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English Muffin – A Healthy Snacking Option

English muffins come in various flavours. It’s a favourite breakfast option; kids and adults love them. Hence, you can constantly find them in the grocery store’s bread aisle. Therefore, it is effortless to include them as a regular breakfast staple. 

It’s a yeast-leavened bread frequently cut horizontally, served heated and buttered. It’s a round, reasonably flatbread cooked on the grill. The outside crust of the muffin is golden brown, while inside, it’s soft and spongy. These muffins are versatile side dishes that you can enjoy both sweet and savoury. 

They aren’t just for breakfast. You can make everything, from little pizzas to sandwiches to croquette melts, out of English muffins. English muffins are a lot like the English crumpet, which is spongier and hotcake-like, yet has a lot of similarities to English muffins. In reality, no other muffin compares to the English muffin.

The HealthifyMe Note

Some people believe the English muffin originates from America, and others argue it’s British, with the dish undergoing some transformation over time. Unfortunately, there are far too many disagreements to tell which one is the accurate side. However, most people believe Thomas’ English muffins have significantly impacted this dish’s popularity. 

Types of English Muffins

English muffins come in a wide range of nutrient profiles, flavours, and types. The following nutritional value for 100 grams of different types of English muffins is listed below. Let’s take a look at it more closely:

A 100gm serving of whole wheat English muffin contains 203 calories, 8.8 g of protein, 40.4 g of carbohydrate, 6.7 g of dietary fibre, 8.09 g of sugar, 2.1 g of fat, 265 mg of calcium, 282 mg of phosphorus, 364 mg of sodium, and 40.3 grams of selenium. These muffins are significantly fewer calories and fat, are naturally cholesterol-free and are higher in dietary fibre. As a result, whole wheat English muffins are a healthier option.A 100gm serving of multigrain English muffin contains 246 calories, 8.77 g of protein, 50.9 g of carbohydrates, 3.5 grams of dietary fibre, 1.75 g of sugar, 1.75 g of fat, 351 mg of calcium, 175 mg of potassium, and 386 mg of sodium. Compared to conventional muffins, these muffins provide a large quantity of dietary fibre while being lower in sugar and sodium. In addition, they are cholesterol-free. As a result, multigrain English muffins are a better option for gastrointestinal issues.A 100gm serving of oat bran English muffin has 409 calories, 4.55 g of protein, 72.7 g of carbohydrates, 2.3 grams of dietary fibre, 31.8 g of sugar, 10.2 g of fat, and 682 mg of sodium. This muffin contains a lot of carbs, most of which are sugar. As a result, it is not a good choice for people following a keto diet.A 100gm serving of cinnamon raisin English muffin contains 263 calories, 8.77 g of protein, 56.14 g of carbohydrate, 3.5 g of dietary fibre, 10.53 g of sugar, 2.63 g of fat, 123 grams of calcium, 211 mg of potassium, and 211 mg of sodium. This muffin has a lot of carbs, sugar, and sodium. As a result, it is not an intelligent choice for people with diabetes or high blood pressure.

Nutritional Properties of English Muffin

As per USDA, 100 gm of English Muffin contains the following nutritional values:

Water: 42.1 gEnergy: 235 kCalsProtein: 7.7 gLipid (fat): 1.8 gCarbohydrate: 46 gFibre: 2.7 g

Vitamin and Minerals

Calcium, Ca: 52 mgMagnesium, Mg: 21mgPhosphorus, P: 133 mgPotassium, K: 131 mgSodium, Na: 464 mgFolate: 37 μg

Nutrition Facts

English muffins contain 46 grams of carbohydrates, most of which are starch. This traditional English muffin contains no fibre unless you go for whole wheat English muffins. Fibre helps prevent constipation by loosening and softening the faeces. It also helps to stabilise blood sugar levels and makes you feel satiated for an extended period of time.

An English muffin has a glycemic index of roughly 70 unless you choose a whole-grain English muffin with a glycemic index of 45 or so.

