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 coffeeâ€”butÂ is there anything worth grabbing for breakfast to go with your brew? â€œThere are a lot of options here, thatâ€™s 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 â€œThose bakery items are OK as once-in-a-while treats, but they wonâ€™t deliver a whole lot of nutrition for the calorie count, and wonâ€™t sustain you for the morning,â€ Duyff says.
Here areÂ Duyffâ€™s 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, itâ€™s still a good choice for breakfast. Itâ€™s 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. Itâ€™s still a light meal, though, so plan for a healthy snack before lunch.
â€œThis item has 19 grams of protein, more than I thought it would have,â€ Duyff says. â€œThatâ€™s good for satiety.â€ It also brings 6 grams of fiber and some nutrients: Nearly half of your dayâ€™s vitamin A, plus vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Itâ€™s on the high side for sodium (830 milligrams), so watch what you eat for the rest of the day.
â€œThese are lunch items, but thereâ€™s no reason you couldnâ€™t eat them for breakfast if theyâ€™re 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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