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The Skinny on Tim Hortons

>> Friday, April 13, 2012

There is no doubt that Timmy's is an icon in Canada - it's the largest fast food chain nationwide (yes, even surpassing McDonald's!).  Tim's has made some changes lately that could either help or hinder weight struggles - with a sharp eye and a little pre-planning, you can get in and out the door with a reasonably healthy meal in your belly.

One recent addition to the Tim's menu is the Egg White Omelette Breakfast Sandwich (pictured above).  If you choose ham and a whole wheat english muffin, it comes out at a very reasonable 240 calories, with 17 grams of protein and 7 grams of fat.    This is a great improvement over the standard Tim's Breakfast Sandwich on a homestyle biscuit with the same ham and cheese, which comes in at 400 calories and 21 grams of fat.

As far as coffee goes, Tim's has recently increased its portion sizes.  Now, when you order a large coffee, you get 20 ounces instead of 14 oz (the old 14oz large size is now a 'medium').  From a calorie perspective, the coffee itself doesn't have a calorie impact, but what you put it it does.  A Large Double Double now contains 280 calories, up from 230 calories with the older portion sizes.  The extra calories in this larger portion size translates to 5 pounds of weight gain in a year, if you drink one per day.

If you substitute milk and splenda for cream and sugar in your Large Double Double, you knock the calorie count down from 280 to only 60 calories.

Tim Hortons has done a great job of making their nutritional info readily available online, to the point where you can enter your food choices into a nutrition calculator to figure out the calorie impact of what you are choosing to eat.  It's very user friendly - with a click or two of your mouse, it's easy to compare different meal and beverage choices to see where the calorie balance pans out.

To put these numbers in perspective, you can calculate the approximate total calories that you require in a day using the 'BMR Calculator' in the right column of this screen.

So, while it's best to keep fast food to a minimum, it is possible to make healthier choices, empowered by a little background research.  Before your next trip to Tim's, take a moment to consider what you usually order, and consider making a few small modifications to make your meal healthier!

Dr Sue Pedersen © 2012

Follow me on Twitter for daily tips! @drsuepedersen 



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