!

    I can't tell you how many calories you should eat, but there are some decent tools out there that can help you determine that. (Do a google search on "BMR Calculator"). Don't forget to factor in activity levels, which will increase your caloric needs. Once you know how many calories to eat to maintain your weight you just need to do some simple math.

    Reference for daily totals
    To determine carb grams: (total calories X .50)/4
    To determine protein grams: (total calories X .25)/4
    To determine fat grams (total calories X .25)/9

    Reference for meal/snack totals
    5 equal meals per day:
    Per meal = (total carb grams/5) + (total protein grams/5) + (total fat grams/5)
    3 meals + 2 snacks per day:
    Per meal = (total carb grams/4) + (total protein grams/4) + (total fat grams/4)
    Per snack = (total carb grams/8) + (total protein grams/8) + (total fat grams/8)

    There are a few other tips that coincide with the above plans - they are more about the content, not the quantity, of the food you consume. Try to hit these targets:

    Avoid processed/refined carbs like white bread, sugar, syrup, etc.
    25-30 grams of fiber daily
    No more than 300 mg of cholesterol daily
    No more than 5000 mg of sodium daily (if you have high BP reduce to 2500 mg or even less)
    At least 64 oz of water daily

    During the first few weeks you may think its a pain to break down the nutritional value of what you are eating, but until you do it you will never learn. Once you learn, you won't need to go through all the work (measuring, weighing, reading labels, etc) - you will just know. Like with the muffin, you had no idea how imbalanced your breakfast was, but once you saw it all spelled out, it became clear as a bell!

    You will need to read labels, perhaps get a kitchen scale (doesn't need to be elaborate, just functional). You will be amazed at what you learn in this process, but it is worth it. Avoid purchasing foods that contain no nutritional data (like your bakery muffins) and stick to foods where you know the ingredients. For example, you will rarely find a nutritional label on a baking potato, but you can weigh it to figure it out yourself. Do a google search on "USDA food data" for a great database to look up food values.

    To make things easier, you may want to pre-plan a bit - for example create 4 or 5 different breakfast menus that you will enjoy and then you never have to give it another thought.

    Some breakfast examples:
    1. 1/2 cup LF cottage cheese + 1 apple + 1 slice Oatnut bread (toast) + 1 tbsp butter + 16 oz of water
    2. 2 cups cheerios + 1 cup skim milk + 2 eggs ( no butter - use a nonstick pan or eat them hard boiled!) + 16 oz of water
    3. 1 packet instant oatmeal + 1 tbsp butter + 1 3oz lean (low sodium, of possible) ham steak + 1 banana + 16 oz of water

    This should give you a good start in the right direction. It may sound like work, but its really not - you just need to apply the knowledge and pretty soon you will do it all from memory. Remember, this is a learning process and you have to start somewhere, if you don't you will just always be guessing. And all of these numbers are goals - if you are off a little in either direction it won't matter much.

     
    Old 06-14-2004, 01:44 PM   #9
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    Re: Are Muffins Healthy?

    2 mini muffins DO NOT equal 7 oz, and the breakfast isnt even close to 855 calories. I've bought the mini muffins before and they are about 100 calories each. Therefore, 2 of them plus a glass of low fat milk equal about 300 calories, which is a healthy intake.

    Jdimassimo- although your diet/nutrition advice may be helpfl to some, I really believe that those who currently eat to hunger should continue to do so. If they are maintaining a healthy weight, then what they are doing isn't harming them. Most people have fairly balanced meals/days without thinking about it (there are people on the other hand who eat junky foods, and they obviously dont). Advising someone to get into calorie counting is such is terrible advice for someone who isn't and doesnt want to lose weight. Once you get in calories, you can't just stop counting. Youre trapped forever in making sure you have enough of everything and every amount. Its a tiring, time consuming thing that is completely unnessecary in many accounts. It leads to eating disorders for many people. I know you have diabetes, according to your other posts, and i understand that you must do this, as do many people who want to lose weight. However IOMEGAZZ2 clearly said she just wants to eat healthy. The best advice is to eat according to the food guide, getting in the daily recommended servings of everything. They have these for a reason- they dont involve calorie counting or such and promote healthy eating habits. I do not think it is beneficial to tell people to start getting into the trap of counting calories if it isnt neccesary. You yourself proved how counting calories and making sure everything is absolutely in proportion when you posted about a trip you were going to take, and how you were worried about snacks and such. YOU have to do it, others dont. And others don't understand, nor do they want to- it isn't a fun thing to do (All of this i am saying from personal experience.) I would suggest that you try to not immediately jump to telling people to work out these protein/fat/carb ratios- youve done this repeatedly and I dont feel that the general population is prepared to sacrifice so much. How can you live if youre consumed with portions and this and that IF YOU DONT HAVE TO DO IT??


    Furthermore, while many muffins can be unhealthy, anything in moderation is FINE. IOMEGAZZ2, you dont have to ban them from your diet at all- you can have it once/twice a week or so- just follow a food guide and try to get all your servings in!

