Is that right? McDonald's oatmeal is 'a bowl full of wholesome'?
So McDonald's is selling oatmeal now. They must be up to something, right?
McDonald's restaurants across the land (not just the limited number involved in last year's launch) are serving Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, not just at breakfast time, but throughout the day. You can order it with or without brown sugar and light cream; I skipped both when I had my first cup of the stuff, this morning after yoga class. I say first cup, because I plan to get it again.
For $1.99, I got a just-right-size serving of hot, creamy oatmeal with a hint of maple flavoring (more on that in a moment), topped with dried cranberries and raisins and what actually appeared to be fresh apple chunks. I let mine rest in its covered cup while I drove it home; every so often I picked it up and appreciated how warm it felt (it's REALLY cold outside.) When finally I dug in, I was pleasantly surprised: This oatmeal doesn't taste instant or fake or overly processed. It was pretty darned good.
McDonald's provides very detailed nutrition data for all its menu items (click the Nutrition Info PDF for the full document), including the oatmeal, on its Web site; you can even see how that data changes when you add the sugar and cream. If you include both, your bowl of oats will set you back 290 calories -- nearly as many as a 300-calorie Egg McMuffin.
But for that 290 calories you get bit of fiber (5 grams, compared to a McMuffin's 2g) and hardly any fat (4.5 g, compared to 12g in the McMuffin). One could wish there were more protein here (5g, compared to 18 g in a McMuffin). But if you're cutting back on sodium, the oatmeal's a great choice: the fully dressed version has just 160 mg, versus the McMuffin's 820 mg. The McMuffin delivers more calcium -- nearly a third of the Daily Value, compared to just 10 percent of the DV in the oatmeal -- but the oatmeal serves up all the Vitamin C you need in a day and then some.
(As for that maple flavoring, McDonald's got itself into a bit of a kerfuffle with folks in Vermont, a state that's rightfully protective of the term "maple" and all its implications. After some legal action, McDonald's reportedly has agreed to stop suggesting that its oatmeal contains any actual maple product -- but only in Vermont.)
I'm not big of fast food myself, and I certainly don't think people should depend on fast food to fill out their daily diets. But I do appreciate, as does the writer of this blog, that while other fast-food companies are busy devising concoctions such as KFC's Double Down Burger (which isn't the worst thing in the world, either), McDonald's is trying to offer something nutritionally sound and palatable. And that's why I'll buy their oatmeal again -- to encourage them to keep at it.
Jennifer LaRue Huget
| January 21, 2011; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Is That Right?, Nutrition and Fitness
Save & Share: Previous: Modern Family: When kids walk in during sex
Next: Weight loss's link to better health questioned
Posted by: AlligatorArms | January 21, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ZsaZsaATL | January 21, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Nymous | January 24, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: fralali | January 26, 2011 7:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: atruly | January 27, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: atruly | January 27, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.