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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 12/ 3/2010

Is that right? Jimmy Dean breakfast will make you shine?

By Jennifer LaRue Huget

Who doesn't love those ads where the planets are feeling out of sorts (or thunder and lightning have lost their oomph) till a Jimmy Dean breakfast perks them up? They're awfully clever.

But is eating what Jimmy Dean serves the solar system the best way for us humans to start the day?

Maybe not the best, but probably not the worst, either.

Jimmy Dean sells a line of breakfast items, including some in sandwich form, and now something called "D-Lights Breakfast Bowls." These egg-and-meat concoctions promise to start your day right by providing plenty of protein. Hence the tag line "protein@breakfast."

Grammy winner and sausage entrepreneur Jimmy Dean prepares for a taping of "The Jimmy Dean Show," a variety program he hosted from 1963 to 1966. (1964 Associated Press Photo)

Like many other convenience foods, these bowls of scrambled egg and either turkey sausage or turkey bacon have mile-long ingredient lists. And they have more sodium than is ideal; the sausage variety has 700 mg, while the turkey-bacon kind has 760 mg. Not great, but not nearly as bad as they could be.

But the emphasis on a protein-packed breakfast is in line with what many nutritionists suggest: Starting the day with protein, particularly as opposed to refined carbohydrates such as are found in such common breakfast fare as bagels, pancakes, waffles and the like, may help people feel full longer.

And the lightened-up breakfast bowls are low in calories and fat: The turkey sausage meal has 230 calories, 70 of them from fat, and the turkey bacon kind has 240 calories, 80 from fat.

The latest research, as I reported earlier this week, shows that people who have lost weight are better able to maintain that weight loss if they eat more higher-protein, lower-glycemic-index foods as opposed to lower-protein, higher-GI ones (such as the common breakfast items listed above).

Even so, most Americans get more than enough protein in our diets. But concentrating some of it in our morning meals, even if that means eating an occasional Breakfast Bowl, isn't all that bad an idea. Especially if, as is recommended on the Jimmy Dean Web site, you pair it with "fat-free/low-fat dairy, whole-grain, fruit and/or vegetable."

Of course, you could always scramble your own eggs. I'm just saying.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | December 3, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Is That Right?, Nutrition and Fitness  
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I'm sure it's not the best way to start a day but I've microwaved a half bag of Jimmy Dean Crumbles for about 4 minutes, added about 4 eggs to the mix, stirred together, and then microwaved for about another four minutes. It might not be the best breakfast, but Jimmy Dean makes it easy, it's relatively inexpensive, and it's filling enough until lunch. When you can microwave the second half of the bag, with or without eggs.

That said, while their breakfast bowls are okay, one is not filling enough nor, to me, worth the money.

Jimmy Dean omlettes, if you can find them on sale, are a great breakfast; just that you need two omlettes, not one.

Maybe I'm better off with the soft Hot Pockets sandwiches. Or a couple of Banquet pot pies for breakfast; two of those aren't a bad way to start the day.

The bottom line is, for breakfast, I'd like to have something I enjoy without having to look at the list of what's good and not good; once in a while something not good for you isn't a bad thing to enjoy.

Posted by: Dungarees | December 3, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I have seen that protein for breakfast study quoted many times. The problem is it compares refined carbohydrates to protein and concludes that protein is better. Any study done with whole oats shows that it is the most satisfying breakfast. It has no salt, no sugar, and lots of fiber. It's inexpensive and doesn't require refrigeration.

It is misleading to encourage people to eat protein over complex carbohydrates based on an incomplete study.

Posted by: fernva | December 3, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The problem is they taste gross.

Posted by: RobRoy1 | December 3, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I call those things "Dogs Bowls".

I have to ask why people actually like greasy breakfasts. It makes you feel disgusting for the rest of the day.

Try some eggs, oatmeal, tea/coffee. That's way better for you and you won't feel lousy for the rest of the morning.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | December 3, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

The wife wanted a new kitchen. It was really old. The deal was that we stop eating out and eat in more. We started cooking, including breakfast. The wife loves bacon but turkey bacon tasted the same. My cholesterol is high so I have egg whites and can't tell the difference. And oatmeal, now that it is cold, takes me back to my childhood like Egon in "Ratatouille".

Long ago we went out for happy hour every Friday night, meeting friends and having a good time. Then the kid came and no more going out, but we decided we were not giving up a good thing, so we started having happy hour at home. Its now 20 years later and its still happy hour every Friday at our house. And we still find new happy hour food to make.

Kitchens today can make anything. Fast food is full of evil stuff. Prepared food is filled with stuff designed to keep it fresh on the shelves for months. Stay away from it all. Use your kitchens. Cook your own food from the basic meat and vegetables. Eat what you make. You'll be surprised how home made wings marinaded and grilled on the barbecue will taste compared to the wings you buy at the fast food joint, covered with sugary syrup. And lets not forget a home made breakfast of biscuits and pancakes, with real maple syrup. Man, I'm heading to bed so I can get up and make a breakfast 10 times better than anything Jimmy Dean can provide.

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Posted by: ghdg91 | December 5, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

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