English muffins are a rich source of protein, which helps you stay satiated and strengthen muscle. One of the key benefits of having English muffins is that they are almost fat-free and sugar-free. Although, the fat content rises if you use toppings like butter and cream cheese.

English muffins don’t have a lot of vitamins and minerals in them. However, it is high in vitamin B complex, including thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, which are essential for metabolism and brain health. Manganese and phosphorus are also in small quantities, and your body requires manganese for metabolism, brain function, and bone health. Moreover, English muffins are abundant in selenium, an antioxidant that regulates thyroid hormone production. 

The HealthifyMe Note

English muffins have many nutritional benefits as they are rich in fibre and B vitamins. In addition, studies suggest it is an excellent energy source and contains essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, and sodium. 

Health Benefits of English Muffin

English muffins are nutrient-filled tasty breakfast treats. Here are some surprising benefits of English muffins.

Nutrient Dense

English muffins contain high amounts, particularly 464 mg of sodium content present in it. As a result, it is an excellent source of minerals, particularly sodium and iron. However, studies recommend eating less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily, equivalent to only one teaspoon of table salt. The body needs sodium to maintain fluid levels. A fluid and sodium balance is necessary for the heart, liver, and kidneys’ health. Furthermore, it regulates blood fluids and prevents low blood pressure.

Helps in Weight Management

Dietary fibre can regulate calorie intake, thus promoting weight loss or maintaining healthier body weight. Moreover, several studies show that increasing dietary fibre consumption may decrease calorie absorption by diluting a food’s calories while maintaining other vital nutrients.

Regulates Blood Pressure

Maintaining sodium and fluid balance is essential in regulating blood pressure. Therefore, as per research, medical professionals developed a concept of pressure natriuresis. It is the mechanism through which the kidney can preserve a normal BP through its functions to regulate volume homeostasis and sodium reabsorption. English muffins contain high amounts of sodium content. Moderate consumption of sodium helps regulate blood pressure and prevent hypertension.

Good for the Heart

Research suggests that individuals consuming reasonable amounts of dietary fibre reduce their chances of cardiovascular disease. Also, nutritionists found that dietary fibre intake causes a considerable reduction in overall cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) levels.

Strengthens Immunity and Gut Health

Fibre plays a vital role in immunity. Research suggests that fibre promotes good bacteria in the gut. Fibre intake does by destroying harmful bacteria and providing nutrients to good bacteria. It also helps in regulating bowel movements. Eating adequate fibre allows people who suffer from persistent constipation, which also aids in the prevention of haemorrhoids.

Improves Bone Health 

English muffins are rich in calcium content. Studies suggest calcium is vital in preventing bone loss and osteoporotic fractures later in life. Meta-analysis reports that calcium supplementation reduces bone loss by 0.5-1.2% and the risk of fracture of all types by at least 10% in older people. Unfortunately, low calcium intake is a widespread problem across countries and age groups. To prevent osteoporosis and related fractures, adequate calcium intake throughout the lifetime is essential for bone health. Magnesium protects your cells from damage and is vital for healthy bone, connective tissue, and energy creation.

Improves Brain Health

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) contributes to maintaining mental health and nervous system functioning, reducing tiredness and fatigue and may also play a role in cancer prevention. It is a rich source of iron, vitamins B3 and other nutrients. Recent studies have shown that iron plays a vital role in the functioning of blood cells and helps transport oxygen to all organs. Lack of iron results in reduced oxygen supply in the brain and also causes anaemia. 

Recipe for Making English Muffin

Serves: 18 servings

Preparation time: 25 mins

Total time: 2 hrs 15 mins

Ingredients

Milk: 1 cupWhite sugar: 2 tbspWarm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C): 1 cup (2250 ml)Active dry yeast: 1 (0.25 ounce) packageAll-purpose flour: 6 cups (1.5 kg)Melted shortening: ¼ cup (80 ml)Salt: 1 tspCornmeal: ¼ cup, or more as needed

Instructions

Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then you can remove it from the heat. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves, then set aside to cool.In a small bowl, combine warm water and yeast; set aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.Whisk the milk, yeast, and 3 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl, and mix until smooth. Combine the remaining 3 cups of flour with the salt and knead until the dough is soft. Put it in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in volume. Knead the dough. Then, roll it to about 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut rounds using a biscuit cutter. On parchment paper, sprinkle cornmeal and arrange dough rounds. Tops should be dusted with cornmeal, covered, and allowed to rise for another 30 minutes. Heat a greased skillet over medium heat.Cook muffins on a griddle for about 10 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Slice in half and toast it lightly right before consuming it. Brush the toasted sides with some butter and serve.

