Saturday, October 10, 2015

Low-Calorie All Egg McMuffin


I've been seeing so many of these "egg mc muffin" commercials from McDonald's new All Day Breakfast campaign. Don't get me wrong it's an amazing ad campaign. But as a hopeful soon-to-be dietitian I do believe in the slogan, "Everything in moderation". However, there are some things you should know about this beloved breakfast sandwich. First, lets talk nutrition facts: 

http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/product_nutrition.breakfast.46.egg-mcmuffin.html 
Now, to be honest, 300 calories— not too shabby. But who, eats just 1? The other thing that's good to note here is the amount of protein. Seventeen grams of protein, wowza that's awesome! It also has some Calcium (from the cheese), Sugar (from the bacon and bread) and Saturated Fat (how the whole thing is cooked and the cheese). The point of concern here is, Sodium. Here are some facts about sodium. You actually do need it (contrary to popular belief) because it helps maintain electrolyte balance. Electrolytes— what?? Electrolytes are charged molecules that play a role in your body to maintain your body's normal function. Basically, Salt ions (Na+) are charged, like batteries. There electric charge allow for proper fluid maintenance. So you do need some sodium. But how much is enough? The Food and Drug Administration suggests 2300 mg for the healthy American per day. But, it is amazing that the FDA also found that on average American's consume 3400 mg per day in their diet. Uh, oh. Now who knows what the cause of high levels of sodium can cause?

HYPERTENSION i.e., high blood pressure. 

Therefore, if this is you, the daily maximum for sodium is 1500 mg! There are also some other sub populations that are prone to hypertension that should also stick to the 1500 limit. Now, if you eat two Egg McMuffins,  you can't eat ANYTHING else that comes from a box. All processed foods use some sort of salt-based preservative in order to keep them from going bad. If you are on a 1500 mg sodium restriction, you should stick to ~ 500 mg sodium per meal. One Egg McMuffin will set you over this 500 mg per meal goal.

It is appropriate to note, that this Egg Mc Muffin is not bad and has  healthy components like protein. But, maybe this McMuffin is an awesome treat on certain days you won't be eating much else with high-salt throughout the day. So I thought to myself, what is a healty alternative for the same amount of protein without the amount of salt? What about just healthy eggs for protein? That sounds awesome, but not everyone has time to make fried eggs in the morning, I know I don't. I needed a quick grab and go, like an egg mc muffin. 

So here you go: All Egg Mc Muffins. Only about 100 calories each, and for 2 of them, you are no where near the sodium in 1 McD Egg McMuffin. Additionally, there is MORE protein in 2 of these highly-customizeable muffins than an Egg McMuffin. 
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Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by anyone affiliated for or against McDonalds. I am purely looking at nutrition facts from their website and making my own judgements based on my own knowledge of food and nutrition facts. 
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Recipe:
[Two muffins: 2 eggs, 1/4 c. bell peppers,
1 tbs. mushrooms,
1 oz. turkey bacon, 2 tbs. diced tomatoes,
1/4 oz. almond milk cheese]
Cage-free eggs
Mushrooms
Tomatoes
Diced Bell peppers (or some fire-roasted bell peppers from Trader Joe's frozen section!)
Onions
Cilantro
Spinach
Ham
Turkey Bacon
Ground Turkey
Almond-milk cheese (or any low fat cheese)

[Yes, I understand that is a lot of ingredients. But really pick and choose what you want to add in to each one. Make it different, make it unique to add more variety to each muffin.]

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 deg. F. Spray non-stick cooking spray in a regular-size muffin tin.
In each, add above ingredients to tin until it reaches half way. Scramble one egg (or egg white) on the side, and fill the tin. Repeat for 12 tins i.e., 12 eggs. Pop in oven for 20 minutes! Top with almond cheese or any low-fat cheese (if using). These can also be put in the freezer when done to keep peserved. Then you can microwave them in the morning when you want. I usually eat 2 of the whole eggs, and maybe 2 of the egg-white only muffins.

So easy, right?

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