Fit 5 on Friday: Top 5 English Muffins

October 18, 2013By 7 Comments

untitledOkay, is it really necessary to have nearly 20 varieties of English Muffins to choose from in the bread section?  No, but there are almost that many! Who cares you ask? I do.  As a dietitian I get very annoyed by some of the marketing, or lack there of, to educate consumers on why one type of bread product might be healthier, or tastier for any particular reason.  There isn’t any sort of signage of language that helps decipher the difference between all the varieties for the average consumer to know why they are even choosing one type over another for.  Yes, the packaging is clear in that it states ‘100 Calories’ or ‘Whole Grains’, ‘Double Fiber’, or ’10 Grain’, but when you turn them around to look at the nutrition facts label, if you even do, what does it all mean for someone trying to eat either lower carb for their blood sugar or eat higher fiber and healthy grains for a heart healthy diet.

My husband and I are sort of addicted to English Muffins.  We literally eat them every single morning for breakfast.  He prefers peanut butter on his (I buy the Omega-3 added PB or the low-fat and he doesn’t even taste the difference).  I prefer mine with a dab of butter and some jelly or with an egg and slice of cheese.  I thought it might be helpful to share with you the ‘Top 5’ English Muffins that will benefit your blood sugars (being that they are higher in fiber and lower in total carbohydrates) as well as those with the least amount of fat.  If you aren’t an English Muffin fan, or if you believe that any of the varieties that promise low-calorie or high-fiber won’t offer taste, please try some!  You won’t even notice the difference, I swear!  Now, keep in mind I have no connection to any English Muffin brands or companies that produce English Muffins, this is just a particular food that I am fond of and wanted to share the information with you!

*Also, refer back to a few of my original blog posts from when I first started blogging.  I attempted to eat 25 g of fiber per day for 25 days.  It was almost impossible, but consuming an English Muffin every single morning helped get my day off to a great start with between 4-8 grams of fiber in one muffin. 

Fiber is very important especially for people with diabetes.  There are many health benefits to fiber intake including lowered cholesterol levels and weight management due to the full feeling fiber leaves behind, as well as a happy digestive tract.  I did a research paper many years ago in college on fiber intake and blood glucose control and believe it or not the recommendation still hasn’t changed.  It is recommended that people with diabetes consume between 25-30 grams of fiber per day to help decrease post-meal glucose spikes.  When a food or meal is consumed that is a good source of fiber (defined as 2.5-4.9g) it helps to significantly delay the absorption of the other sugars (carbohydrates) in the food item, helping the blood sugar to just coast along nicely without spiking.  Now, don’t confuse this with the role that fat plays, high fat meals combined with high carb meals cause a delay in blood sugar spikes, but it only delays it not dodges it all together like fiber.

Keep in mind that whole grains, whole wheat and multi-grain all mean something different.  Whole wheat refers to one part of the grain while whole grain refers to the entire part, and multi-grain refers to different types of the grain but not necessarily the whole thing.  For complete details to understand this more clearly, click here for this reference from the Mayo Clinic.

These are in order of healthiest for your blood sugars and weight control:

  1. Thomas’® Light Multi-Grain English Muffins 100 cals, 26 g carb, 8 g fiber
  2. Thomas’® Multi-Grain Fiber Goodness English Muffins 110 cals, 28 g carb, 9 g fiber
  3. Thomas’® Triple Health English Muffins 100 cals, 25 g carb, 6 g fiber
  4. Thomas’® 100% Whole Wheat English Muffins 120 cals, 23 g carb, 3 g fiber
  5. Thomas’® Double Fiber Honey Wheat English Muffins 120 cals, 27 g carb, 5 g fiber

*Try to avoid the seasonal or limited-edition varieties like Cranberry, Banana Bread and even the Corn English Muffins as those are the lowest in fiber and highest in carbohydrates, which equals high blood sugars if you’re not careful!

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Comments (7)

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  1. Elizabeth Shapiro says:

    Note to self…pick up Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain English Muffins next visit to the grocery store! Thanks Regina!

  2. Sativa says:

    Just to throw another brand into the mix, one that I really really love: Food for Life Flourless sprouted whole grain english muffins. They are certified organic, have 32g CHO, 6g fiber, give you 8% of your daily dose of iron and a range of other vitamins, and they are made from a wide range of sprouted grains which retain a higher amount of the vital nutrients found in whole grains. Ezekiel makes a really great raisin english muffin too…. again all organic, non-GMO (which is something I am really paying attention to with my little one and for my family). You can find both of these in the frozen section (just leave out to thaw) at Market Basket, and also at pretty much any other grocery store. Super good and super healthy!

  3. matt says:

    My only concern with the English muffin is that they add sucralose.

  4. Heidi says:

    Is there a difference on the glycemic impact between the high fiber and the light multi-grain? Did high-fiber come out after this was posted?

    • Regina says:

      Hello, good question. No, there is no difference in glycemic impact/load. Both types of English muffins have 8 grams of fiber. They are almost identical in nutritional value except for the light multi grain having 2grams more protein. Often some food companies change the names of products from more of a marketing standpoint, so that the consumer can choose what best fits their needs, even if some of the products are very similar. I hope that helps!

  5. Sterling says:

    I’ve an interesting question. I’m allergic to wheat/multi-grain, eggs, lactose intolerant … and I’m diabetic. Is there some help for me?

    • Regina says:

      Hello. That must be extremely frustrating for you, to have all of those food allergies/intolerances, try to manage diabetes, and eat a balanced diet! First of all, I would hope that you have or are seeing a dietitian to help you work with some more specific suggestions. What I can say is that there are many other ways get fiber, so don’t worry about not being able to eat grains. If you can incorporate beans (black, pinto, gorbanzo) into things like salads, hamburgers, rice dishes, etc., that will give you a good boost of fiber. Also, try to eat at least 2 servings of dark green vegetables per day (spinach, mixed lettuces, kale, broccoli, green beans, etc). As for the lactose, I would make sure you are getting the calcium you need from other sources. Almond milk is fantastic, and while it does not have the amount of calcium in it that regular milk does, it’s a least a start. Many of those green veggies I noted above also have calcium, so you will get more bang for your buck! Good luck!

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