An Oaty Trend

About a year ago I stopped by a Starbucks and ordered an oatmeal.  I was generally pleased with it.  The oatmeal is prepared plain.  You receive “on the side”  (as Sally would insist – When Harry Met Sally) brown sugar,  a nut mixture and a fruit mixture.   I added all sides to that oatmeal.  It was very tasty.  I can’t recall the exact price; it was rather inexpensive.   The oatmeal also hit the spot.  I hadn’t had anything to eat that morning.  Having oatmeal as my first meal was perfect.

About three months ago McDonald’s began selling oatmeal.  The cost is under $2.00 (a great price).  McDonald’s oatmeal is made for you – maple or brown sugar (or both), cranberries, raisins and apple chunks.  The first time I tasted McDonald’s oatmeal, I really liked it.  However, on subsequent occasions, I found it a bit too sweet (I usually eat plain oatmeal at home).

After eating McDonald’s oatmeal on several occasions, I sampled Starbucks’ oatmeal again.  I like Starbucks better for a few reasons.  First, Starbucks allows you to prepare the oatmeal with one, more than one or all the “sides.”  Second, the Starbucks’ oatmeal isn’t as sweet as McDonald’s. [As an aside, the cover story of the January/February 2010 Nutrition Action Health Letter is Sugar Overload:  Curbing America’s Sweet Tooth.  The article lists 10 reasons to cut back on added sugars.  The article recommends women limit added sugar to 100 calories (6.5 teaspoons or 25 grams)/day and men to 150 calories (9.5 teaspoons or 38 grams)/day.]  Third, Starbucks’ oatmeal is better than McDonald’s because of the nut mixture.

Although McDonald’s oatmeal is a little too sweet for me, it’s still wonderful that McDonald’s now includes oatmeal on its menu.  I remember years ago, while in Hong Kong, I ordered a Sausage McMuffin without the sausage.  I don’t eat beef, pork or chicken and ordering a breakfast sandwich in that manner was the only option for me.  Boy, I wish oatmeal was on the menu then.

After eating Starbucks’ oatmeal and McDonald’s oatmeal, I’ve experimented with adding fruit or nuts to my plain oatmeal.  Yes, I’ve jazzed up my instant oatmeal.

I don’t eat at Starbucks or McDonald’s every day (I budget my money carefully since my goal is to be debt free).  But on the occasion when I need a healthy alternative, I’m pleased both establishments are offering oatmeal, throughout the day.

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