(WASHINGTON) -- McDonald's sells its oatmeal as a healthy breakfast alternative, but according to one food critic, it includes too many not-so-healthy ingredients. Its new oatmeal, which McDonald's released nationwide last month as a "bowl full of wholesome," is actually a crock full of something else, according to Mark Bittman, a food author and blogger for The New York Times.
"It's put forward as this wholesome thing when, in fact, it's sort of an amalgam of ingredients you wouldn't ordinarily have at home," he said.
The oatmeal bought in any grocery store across the country only has one ingredient, oats. But McDonald's oatmeal has 21 ingredients, including natural flavor, barley malt extract and caramel color.
"I think it's misleading to portray this as a healthy breakfast because the McDonald's oatmeal has about the same amount of sugar as a Snickers bar, has about the same amount of calories as one of their hamburgers," Bittman said. "It's just an odd way to go about serving a healthy breakfast."
Julia Braun, a registered dietitian for McDonald's USA, points out that people also add ingredients to the oatmeal they buy in the store. "About half comes from natural sources," she said of McDonald's oatmeal calorie count. She also said it's misleading to compare McDonald's oatmeal to a Snickers bar.
McDonald's oatmeal has 290 calories when fully loaded with cream and fruit. Plain oats -- with no additives -- are 150 calories per serving, before adding any sugar, syrup or fruits.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.