The best and worst fast-food breakfasts - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

The best and worst fast-food breakfasts

About a third of breakfasts are eaten away from home, making the healthfulness of fast-food breakfasts that much more important. (Source: Pixabay, file) About a third of breakfasts are eaten away from home, making the healthfulness of fast-food breakfasts that much more important. (Source: Pixabay, file)

(RNN) – More Americans are eating fast-food breakfasts to start their day.

And while there are plenty of choices, not too many of them are both nutritious and delicious, according to Consumer Reports.

The nonprofit group looked at six chains - Au Bon Pain, Dunkin’ Donuts, Jamba Juice, McDonald’s, Panera Bread, and Starbucks – to represent a cross-section of breakfast eateries.

About a third of breakfasts are eaten away from home, according to market research firm NPD Group, making the healthfulness of fast-food breakfasts that much more important.

“It can be tricky to find a breakfast item that’s reasonable in calories, fat, sodium, and sugars while high in valuable nutrients, especially fiber—and that also tastes good,” said Consumer Reports nutritionist Amy Keating.

Of all the breakfast items at the six chains, only 48 of them scored recommendations from Consumer Reports. To be recommended, an item had to receive a “very good” rating for nutrition and taste.

Panera Bread did the best with five recommended items. Starbucks had four, and Au Bon Pain and Jamba Juice had three each.

And then there’s McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. Both scored high marks for taste, but none of their menu items met Consumer Reports’ nutritional standards.

Some of the best

Panera Bread's egg whites and cheddar on a skinny wheat bagel sandwich with avocado, spinach and tomato packs in lots of nutrients and is a good source of heart-healthy fats.

Panera Bread's steel cut oatmeal with strawberries and pecans provides lots of healthy fiber with fresh fruit to sweeten things up.

Some of the worst

McDonald's Big Breakfast packs 1,350 calories, 65 grams of fat and 2,100 mg of sodium into one meal.

Dunkin' Donuts has a sausage, egg and cheese croissant that weighs in with 700 calories and 1,120 mg of sodium.

Making it healthier

For the classic breakfast sandwiches, nutritionists suggest looking for choices with whole-grain breads, veggies, and egg whites or other lean proteins.

For oatmeal, go with the unsweetened variety and then add your own sweetener, fruits and nuts.

For smoothies and fruit bowls, get sweeteners on the side and look for items with whole fruit.

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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