A nutritionist shares her picks for the best breakfast options at this ubiquitous coffee chain.
StarbucksÂ isÂ now the third-largest quick-service restaurantÂ chain in the United States, so chances are you've at least stopped in to order a coffeeâbutÂ is there anything worth grabbing for breakfast to go with your brew? âThere are a lot of options here, thatâs for sure,â saysÂ Roberta Duyff, RD, author of the American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide ($21, amazon.com).
Starbucks has several menu items that are low in saturated fat, high in fiber and protein, and packed with whole grains. But you'll want to walk past the bakery section:Â âThose bakery items are OK as once-in-a-while treats, but they wonât deliver a whole lot of nutrition for the calorie count, and wonât sustain you for the morning,â Duyff says.
Here areÂ Duyffâs top picks:
Starbucks' take on this breakfast classic gives youÂ whole grains and 4 grams of fiberÂ without loading up the sodium and sugar. Even if you add the dried fruit and brown sugar, itâs still a good choice for breakfast. Itâs a little light on protein with just 5 grams, so have some yogurt with it, or be sure to get some protein in your next snack or meal.
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Even with a touch of agave for sweetness, this fruity oatmeal is a good selection. It sets you upÂ with 5 grams of fiber 10% of your daily iron needs. Add the fruit, nut, and seed medley to make it a more satisfying meal; that ups the protein, calories, and fiber a bit. Itâs still a light meal, though, so plan for a healthy snack before lunch.
âThis item has 19 grams of protein, more than I thought it would have,â Duyff says. âThatâs good for satiety.â It also brings 6 grams of fiber and some nutrients: Nearly half of your dayâs vitamin A, plus vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Itâs on the high side for sodium (830 milligrams), so watch what you eat for the rest of the day.
âThese are lunch items, but thereâs no reason you couldnât eat them for breakfast if theyâre available,â Duyff says. The Protein Bistro Box is the most breakfast-friendly box, with a hard-boiled egg, cheese, muesli bread with peanut butter, and fruit. With 13 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, it will keep you satisfied for a while, plus it offers vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron.
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