Hey you! Welcome to a new series I’m trying out! Basically what will be happening here is that I will be accessing nutrition information on foods that are branded as ‘healthy options’ and comparing them to alternatives to see which is actually better for you… and to point out how much food companies lie.

Today, for my first edition of Sneaky Foods, I’m tackling Tim Hortons! Because it’s almost Canada Day and we’re celebrating a milestone this year (150 years, woo!), Tim Hortons brought back their famed ‘Roll Up the Rim to Win” contest (if you have no idea what I’m talking about because you’re not Canadian it’s ok don’t worry this information is not crucial to the rest of this post and also I’m sad for you because you’re missing out). Because I’m a glutton for punishment (I never win at this contest) I found myself heading to Timmy’s for coffee this morning rather than the much tastier Starbucks. While I was there I was looking into the nutrition information on their menu, and I found some very interesting tidbits I’d like to share.

First up is the Bagel B.E.L.T. (that’s a bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato breakfast sandwich for you non-Canadians).

20080129231315_random january 2008 014


The suggested option for this is to pair it with a 12 Grain Bagel – sounds healthy, right? Most of us know that eating whole grains is, overall, a better choice than eating white flour. However in this case, after seeing the nutrition facts of the 12 Grain Bagel, I wanted to dig a little deeper.


Calories Fat Sodium Carbs Sugar Protein
530 24g 1040mg 61g 11g 24g

As you can see, the B.E.L.T. with the 12 Grain Bagel was pretty high on calories and on sugar. So, I decided to swap out the bagel for a Plain Bagel. Check out how that changed the calories/sugar below:

Calories Fat Sodium Carbs Sugar Protein
485 17g 1019mg 62g 6g 22.5g

Just swapping out the 12 Grain Bagel (a seemingly healthier option!) for a Plain Bagel saved me 5 grams of sugar, 45 calories, 20mg of sodium, and 7 grams of fat.


While neither of these are ‘healthy’ options per-se (obviously not, they’re fast food) there are a lot of ways that we can be tricked into actually making worse choices, just because of a way that a company markets its food.

Let’s move on, shall we? Let’s start with a Tim Horton’s Raisin Bran Muffin. Sounds like a healthy option, no? We’re being good today and going with the muffin over a donut – and one that has bran in it, even! Take a look at the nutrition breakdown below:


Calories Fat Sodium Carbs Sugar Protein
370 12g 370mg 63g 36g 5g

HOLY HELL. We’re looking at 370 calories and 36 grams of sugar…. for a muffin… THAT’S NOT EVEN THAT ENJOYABLE. WTF, Tim Hortons? Seriously?


For reference, I’m going to swap in a Honey Dip Donut. See the nutrition info below: Glazed-Doughnuts-3

Calories Fat Sodium Carbs Sugar Protein
220 6g 210mg 39g 19g 4g

The Honey Dip Donut scores better across the board. Fewer calories, fat, sodium, carbs, and sugar. This is not a one-off, either. Realistically, most of the ‘yeast’ donuts (the fluffy ones that aren’t cake-y) are much, much better for you than any of Tim Hortons’ muffins.

These are just a few examples of foods disguising themselves as ‘healthy’. The only real way to know what you’re eating is to make it yourself, honestly, and you’ll save yourself a lot of calories, fat, and sugar in the process. The amount of sugar, especially, in a lot of this stuff is truly horrifying. It’s so, so worth it to always read your labels and make educated food decisions.

Go forth, my informed friends! You can do it!





  1. herstorycontinued says:

    Knowing that the plain bagel is just a little bit healthier than the 12 grain one makes me happy because I prefer it. The muffin thing is so unfortunate because Timmie’s muffins are so good but it’s because of the way they’re baked (they use lard to grease the pans). Thanks for sharing and Happy (almost) Canada Day from a fellow Canuck. x


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