Tips for Making Muffins at Home

For whole-wheat English muffins, use half wheat flour and half all-purpose flour. For vegan English muffins, use dairy-free milk and coconut oil instead of butter. You can bake these in the oven, but the outcome will differ. These aren’t microwave-friendly. Cover the bottom and top of your English muffins in fine cornmeal before baking for a crispy textured crust.Wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer for up to 8 weeks. Let them defrost at room temperature before toasting and serving. You can keep your dough in the fridge for up to 3 days after the 18-hour fermentation time.

Condiments 

Remember that the nutrient profile may vary depending on the type of English muffin you choose and the condiments you use. 

Guacamole or mashed avocado TunaCheddar cheeseHummus Fresh mozzarella and tomato slices Sliced bananas and honey Strawberry slices and cream cheese Dried cranberries and almond butter Fresh blueberries and creme fraiche Scallions and scrambled eggs

The HealthifyMe Note

If you’re looking for a snack with your English muffin, consider a cup of greek yoghurt with fresh fruit. Alternatively, you can make a simple fruit salad with melon, grapes, strawberries or blueberries. The goal is to make your morning meals as easy as possible. You can top English muffins with various healthy ingredients to make them an excellent addition to your breakfast plate. For example, try topping your English muffin with cottage cheese for a healthy twist and extra protein, calcium, and B vitamins.

Potential Drawbacks of English Muffin

Hypernatremia

Hypernatremia occurs when the blood contains an excessive amount of sodium. Studies suggest this syndrome can occur in intellectually and physically disabled older persons who do not eat or drink enough. It can also happen in unwell people with a high fever, vomiting, or infection, causing extreme dehydration. Other causes include excessive sweating or diuretic drugs that dehydrate the body. Nausea, vomiting, weakness, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, confusion, and kidney impairment are all signs of hypernatremia.

Hypertension

Several studies widely recognise and support the relationship between hypertension and dietary sodium intake. Research suggests that high blood pressure can promote atherosclerosis (hardening and thickening of the arteries), resulting in a heart attack, stroke, or other issues. Blood vessels can weaken and expand as a result of high blood pressure.

Allergies

English muffins contain gluten, and health professionals recommend avoiding them if you’re on a gluten-free diet. While most people can tolerate gluten without problems, those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity should avoid gluten-containing meals. Furthermore, choosing refined wheat or adding salty or sugary toppings may nullify the health benefits.

Risk Factor for Type-II Diabetes

Studies show that increasing refined grain consumption can lead to increased belly fat, higher triglyceride levels, and lower insulin sensitivity. All these are risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Since English muffins use refined flour, one must watch for the quantities. 

Storage and Selection 

Follow these steps to store them properly: 

To keep the interior structure of the English muffins intact, cut them in half using a fork rather than a knife. Wrap each item separately in plastic wrap, parchment paper, aluminium foil, or other suitable material. Put the halves in an airtight container or a plastic freezer bag. Place the container or bag in the freezer’s back corner, preferably on a lower shelf where the temperature will not vary.

The HealthifyMe Note

English muffins will last three to four days at room temperature. English muffins can last for at least three months in the freezer when properly stored. 

Muffins and GERD

English Muffin is acid reflux friendly. GERD, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, is common and uncomfortable. Acid regurgitates back into the oesophagus, causing GERD. Also, the oesophagus can be highly irritated by acid reflux bringing along some not-so-pleasant symptoms like chest pain, burning sensation, difficulty swallowing, and even a sour taste in your mouth. Since high-fat foods take longer to digest, your body needs to increase acid production to digest them. It is safe to say that the English muffin is perfect for avoiding GERD since it contains very little fat. An ideal recipe would be an English Muffin with sliced peaches, milk and a tablespoon of margarine to enjoy your muffins without stressing the inconvenience of acid reflux.

