English muffins have long been a breakfast staple. You can eat them as a side dish to eggs, or you can make a meal of them with peanut butter or as a breakfast sandwich. The low-carb craze led many to avoid breads, including English muffins. However, a whole wheat English muffin provides whole grain nutrients and fiber not found in its refined counterpart. Nutritional values vary by brand, so you need to check labels to find whole wheat English muffins that have the most nutrition and the least amount of sugar and sodium.
Fat and Protein
Whole wheat English muffins are a good low-fat bread option. They have 1 gram of fat and no trans fats or cholesterol, both of which are linked to heart disease, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. They provide nearly 6 grams of protein, which is higher than many breakfast cereals. Protein is the building block of muscle, and it is filling and curbs hunger, according to a report published on the ScienceDaily website.
Carbohydrates and Sugar
Depending on the brand of whole wheat English muffin you eat, you'll get 23 to 27 grams of carbohydrates. You will also get 3 to 4 grams of fiber, which is important to aid digestion and lower cholesterol. Whole wheat muffins have 2 to 5 grams of sugar, which isn't healthy but improves the taste. The American Heart Association recommends that women limit sugar consumption to 100 calories daily, and that men get no more than 150 calories a day. Sugar has 4 calories per gram, so a whole wheat English muffin has 20 calories from sugar. For a woman, that's 20 percent of her daily allowance. Read food labels and choose the brand with the least amount of sugar. For example, Thomas' whole wheat English muffins have only 2 grams of sugar.
Vitamins and Minerals
Whole wheat English muffins are packed with minerals and vitamins, including the B vitamins thiamin and niacin. B vitamins help the body metabolize food to create energy and help produce red blood cells. In addition, these muffins have iron, which is also important in forming red blood cells. They have up to 38 percent of your daily requirement for selenium, which assists in thyroid function and immunity. Whole wheat English muffins also have up to 59 percent of your daily requirement for manganese, which serves as an antioxidant, helps in bone development and assists in healing.
One English muffin contains as much as 420 milligrams of sodium. While sodium is an important nutrient for good health, most people consume too much because it's used as an additive in many foods. According to MayoClinic.com, you should limit your consumption of sodium to 2,300 milligrams a day; if you're over the age of 51, the limit is 1,500 milligrams. A whole wheat English muffin contains 18 to 28 percent of the daily recommended limit for sodium. If possible, choose low sodium options, such as Thomas' whole wheat English muffins, which have only 220 grams of sodium.
- Thje Nebraska Medical Center: English Muffins, Whole Wheat
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fats and Cholesterol - Out with the Bad, In with the Good
- ScienceDaily: Eat a Protein-Rich Breakfast to Reduce Food Cravings, Prevent Overeating Later, Researcher Finds
- MayoClinic.com: Dietary Fiber - Essential for a Healthy Diet
- American Heart Association: Sugars and Carbohydrates
- Thomas': Thomas' 100% Whole Wheat English Muffins
- MedlinePlus: B Vitamins
- Lewis County, New York: Vitamins and Minerals
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Selenium
- Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University: Manganese