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Muffins versus Donuts

by Bea February 8th, 2010 Diet, Nutrition
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The debate between whether or not bagels or donuts are the more “healthy” option already was discussed in a previous article, but what about those muffins? While it is true that muffins could earn you more nutrition points over donuts, they still are not the healthy option just because they are “bread.”

So, we know, for example, that donuts vary in calorie count. For instance, while yeast donuts are usually anywhere from 170 to 270 calories each, the denser cake-like doughnuts can be from 290 to 360 calories, and the cream-filled types can run from 300 to 390 calories each. While that make seem like a lot, it may be interesting to note that muffins are rarely lower in calories.

A “plain” muffin alone in today’s world could contain from 340 to 630 calories each– that is without any butter or other spread! To take things to another level,  the reduced fat options are not that slimming either. Picture a Dukin Donuts’ low fat blueberry muffin. Okay that muffin alone is worth 450 calories– 90 of which are from fat.  To give you a number to compare this reduced fat option, allow me to point out that the non-reduced fat option is 510 calories– 140 from fat. A low fat cranberry orange muffin or a honey bran raisin muffin sounds like a healthier choice, right? Well, those will run you about 390 and 500 calories, respectively.

Calories are not the only parts of a muffin that makes it unhealthy. One major concern is the amount of saturated fat or trans fat. Most contain from 11 to 27 grams of total fat; of which about 2 to 8 grams of that are saturated fat. Eating a muffin for breakfast is not usually all too different from chowing down on a piece of cake for breakfast.

Of course, there are ways to make healthy muffins– especially if you make them from scratch at your home. There are plenty of online recipes that you can search to make healthier muffins and plenty of techniques you can use to bake your own healthy breakfast foods.


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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.