Monday, December 2, 2013

Fast Food Breakfast

Hello readers! Finals seasons is officially among us! It's so sad to think that we immediately jump into our final exams just a week after Thanksgiving but hey, that's life. Today's post will be dedicated to fast food breakfasts'. I know what you are thinking: there is no possible way for a fast food restaurant to make clean food. Well my skeptical friend, you are absolutely correct. While you may not get clean options at McDonald's, there are better and healthier alternatives out there. This guide will be especially helpful during this hectic and stressful time that we are all facing together.

 Before Heading Out: Luckily, all restaurants now have their nutritional information posted up on their website. If you weren't able to get a pre-breakfast peak, then check the restaurant for a brochure or a menu containing ALL the nutritional information (not just the calories). On all the breakfast options, look for fiber and protein. Combined, these two will keep you full longer and satisfy your appetite. 

McDonalds: Instead of the Deluxe Breakfast with regular biscuit, opt for the Egg McMuffin. While both options are high in fat, you will be getting less sodium, fat, calories, and cholesterol by choosing the muffin sandwich.
McDonald's prized Egg McMuffin
  • WORST: Deluxe Breakfast - 790 calories, 51 grams of fat, 18 grams of saturated fat
  • BETTER: Egg McMuffin - 390 calories, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of fiber
Burger King: Burger King offers an omelet sandwich on its breakfast menu and I'm sure it has fooled thousands of people by its name alone. As soon as you hear omelet, you immediately think that it is a healthy choice because omelets are known to contain eggs, spinach, tomatoes, and a whole garden variety of vegetables. Well, Burger King's omelet sandwich is far from any omelet sandwich you are thinking of. This high calorie, high fat, high sodium, cheese and pork laden sandwich provides almost a days worth of fat and sodium.
  • WORST: Omelet Sandwich - 730 calories, 45 grams of fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 1950 grams of sodium
  • BETTER: Ham Omelet Sandwich - 290 calories, 13 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 870 grams of sodium, 1 gram of fiber
A prime example of why you should avoid Carls Jr for breakfast
Carls Juniors - If I were you, I would totally skip this place for breakfast. Your best bets are the French toast dips but even that is a far stretch from being "healthy"
  • WORST- breakfast burger, hash brown nuggets, loaded breakfast burrito, scrambled eggs are all packed with fat and sodium and provide up to a days worth of calories.
  • BETTER- eating somewhere else
Dunkin Donuts
  • WORST: Muffins, breakfast cookies (why would you think that this is a good idea?), sugary drinks, donuts
  • BETTER: Wheat bagel (split in half to reduce the carbs), HALF a high-fiber honey bran raisin muffin
  • WORST: all the high fat, high sugar options (drinks included), the Classic Coffee Cake - 570 calories, 28 g fat, 10 g sat fat, 7 g protein
  • BETTER: Spinach Roasted Tomato, Feta, and Egg Wrap; a fruit cup, plain oatmeal, black coffee; herbal teas with no sugar or a natural sweetener (honey, agave)
(A promotional ad for breakfast at Subway)

Subway - This chain is famous for being the healthiest alternative to fast food out there! You can fill up your sandwiches with tons of fresh veggies have the choice between an egg white or egg yellow for breakfast. While it may seem like nothing can go wrong at Subway, you are mistaken. Their worst choice is the 6 inch Steak and Cheese breakfast sandwich (a delicious favorite). Instead of this meaty fix, opt for a any of their Sunrise Melts on an English muffin or a 6 inch ham, egg, and cheese or egg and cheese.
  • WORST: Steak, Egg, and Cheese - 600 calories, 32 grams of fat, 11 grams of sat fat, 1470 grams of sodium, 6 gram of fiber (probably from the whole grain bread)
  • BETTER: Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich- 410 calories, 18 grams of fat (cheese), 8 g sat fat, 23 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber
Breakfast Bottom Line: Always eat breakfast! Especially around finals, eating a healthy breakfast in the morning will make sustain your energy and strength throughout the day. For my morning crusaders, a good breakfast, is showed to improve concentration and performance- two important things to have while studying or taking a final. If you are going to eat fast food, then opt for the healthiest option possible and don't be afraid to make changes! Even though oatmeal is full of fiber and lowers cholesterol and high blood pressure, it often times packed with sugars through the cooking process. Don't be afraid to ask for sugar on the side or even no sugar if the oatmeal also comes with fruit. The meats at fast food restaurants are often always full of greasy fat. Although you may think that the meat is a great source of protein, the eggs that most sandwiches and platters offer is more than enough. Lastly, top off the breakfast with fruit instead of hash browns for a healthier side item. If all else fails, pack a granola bar in your pocket! Don't go into finals hungry, eating anything healthy in the morning is better than not eating at all.

-Eating Clean in College

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