Biscuits or Muffins?

Are biscuits better than muffins? You can prepare a biscuit from the flattened dough, cut it into rounds with a spoon and bake it in the oven. However, people often produce muffins with a thicker dough spooned or poured into muffin tins. Another difference is that muffins have a sweet crumb and a cakey texture. In contrast, biscuits are savoury rather than sweet, with a tighter bread-like crumb and varying degrees of flakiness depending on the recipe’s folding method. But, of course, the main difference between a muffin and a biscuit is how you put together the ingredients. A biscuit alone has almost four times the sodium in an English muffin.

The biscuit contains palm oil and hydrogenated vegetable oil, which significantly raises the fat and saturated fat content. On the other hand, the English muffin is practically fat-free. Furthermore, removing processed meat reduces calories, fat, and sodium, making egg and cheese a far better choice.

If you’re on a low-carb diet, English muffins aren’t high in carbohydrates.

Half of a wheat English muffin provides less than 13 grams of carbs,Half a whole-wheat muffin gives you roughly 11.5 grams,Half a plain white English muffin contains around 12.5 grams of carbohydrates. 

In addition, they generally do not have any unhealthy fats in them, which is why people see them as healthy. But, remember, if you eat the whole thing, you’ll get twice the carbs.

Conclusion

Whole wheat English muffins are high-fibre, low-fat breakfast items high in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium. In conclusion, the English muffin is a healthy breakfast choice. It is a popular breakfast food; you can top it with sweet or savoury ingredients. For a balanced meal, pair them with nutritious breakfast meats, eggs, fresh fruit, mashed avocado, almond butter, or hummus.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Is an English muffin good for you?

A. English muffins are low in calories but high in fibre and other vitamins and minerals. To boost the nutritional value of your morning meal, use whole wheat English muffins and add healthy toppings like hummus, eggs, or nut butter.

Q. Is an English muffin better for you than bread?

A. English muffins are slightly healthier than bread because they include fewer calories, carbohydrates, fats, and sugar than bread. However, both have a high carbohydrate content, which can offer energy throughout the day, and many nutrients.

Q. Do English muffins help you lose weight?

A. Whole wheat English muffins are high-fibre, low-fat breakfast items high in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium. However, be cautious about what you put on it, as using a lot of butter or jelly can also add a lot of calories.

Q. Are muffins unhealthy?

A. It depends on the preparation. Some store-bought muffins are high in calories, often around 400 or more per muffin. Additionally, they are high in sodium, which can lead to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. However, they’re easy to incorporate into a well-balanced, healthy diet.

Q. Do English muffins have fat?

A. Most English muffin brands include almost no fat. However, most individuals coat their muffins with butter or cream cheese, which raises the fat level of your meal. As a result, English muffins are an excellent weight-loss option if you mind what you put on them.

Q. Are English muffins a carb?

A. Yes. Nutritionists consider it low-carb food, as a 100 gm serving of English muffin contains 46 grams of carbs, including starch. Low-carbohydrate foods help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease and control blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Q. Are English muffins good for GERD?

A. English muffin is acid reflux friendly. GERD results from acid reflux. If the high-fat foods stay in your stomach longer, your body produces more acid to digest. However, the English muffin is one of the suitable food items you can consume even during GERD since it contains very little fat.

Q. What is the difference between a biscuit and a muffin?

A. The most significant difference in preparing these products is that muffins require a batter for production, whereas biscuits require dough. Furthermore, muffins usually have a liner, which you can make from paper, silicone, or other materials. They’re also cakey, fluffy, and crumbly in texture. On the other hand, biscuits are often flaky, without a lining, and have a soft golden hue on the sides, but not nearly as golden as muffins.

Q. Are English muffins high in carbs?

A. English muffin made with high-carb wheat flour is heavy in carbs. One English muffin has roughly 26 grams of carbohydrates.

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