Friday, April 1, 2011

Breakfast Serial Part II - Bagels

There was a time, not long ago, when I recommended people stop eating bagels. Yep - quit 'em - cold turkey.

Why? Because, over the years, bagels have grown (just like our North American waistlines). Canada's Food Guide states a bagel weighs 90 g and that when eating said bagel, each half of it (45 g portion) constitutes a single grains serving. However, do you think you could find a bagel this size? Not easily - that's for sure!

For example, a Tim Horton's 12 grain bagel weighs in at 110 g and packs a punch of 580 g of sodium (that's more than 1/3 of what you should have in a whole day!). A multi-grain bagel from The Great Canadian Bagel weighs in similarly at 113 g with 581 g of sodium.

Thankfully, smaller bagels are hitting the grocery chains now. Dempster's offers whole grain bagels that weigh 90 g and pack only about 340 g of sodium. However, I was very pleased when I walked into our local Metro and discovered their Irresistibles Life Smart Whole Grain Bagels - they're only 60 g per bagel (just a little over 1 food guide serving per bagel) and have 240 g of sodium.* FINALLY!

The great thing about finding smaller bagels is that it makes it easier to have a balanced breakfast, because I'm not filling up on bagel.

Before, if I had a bagel for breakfast, by the time I got some peanut butter on it and had a glass of milk, I was so stuffed that I wasn't interested in anything else. (I realize I could just have half a bagel, but that's a tough compromise to make when your tummy is rumbling and you have to defrost the whole thing to split it.) Now, I can have my 60 g bagel, put some natural pb on it, a cup of milk (or soy milk) and 1/2 cup of berries or some other fruit of my choosing. BAM! 4 food groups! It keeps me full for most of the morning (even when I eat it at 8 am and then carry JC around for an hour or more, walking all over this end of the city!).

Smaller bagels are also great for those that are watching their carb intake, such as those with diabetes or who are just trying to minimize spikes in their blood sugar and insulin for well-being.

So, go ahead and have a bagel - just make it a small one and definitely whole grain. Here's a hint though - you're gonna have to get it from a grocery store rather than a fast food chain. In case you haven't noticed, the fast food industry doesn't much care for reasonable portion sizes. If you're concerned about time, remember it only takes me 5 minutes to prep my breakfast from start to finish. How long do you spend tapping on your steering wheel sitting in the drive-thru at Timmy's in the morning? Yeah .... that's what I thought.

*No disrespect to other grocery store chains and other bagels - I just happened to notice these bagels at Metro. Similar ones are likely available elsewhere.

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