Warm and crispy, English muffins are versatile baked treats that you can enjoy either sweet or savory.
English muffins aren’t simply a breakfast option. You can turn your English muffins into everything from mini pizzas to sandwiches to patty melts.
However, despite their widespread popularity, you might be wondering whether English muffins prove to be healthy.
This article explores the nutritional benefits and downsides of English muffins, along with information on how they stack up against other bread-based breakfast items.
English muffins are a type of small, round bread often served with breakfast.
They are usually sliced horizontally, toasted, and paired with butter or other toppings, such as eggs, meat, cheese, fruit, or jam.
Most store-bought English muffins you’ll encounter are made with refined flour, water, yeast, salt, and sugar.
However, you can also buy whole wheat English muffins, which are higher in fiber and contain whole wheat flour rather than refined wheat flour (
Flavored English muffins have emerged as popular options. Many brands offer varieties such as pumpkin spice, cinnamon, blueberry, raisin, and cranberry.
English muffins are a popular breakfast food made with flour, water, yeast, salt, and sugar. Whole wheat versions and flavored varieties are also available.
English muffins are relatively low in calories, with around 134 calories per serving (
They are also rich in several important nutrients, including selenium, manganese, and B vitamins (
One whole wheat English muffin contains the following nutrients (
- Calories: 134
- Carbs: 27 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Fiber: 4.5 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
- Manganese: 51% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Selenium: 48% of the DV
- Thiamine: 17% of the DV
- Copper: 16% of the DV
- Niacin: 14% of the DV
- Calcium: 14% of the DV
- Sodium: 10% of the DV
- Iron: 9% of the DV
- Folate: 8% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 7% of the DV
English muffins are particularly high in selenium, an important mineral that acts as an antioxidant and plays a key role in regulating thyroid hormone production (
They also contain manganese, which is necessary for your metabolism, brain function, and bone health (
Many varieties of English muffins are also enriched with B vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, all of which your body depends on for energy and brain health (
However, keep in mind that the nutrient profile may vary depending on the specific type of English muffin you decide to eat and the toppings you add to it.
If you find yourself slathering on generous portions of sugary toppings like honey, jam, or jelly, your English muffin may contain significantly more calories, carbs, and added sugar per serving.
English muffins are relatively low in calories but contain several important nutrients, including selenium, manganese, and B vitamins.
English muffins may offer you several potential health benefits, including improved gut health and weight management.
Promote weight management
English muffins are low in calories but contain a few grams of fiber per serving (
Fiber can slow down your digestion as it moves through your gastrointestinal tract, helping you feel full longer and reducing your appetite (
Replacing a higher calorie breakfast, such as a bagel with bacon and cheese, with a well-rounded breakfast that is lower in calories and higher in protein and fiber — like an English muffin topped with a hard-boiled egg and hummus or avocado — could aid in weight loss.
Whole wheat English muffins may be especially beneficial for maintaining a moderate weight.
Not only do they contain more fiber than other varieties, but studies suggest that a higher intake of whole grains may be linked to a lower body weight and a lower body mass index (
Support gut health
Thanks to their fiber content, whole wheat English muffins may help your digestive health.
In fact, some research shows that consuming enough fiber could be beneficial for people who are dealing with chronic constipation. This may also help prevent hemorrhoids (8).
In addition to promoting regularity, fiber may help protect you from a range of other digestive issues, including diverticular disease, a condition characterized by small bulges that form in the lining of the gut (
Other research suggests that consuming more fiber may be associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer (
English muffins can promote regularity and help you maintain a moderate weight, thanks to the amount of fiber they contain.
Though English muffins are a good source of several important nutrients, the potential health benefits they offer can vary depending on the specific type and toppings you choose.
Not all English muffins are created equal in terms of nutrition. For example, English muffins made with whole wheat flour contain nearly three times as much fiber as those made with refined wheat flour (
Additionally, studies show that increased intake of refined grains — such as English muffins made with refined flour — may be associated with increased belly fat, higher triglyceride levels, and decreased insulin sensitivity, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (
Selecting toppings that are high in sodium or added sugar may also negate some of the health benefits associated with English muffins.
Piling on toppings such as jam or honey can ramp up your intake of sugar and carbs. And if you’re going for a savory muffin with processed meats like bacon, ham, or sausage, you may be adding sodium and saturated fat to your diet (
Finally, keep in mind that English muffins contain gluten — a type of protein found in wheat, barley, and rye (
While most people can tolerate gluten without any issues, people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity should avoid foods that contain gluten to avoid unpleasant side effects (
English muffins contain gluten, so if you’re eating gluten-free, it’s best to avoid them. Additionally, choosing varieties made with refined flour or adding salty or sugary toppings may negate some of the potential health benefits.
English muffins are just one of the many popular bread-based breakfast items.
Though English muffins show overlap with similar foods, such as bread, bagels, and biscuits, these products also have some key differences in nutrition.
Here is a closer look at how English muffins compare with some other breakfast foods (
As you can see, a single whole wheat English muffin contains nearly half the calories and the same amount of fiber as its whole wheat bagel counterpart.
The table above reviews how English muffins compare with other breakfast items, such as bread, bagels, and biscuits. If nutrition is your concern, whole wheat English muffins stack up nicely against these alternatives.
English muffins can be a nutritious addition to your healthy diet. Still, this depends on the specific type of muffin and toppings you choose.
Ideally, choose whole wheat varieties whenever possible, as they provide a higher amount of fiber than English muffins made with refined flour (
To help maximize the nutritional value, it’s best to opt for toppings that are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, or minerals.
Here are a few nutritious toppings to try on your next English muffin:
- hard-boiled egg with pepper
- mashed avocado
- cottage cheese
- mozzarella with tomato slices and fresh basil
- nut butter
- sliced bananas
- Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
- scrambled eggs with chives
To get the most nutritional bang for your buck, select whole wheat English muffins and nutrient-dense toppings when possible.
English muffins are a popular breakfast food typically made using flour, yeast, water, salt, and sugar.
In addition to being low in calories, certain English muffins contain high amounts of fiber and several other important vitamins and minerals.
Whenever possible, choose whole wheat English muffins and add healthy toppings like hummus, eggs, or nut butter to maximize the nutritional value of your morning meal.