Whether you're a cake connoisseur or an éclair enthusiast, practically everyone has at least one baked good they simply can't get enough of. Of course, none of these treats is trying to pass for health food, but don't let that dissuade you from indulging in a pastry every now and then—one baked good isn't going to be the single factor that makes or breaks your diet.
However, experts say there's one particular baked good that's almost always a poor choice: muffins.
"Muffins are viewed as a healthy breakfast or snack option, as they can have healthier ingredients like oats, dried fruits, and shredded vegetables. While homemade muffins can be healthy, pre-made muffins can be unhealthier than they appear," cautions Holly Klamer, MS, RDN, a writer at My Crohn's and Colitis Team.
Muffins are massive
"The portion size of muffins has grown over the past decades. For example, a typical commercially made muffin was once about 1.5 ounces. However, now commercially made muffins are usually 4 ounces or larger," says Klamer.
"Many pre-made muffins can be between 500 and 700 calories and provide as much or more grams of sugar than a 12-oz. can of soda while only providing a gram or two of fiber," Klamer adds.
Premade muffins can have some sketchy ingredients
While the size of a standard muffin continues to grow, the ingredients in your average muffin are just as problematic as their portion sizes.
"Commercially made muffins are low in fiber and high in refined flour and sugar. They are also mainly made with refined vegetable oil. Most Americans already get too much refined vegetable oils in the diet. The concern with this type of oil is that it is high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids," adds Klamer.
If muffins occasionally make their way onto your plate, make sure you're paying close attention to their portion size and what's in them, or your waistline—and health—may suffer the consequences.
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