     
    Old 06-14-2004, 02:34 PM   #10
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    Re: Are Muffins Healthy?

    girlygirl - You can think what you want, but people who come here for advice are asking for a reason. You can give your advice, and I can give mine. I won't tell you what I think of your advice , so don't be so quick to criticize mine. People will take what they can from these posts... you don't have to read them.

    I don't advise people to count calories. Not at all. If that is what you think, you obviously don't comprehend the context of my posts. What I advise is that people BALANCE their consumption of PROTEIN, CARBS, and FATS for healthful eating. You cannot do that effectively without first knowing how many calories you consume. This is not a diabetic concept - this is a basic healthful eating concept. The fact that I have diabetes is irrelevent.

    Using the food pyramid is okay, but very difficult for many to follow. Many people want to be more precise than that - exactly what is a "serving?" My advice helps people LEARN how to eat well. Its not hard to follow - it may be most challenging during the first 2-4 weeks. Then, it becomes easy because you have LEARNED. In real life I have helped MANY MANY people using the formulas I post. So don't be so quick to criticize just because it doesn't suit you.

    Regarding the muffins, I believe you are wrong. If you look up about 10 different brands of banana muffins they average at about 650 calories for 7 oz. Minimuffins are typically 3-4 oz. Then again, without a scale, you might never know how big those muffins are (which was EXACTLY my point). And even if the calorie level were less, the protein level of the described meal was certainly too low, especially for breakfast.

     
    Old 06-14-2004, 02:59 PM   #11
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    Re: Are Muffins Healthy?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IOMEGAZZ27
    Thanks for the responses! Wow, I did not know muffins were that bad! I don't think I will ever eat another one! Yes, I will take any suggestions anyone has because I am trying so hard to change my way of eating from now on. I just want to get rid of my bad eating habits so I can maintain my weight. There is so much information out there and it seems confusing sometimes. I just started exercising last week and plan to keep that up also.

    Thanks again!
    IOMEGA, just want to be sure you don't misunderstand - I don't think I told you NOT to eat the muffins (although someone here is implying that is what I said)... I think my advice was to eat 1/2 of muffin amount that you were eating and add some protein to your meal.

    As for my general advice, take what you can from it and apply what you are comfortable with. I think you can really benefit from it - and its NOT as difficult as it may appear at first glance. If you truly want to make improvements to your diet, you really need to go through the excercise of learning what amounts and ratios are right for you. It will be truly enlightening! Let me know if you have any questions.

     
    Old 06-14-2004, 04:40 PM   #12
    Nikos
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    Cream of Wheat?

    Hey JDIMASSIMO,

    Is Cream of Wheat a bad thing to have for breakfast or as a mid-day snack? I want to include that into my breakfast/snack habits at times (to drink with water) – is “COW” an OK meal to have as far as trying to lose weight and help the heart/cholesterol levels a bit?

    Thanks

     
    Old 06-14-2004, 09:31 PM   #13
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    Re: Cream of Wheat?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nikos
    Hey JDIMASSIMO,

    Is Cream of Wheat a bad thing to have for breakfast or as a mid-day snack? I want to include that into my breakfast/snack habits at times (to drink with water) – is “COW” an OK meal to have as far as trying to lose weight and help the heart/cholesterol levels a bit?

    Thanks
    COW is not bad at all, but really should be part of a meal or snack, not the whole meal or snack. You need to add some protein to the mix. For breakfast add some eggs or lean meat and some whole fruit. As a snack also eat some soy nuts, yogurt, or cheese. You want to avoid meals and snacks that are 80-90% carb.

    An alternative to COW would be instant oatmeal... has a bit more fiber and protein. If you have 2 packets of COW you will get 6 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. 2 packets of instant oatmeal will provide 9 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.

    Also - many people load up these cereals with sugar, honey, or syrup... not a great idea - just adds more carbs!

     
    Old 06-14-2004, 10:17 PM   #14
    IOMEGAZZ27
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    Re: Are Muffins Healthy?

    Thanks again for everyone advice. I understand I have to figure out what works for me eventually. I have saved a lot of your replies to read over again later off-line. It has all been very helpful to me. I wonder if don't count calories will I gain weight because I may be eating too many calories per day? Even if the foods are healthy? I just want to make sure I understand. If I eat healthy and in small portions then I don't have to count calories?? I think I became a little confused. Is there not a right or wrong way to eat healthy. I just want to make sure I'm starting off the right way.

    Thanks all again.


     
    Old 06-15-2004, 04:49 AM   #15
    Nikos
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    Re: Are Muffins Healthy?

    It seems weird for me to eat egg and english muffin with no cheese or sausage.

    Is the susage real bad since it has a lot of saturated fat? To me thats the best part of the breakfest sandwhich (I can do without the cheese).

    Would it be real bad to have the sausage patty in general? Should I not even think about having it even once in a while?

    Would Egg, Cheese, and Muffin with some fruit be ok?

    Thanks!

     
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