Breakfast is for losers
The latest trend in fast food? Breakfast! With new a.m. options at five chains, it's easier than ever to snag a morning meal to go.
Eating breakfast every day is a habit successful dieters share, according to studies. But what you eat makes a big difference. We rounded up the newest morning meals offered by area chains and asked Dawn Jackson Blatner, a Chicago-based registered dietitian and author of The Flexitarian Diet, to sort out the morning’s waistline friends from foes.
New offering Waffle Breakfast Sandwich (390 calories)
The usual stuff Bagels, doughnuts, breakfast sandwiches
Expert says As delicious as it sounds—especially when you’re bleary-eyed and hankering for some grease—step away from the Waffle Sandwich with its 23 grams of fat (eight are the artery-cloggy kind) and instead choose the Egg White and Turkey Sausage Flatbread for 100 fewer calories (all flatbread ’wiches are under 300 calories) and about four times less fat. “The multi-grain flatbread is also a more filling choice than a doughnut or plain bagel for about the same number of calories,” Blatner says.
New offering Oatmeal with fruit (280 calories)
The usual stuff Fruit smoothies
Expert says “Congratulations Jamba Juice, on a great new addition to the Jamba family!” gushes Blatner. “The fresh fruit oatmeal selection is quite impressive with banana, apple-cinnamon or blueberry-blackberry combos. Each one has less than 300 calories, is an excellent source of fiber and contains as much protein as an egg.” Really in the mood for a smoothie? Order the 100 percent fruit Strawberry Whirl (16oz, 240 calories) or Protein Berry Workout (16oz, 290 calories).
New offering Hot breakfast sandwiches (350+ calories), oatmeal (140 calories)
The usual stuff Doughnuts, scones, muffins, etc.
Expert says The reduced-fat turkey-bacon, egg and cheese sandwich or the oatmeal—opt for nut-mix and brown-sugar toppers—are the two best choices, says Blatner. “The ham sandwich is fine in the calorie count but slides in with a little too much artery-clogging fat, while the sausage sandwich should just be skipped with its belly-busting 500 calories and 29 grams of fat,” Blatner says. The reduced-fat coffee cake is a reasonable 300 calories—but its low fiber and protein content would have you raiding the vending machine in an hour.
New offering Three new “skinny” sandwiches are made with less bread, meat and cheese for 25 percent less fat than regular versions. (290–400 calories)
The usual stuff Oatmeal, breakfast sandwiches
Expert says “The skinny sammies are simply a genius idea,” Blatner raves. Even though it’s morning, opt for the turkey with cheese for just 339 calories, six grams of fat and three grams of fiber.(Potbelly will serve lunch sammies any time of the day) “The traditional breakfast sandwich options here are too high in calories and fat, but they do have oatmeal for just 229 calories and three grams of fiber,” Blatner says.
New offering McCafe lattes (90 calories)
The usual stuff Egg McMuffins, McGriddles, yogurt parfaits
Expert says “The lattes are a smart choice,” Blatner says. “Order a small [12oz] nonfat latte for under 100 calories and you’ll bank a third of your daily calcium needs.” For grub, order up the classic Egg McMuffin. “It’s still among the best breakfast choices around with just 300 calories,” Blatner says. If you want a sweet a.m. meal, the yogurt parfait with or without granola is a good option—and more healthy and satiating than reaching into the receptionist’s candy bowl.