For most people, the mornings are usually the most hectic part of the day and it can be hard to find the time to whip up a healthy and filling breakfast. So if you have no choice but to resort to fast food outlets on your way to work, don’t despair—there are actually some great healthy choices out there.
1. Au bon pain egg white cheddar & avocado
While there several solid breakfast options at Au Bon Pain, the egg whites, cheddar and avocado on a skinny bagel top my list. Technically, at 310 calories, it doesn’t make the cut off, but I have included it anyway as it is filling, high in protein (20 grams) and healthy fat. To trim the calories, order the egg whites and cheddar breakfast sandwich, which weighs in at only 230 calories and still contains 20 grams of protein.
2. McDonalds Egg McMuffin
The classic Egg McMuffin (290 calories, 17 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat and 31 grams of carbohydrates) is a very good option at McDonalds, so long as you do not eat it with hash browns and juice. The new Egg White Delight McMuffin contains 250 calories, 18 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat and 30 grams of carbohydrates, of which 3 grams are sugar and 4 are fiber. Since essentially all of an egg’s nutrients and ½ the protein are in the yolk, it is reasonable to choose the whole egg over the egg white.
3. Dunkin donuts ham egg & cheese English muffin
The ham, egg and cheese English muffin contains 280 calories, 17 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fiber. You can boost the protein by adding egg whites without significantly increasing the sandwich’s calories. For comparison, a single glazed donut has 260 calories, and a bacon, egg and cheese “Big N’ Toasted packs well over 500 calories and 28 grams of fat.
4. Jamba Juice spinach and cheese breakfast wrap
When you’re at the smoothie bar, you may automatically think of their signature drinks, but here you’ll want to grab something savory instead. Fruit is great, but stick to one to one and a half servings to avoid sugar overload.
However, this sandwich has everything a good breakfast should: The tortilla provides carbs, which break down into glucose, your body’s primary source of energy. And that’s key: Your body draws upon that energy to do everything from crush it on the treadmill to brainstorm at work. Plus, carbs are best paired with protein, which helps build and repair muscle, as well as the healthy, monounsaturated fats in the eggs and Swiss cheese.
5. Starbucks classic whole-grain oatmeal
Oatmeal is a great breakfast option. Since oatmeal is a whole grain, it has bulky fiber that your system takes longer to digest, filling you up. At Starbucks, they also give you the option of adding in mixed nuts she notes. And since nuts are loaded with healthy fats, they’ll ward off junky cravings.
Instead of sprinkling on brown sugar, try cinnamon for sweetness. Part of what generally makes fast food breakfast so bad for you is added sugar, but with a few careful swaps you can avoid it and still add flavor.
image couresy: aubonpain.com, livestrong.com, fromaway.com, dailyburn.com, hitsandmrs.wordpress.com.