Monthly Archives: April 2010

Breakfast wars: Enter Burger King with “brunch”

Burger Business (love the site) reports that Burger King is trying out a brunch menu (brunch makes it a step above mere “breakfast.”)

Does “brunch” somehow justify that a Ciabatta Breakfast Sammie with ham AND bacon*, or a morning Whopper (?!) will run you between 300-500 calories and somewhere in the 20 – 30 g of fat before you’ve even hit lunch?  And that’s before you add the hillbilly Mimosa (not the official name, but it’s OJ and Sprite, so it should be — there’s no calories listed yet, but with for a $1.99 you could get in another, say 200 calories)….

I hate to take sides, but if you really must go in for this sort of thing, Subway has an Egg WHITE Muffin Melt for a couple hundred calories and except for the bacon one*, about 4 grams of fat.  Not bad.  But don’t be fooled — many of their other offerings, including the egg white OMELET Sandwich are loaded with too many calories, fat and sodium for a morning meal.

Another suggestion: Starbucks oatmeal.  Plain for 140 cals, and 240 with dried fruit.  You’re still coming out ahead there when it comes to fiber and nutrients.  But avoid the scary dried up egg sammies and high calorie drinks – opt for a coffee or tea!

If you really want to win the breakfast war, get yourself a tub of quick oatmeal, or some from the bulk section, a shaker of cinnamon (a good replacement for all that sugar) and a container of raisins (a tablespoon for sweetness).  Get a ceramic microwaveable bowl.  Take it all to work. Microwave half a cup of oatmeal in water on low for 3 minutes (keep a paper towel under it and watch it b/c oatmeal can overflow), then have a leisurely spoonful while you check that email.  For a $10 investment, you’ll have a LOT of (healthy) breakfasts on tap.

*Any time you add bacon or ham you’re adding a LOT of sodium, and something worse: nitrites.  Preserving these meats — to prevent botulism — manufacturers must use sodium nitrite.  In the stomach, nitrites become nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens.  Not a lot, you see, but enough to add up over a lifetime, I’m thinking.  Manufacturers add vitamin C as ascorbic acid and erythrosomethingIcan’t recall, because it offsets the conversion to nitrosamines a bit, but not completely.  From a health perspective, consider taking it very, very easy on the bacon and ham.