PSA: Muffins are not health foods! The next time you find yourself in a grocery store or coffee shop, we challenge you to pause and take a peek at the nutrition facts. The numbers might be surprising...
Over time, muffins have evolved from a food akin to English muffins - a pan cooked flatbread made with little or no sugar - into something decidedly more dessert-like. Despite their health halo, most muffins, including bran muffins, are chock full of refined flours and added sugar. Scrape the icing off a cupcake and any difference between the two essentially disappears.
In fact, at many coffee shops, you might be better off choosing a donut over a muffin. Take for example Tim Horton’s Wild Blueberry Muffin, which clocks in at 340 calories and 25 grams of sugar. This is a meal-size dose of calories and a day’s worth of sugar in something that feels more like a snack. It’s enough to make their Chocolate Dip Donut, with a comparatively low 200 calories and 13 grams of sugar, look like a nutritional bargain. But what about a Raisin Bran Muffin? While it does have an extra 2 grams of fibre, that comes at a cost of 370 calories and a whopping 36 grams of sugar.
Our advice? Enjoy muffins as you would donuts - as a treat not a breakfast staple.