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Get your oats

(article, Culinate staff)

For a classic bit of compare-and-contrast food analysis, check out Mark Bittman's recent op-ed on oatmeal. Exhibit A: ordinary oatmeal, garnishes optional. Exhibit B: McDonald's latest "healthy" version of oatmeal. Or, as Bittman notes, what passes for oatmeal:

bq. A more accurate description than “100 percent natural whole-grain oats,” “plump raisins,” “sweet cranberries” and “crisp fresh apples” would be “oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.” 

Bittman doesn't stop with the pseudo-healthy ingredients; he also notes that the Mickey D's breakfast is neither cheaper nor more convenient than making your own oatmeal at home. And you probably knew this already, but the calories are the clincher:

bq. Incredibly, the McDonald’s product contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger or Egg McMuffin. (Even without the brown sugar it has more calories than a McDonald’s hamburger.)

Skip lunch, have the oatmeal instead.