ShopSmart Puts Breakfasts from Seven National Fast-Food Chains to the Test

Oct 11, 2010, 18:00 ET from ShopSmart Magazine

Yummy Morning Meals That Won't Kill Your Diet

YONKERS, NY, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Many fast-food joints sell eggs and other morning goodies -- but not all of them are good for you. A new breakfast test in the November 2010 issue ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, rates the best and worst choices at seven popular restaurants based on calories, fat, and sodium.

"Going for a greasy burger for lunch isn't great, but making a bad choice for breakfast is, well, really bad," said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. "Eating breakfast has a host of advantages, whether it's controlling your cholesterol and blood-sugar levels, maintaining a healthy weight, and boosting your energy and memory. ShopSmart's guide to making smart fast-food choices will make it easier to eat breakfast and still save time in the morning."

ShopSmart's "Better Breakfasts" feature highlights which breakfasts to pick and which to skip at national chain restaurants, breaks down what ingredients a healthy breakfast should contain, offers a calorie count of popular breakfast snacks at Dunkin' Donuts, and provides an overview of nutritious and filling options to keep around the kitchen to make your morning meal a no-brainer. Below is a sampling of some of ShopSmart's advice.

Top Healthy Breakfast Choices at Major Fast-Food Restaurant Chains


  • PICK IT: Ham, Egg & Cheese Wake-Up Wrap (200 calories)
    Saturated Fat 4.5g, Sodium 640mg, Sugars 1g, Protein 10g, Fiber 1g  
  • SKIP IT: Sausage, Egg & Cheese On Croissant (640 calories)
    Saturated Fat 17g, Sodium 1,250mg, Sugars 6g, Protein 22g, Fiber 2g


  • PICK IT: Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait (130 calories)
    Saturated Fat 1g, Sodium 55mg, Sugars 19g, Protein 4g, Fiber 0g  
  • SKIP IT: Big Breakfast with Hotcakes (1,150 calories)
    Saturated Fat 20g, Sodium 2,260mg, Sugars 17g, Protein 36g, Fiber 7g


  • PICK IT: Perfect Oatmeal (140 calories)
    Saturated Fat 0.5g, Sodium 105mg, Sugars 0g, Protein 5g, Fiber 4g  
  • SKIP IT: Raspberry Scone (500 calories)
    Saturated Fat 15g, Sodium 650mg, Sugars 18g, Protein 8g, Fiber 2g

Healthy Breakfast Habits

Your breakfast should account for 20 to 25 percent of your total daily calories with a mix of protein, complex carbs, and good fats to chase away morning stomach growls. ShopSmart recommends trying fortified cereal, eggs, yogurt and smoothies. Or try peanut butter or smoke salmon on a slice of whole-wheat toast. Whether you're home or away, keep these eating habits in mind.


  • Protein: Aim for about 12 grams from lean sources like eggs, egg substitute, low-fat cottage cheese, yogurt, skim milk, and soy bacon or sausage.
  • Carbohydrates: Choose complex carbs, such as whole whole-grain bread or cereal, fruit, and vegetables.
  • Heart-healthy fat: Good sources include canola or olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish, such as salmon.


  • Bad fats: Steer clear of full-fat meat and dairy products. Keep saturated fats to a minimum and  avoid trans fat, used in grab-and-go breakfast goodies such as prepackaged muffins.
  • Sugar: Some breakfast cereals have more than a days worth of sugar in a single serving.

About ShopSmart magazine:

Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon Consumer Reports' celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. The magazine features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and "best of the best" lists. ShopSmart is ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Borders, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at

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SOURCE ShopSmart Magazine