Sodium at bargain prices

Sodium & some joe at bargain prices

I was very intrigued to hear about Starbucks (re-?) introducing breakfast offerings this past Tuesday. The real excitement seems to be that the breakfasts, which include a 12 ounce coffee, are “reasonably priced” at $3.95.

An article in the New York Times did a nice job of covering the developments. Though I have not tried the breakfasts yet, I was curious to see how these breakfast “pairings” measured up to my usual Huevos Portobellos.

Getting to the actual data is a little difficult, you have to enter your zip code, but, once you get there it’s worth poking around.

These are four sandwiches being featured, according to their website and my comments underneath each one:

Bacon, Gouda Cheese, Egg Frittata on Artisan Roll

122 g/svg

Calories 380 Fat Calories 180 Total Fat (g) 20 Saturated Fat (g) 8 Trans Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 175 Sodium (mg) 1050 Total Carbohydrates (g) 31 Fiber (g) 0 Sugars (g) 1 Protein (g) 19

Vitamin A 8 % Vitamin C 30 % Calcium 20 % Iron 15 %

With over 1 gram of sodium, this sandwich has almost half the daily recommendation which is to less than 2300 mg. I can guarantee you will need to quench your thirst after this sandwich. It’s also about half of the recommendation for saturated fat, which is ~15 g/day (based on a 2,000 calorie diet), and about 2/3 of the recommendation for cholesterol per day, which is less than 300mg. And to add insult to injury (literally) there is absolutely no fiber in this sandwich,

Ham, Egg Frittata, Cheddar Cheese on Artisan Roll

133 g/serving

Calories 370 Fat Calories 150 Total Fat (g) 16 Saturated Fat (g) 6 Trans Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 190 Sodium (mg) 730 Total Carbohydrates (g) 32 Fiber (g) 0 Sugars (g) 1 Protein (g) 23

Vitamin A 8 % Vitamin C 0 % Calcium 20 % Iron 15 %

Not quite so salty as the bacon sandwich, this one has only 1/3 the daily recommendation of sodium. No significant differences in terms of fat and cholesterol and again there is absolutely no fiber in this sandwich

Sausage Piadini

148 g/serving

Calories 500 Fat Calories 280 Total Fat (g) 32 Saturated Fat (g) 15 Trans Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 200, Sodium (mg) 740 Total Carbohydrates (g) 36 Fiber (g) 1 Sugars (g) 3 Protein (g) 19

Vitamin A 15 % Vitamin C 0 % Calcium 20 % Iron 20 %

The real standout in this sandwich is that over half of the calories come from fat, and you get an entire days worth of artery clogging saturated fat.

Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon, Cholesterol-Free Egg, Reduced-Fat White Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich

159 g/serving

Calories 390 Fat Calories 110 Total Fat (g) 12 Saturated Fat (g) 4.5 Trans Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 20 Sodium (mg) 910 Total Carbohydrates (g) 46 Fiber (g) 3 Sugars (g) 6 Protein (g) 22

Vitamin A 20 % Vitamin C 0 % Calcium 50 % Iron 15 %

This is the “healthy” option, presumably because there is less fat than the other sandwiches (28% of calories), less saturated fat, and much less cholesterol. This sandwich also actually has some fiber in it! But, this sandwich has almost 1 gram of sodium and that is a lot for one meal, let alone one food item. You will have to buy a few Ethos waters to deal with the aftermath.

I am sure these sandwiches taste very good, but, no offense Starbucks, my gym sneakers would taste good with this much fat and salt on them.

I do not mean to hate on Starbucks, as I am a big fan of the skinny vanilla latte. But, if you are going to sell fast food, akin to a McDonald’s, then don’t present it to the public as though it is “gourmet” as the use of the words “pairings” and “artisan” seems to imply. What kind of artisan bread has absolutely no fiber in it? What really concerns me is that a few of these sandwiches are definitely not in the population at large’s (no pun intended) best interest, and if you happen to have high cholesterol or hypertension, they are probably not a good idea at all.

In all fairness, the sandwiches do have a good amount of protein, and they are good sources of calcium and iron. Starbucks also has other healthy options to choose from, such as the perfect oatmeal. But, is an oatmeal/coffee combo a great value at $3.95? Last time I checked you could buy an entire canister of oatmeal for $3.19.

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