A traditional St. Patrick’s Day breakfast of corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and soda bread is a fairly balanced meal, if a little high in carbs and soda bread. It’s also a much healthier choice than a lot of the other St. Patrick’s Day foods and dishes currently on the menu at a number of chain restaurants. These foods may be green, but they are not exactly good for you! So, if you plan to splurge today, go ahead and enjoy the real Irish deal, not these unhealthy options!
Mint Oreo Creme Donut from Dunkin’ Donuts: This dessert disguised as breakfast is sort of like Ben and Jerry’s Mint Cookie Ice Cream, only in donut form. The bakers at this largely Eastern and Central chain start with a yeast donut, cover it with mint frosting and bit of Oreo cookies, and top it off with a heaping helping of frosting in the center. The thing weighs in at 400 calories, 22 grams of fat, and 9 grams of saturated fat–or about 45% of your recommended daily allowance.
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Sweet potatoes are one of my absolute favorite foods. I rarely go to the grocery store without picking a few up to have on hand for a quick lunch, side dish or healthy snack throughout the week; but it hasn’t always been that way. Only in recent years have I let the sweet, orange variety reign supreme in my heart over traditional white potatoes. But since making the switch I’ve reaped some serious health benefits, and not to mention satisfied my sweet tooth.
Health benefits: Sweet potatoes are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals like vitamins C, B6 and D, which help promote overall health, prevent such serious health risks as heart attacks and bone decay, and also ensure proper immune system function.
They’re also high in fiber, which helps promote proper digestion and the body’s ability to maintain a healthy weight. A lesser known health benefit of sweet potatoes is that they are loaded with iron, which is essential for white blood cell production, stress management, optimum immune health and the metabolizing of protein. They’re also a great source of magnesium, potassium, and carotenoids like beta carotene, which help strengthen eyesight, boost immunity to disease and even ward off cancer.
Nutritional statistics: One cup of cooked sweet potato with skin contains approximately 180 calories, 0 g fat, 41 g carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 13 grams sugar and 4 grams of protein.
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