Daily Archives: July 12, 2010

The Manliest, Healthiest Breakfast Foods

As I’m sitting down to my breakfast of a whole wheat sesame seed bagel with avocado, I decide to google “the best breakfast foods”. The results are not surprising. They are a reflection of the American obsession with health, weight loss, efficiency, and easiness. While I’m in full support of health (my concept of health though may be different than the average person), efficiency and easiness, and weight loss (when it is healthful), I’m a little tired of this obsession with “healthy” eating.
I’m going to focus on one search result in particular. This is from Men’s Health magazine. In the past, men’s health has been overlooked. It was manly to drink a lot of beer (and get a beer gut, I suppose), eat red meat, and huge portions. Now, I see commercials with light beer being advertised as manly and “healthier”, the typical you can have your cake and eat it too mentality. Then I see a yogurt commercial where a man is talking to a friend over the phone about his weight loss because it he is eating baked goods. His friend doesn’t know that he is actually eating low-fat yogurt filled with chemicals and artificial sweeteners. Diet food is being made manly. Still, I don’t know a single male friend that I would call up another male friend to talk about weight loss. Applebee’s restaurant has a selection of hearty, manly choices for under five hundred calories. Wow, you can still eat a steak covered in creamy, mushroom sauce for dinner. You can keep your 32″ waistline, eat red meat, and still be manly. This is the American concept of health.
In this on-line article about the best breakfast foods to choose the first choice you are forced to make is between pancakes and a waffle. Which one is better? Neither one is a good choice if you ask me. I only eat pancakes when I’m intoxicated. But apparently the pancakes are the healthier choice. They suggest to leave the syrup behind and choose fresh fruit as a topping.
The next is a choice between bacon and sausage. I would have thought that bacon was the better choice, but apparently sausage is the better choice. That’s right people…sausage is healthy according to Men’s Health magazine because it has less fat and more protein. Remember, we are still under the guise of manliness so eating meat is very important. Turkey bacon is not an option. Not eating meat is not an option.
The next is between granola and oatmeal. I know this one: oatmeal is the healthier choice. Commercial granola is filled with sugar and calories from nuts. Steel cut oatmeal has whole grains, is low in fat, and very filling. I love it. However, this doesn’t explore the option of making your own granola with low sugar, dried fruits, and healthy fats from nuts.
The next is a choice between tea and coffee. This choice is also easy. Tea is much better for you than coffee, especially coffee drinks from places like Starbucks. I, however, am a coffee addict and will not give it up for tea. Most of the men I know prefer tea to coffee already.
The next one is very interesting. It was a choice between two egg whites and one full egg. I chose the two egg whites because of all the information we get about egg yolks being high in cholesterol. Oh wait, now egg yolks have good cholesterol, b12, and protein. Now it’s okay to eat whole eggs. This makes me happy. I love eggs. I’m not sure if eating eggs is manly. I used to have a housemate who ate like five eggs a day. He was trying very hard to be manly. This just goes to show the mixed messages we get about nutrition. Five years ago egg yolks were bad and now they’re good.
The next choice is a battle of breakfast cereals. Shredded wheat or cornflakes? My personal choice would be shredded wheat and hey, it’s the healthier choice due to whole grains and fiber. Fiber is very manly because men really like to take big craps and then talk about them in detail.
The next one simply pisses me off. It’s a choice between orange juice and milk. They say orange juice rots your teeth because of the acidity. Okay, then let’s drink a less acidic juice. Milk makes you feel fuller and you eat 55 less calories at lunch. Okay, let’s ignore all the fat and processing in milk. Let’s ignore the hormones being pumped into milk and the antibiotics. That’s very healthy.
The next is between multi-grain or whole wheat toast. I would choose whole wheat toast and that is the healthier choice. The amount of fiber and whole grains is very good for you and leaves you feeling fuller until breakfast. Multi-grain bread might sound good but it can still be filled with refined grains. They even suggest replacing your whole wheat bread with a tortilla to reduce your amount of carbs. Because carbs are still the enemy.
Oh oh, the next one is funny. It is leftover pizza versus a donut. For some reason, I chose the donut to be healthier. Honestly, I still think it depends on what donut you choose and which pizza toppings you have. Apparently the cheese on pizza equals protein and the tomato sauce equals a vegetable (even though tomatoes are fruit and its highly processed and filled with sodium). Not all donuts are fried and drizzled with sugar. I suppose the ones from the donut shop are though.
Okay the next one is low-fat yogurt versus low-fat cottage cheese. I hate both. I would choose neither. Cottage cheese is freaking weird. I don’t like yogurt. Low-fat dairy products are highly processed. The calcium taken from dairy products actually depletes the calcium in your bones. But that’s okay. As long as it’s low-fat…Yogurt still seems manlier than cottage cheese.
The last choices are between and egg mcmuffin type sandwich and a raisin bagel with cream cheese. Okay, I love bagels with cream cheese. I totally understand that the egg mcmuffin has more protein, less fat, and more variety of nutrients. However, no one can convince me that eating something that filled with sodium is good for my body. No one can convince me that eating an egg that has been completely reshaped is good for you, that highly processed cheese is healthy, or that something from a drive-thru is a good choice for breakfast. But it has meat. So it’s manly.