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Is Oatmeal from Your Local Coffee Shop Healthy?

Find out why oatmeal isn’t always a healthy option. Although oatmeal sounds like a healthy and filling option when you’re looking for food on the go, it can actually contain a surprising number of calories – especially if you opt for all the extras!

Oatmeal tends to be a fairly healthy breakfast or snack option when you limit the amount of toppings you add. Adding extra toppings to your oatmeal could mean unnecessary extra calories. Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND, explains the nutritional value of a portion of oatmeal you may find at a local coffee shop.

When you’re inside the coffee shop contemplating what you’ll eat, oatmeal, because of its relatively healthy reputation, sounds like the better alternative to a pastry or a bagel. And it certainly can be – but watch out for adding topping after topping!

Many oatmeal portions are offered with sugar or honey, chopped roasted nuts, a handful of dried fruit and even whipped cream. Let’s take a closer look:

Basic oatmeal: 170 calories
Sweetened blueberries: 50 calories
Chopped almonds: 85 calories
Brown sugar: 50 calories
Whipped cream: 120 calories

Total for a loaded bowl of oatmeal = 475 calories

That’s not all.

The very same bowl of oatmeal has 23 grams of fat and 27 grams of sugar. If you measure the amount of sugar in teaspoons, it would be nearly seven teaspoons. So if you do decide to grab some hot cereal, make sure you keep in mind how quickly calories can add up with fun and flavorful toppings.

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