Many people understand that a scoop of ice cream or a slice of cheesy pizza are delicious splurges full of calories.
But what if you could have three scoops of Ben & Jerry's chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream or three slices of pepperoni pizza and still not consume the amount of calories and fat in some breakfast sandwiches?
“You used to go to McDonald's, get your Egg McMuffin, get your coffee, breakfast was done,” says Jayne Hurley, senior nutritionist with the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “But breakfast sandwiches now available at many of these restaurants are like having two or three Egg McMuffins with your cup of coffee.”
It turns out that some of these fast-food breakfast sandwiches are packed with calories.
The Dunkin' Donuts’ sausage, egg and cheese croissant has 690 calories and 48 grams of fat. McDonald's steak, egg and cheese bagel has 710 calories and 37 grams of fat. And the Burger King Enormous Omelet Breakfast Sandwich? 760 calories and 44 grams of fat.
Experts recommend adults have no more than 2,000 calories, 20 grams of saturated fat and 1,800 milligrams of sodium per day. Many of the sandwiches cover more than half of that.
And with Denny's Grand Slamwich, which is the original Grand Slam breakfast between two slices of bread, you're looking at two days’ worth of saturated fat and two days’ worth of sodium and more than 1,300 calories.
And while some companies are offering healthier choices, like egg whites - you still have to read the nutritional information. Even Subway, with its healthy reputation, has a nearly 500 calorie breakfast sandwich.
A breakdown of breakfast sandwiches.
Denny’s Grand Slamwich: 1320 calories, 90 g fat, 3070 mg sodium
Burger King Enormous Omelet Breakfast Sandwich: 760 calories, 44 grams fat,
McDonald’s Steak, Egg and Cheese Bagel: 710 calories, 37 grams fat, 1700mg sodium
Subway 6” Breakfast BMT Melt: 490 calories 22 grams fat, 1630 mg sodium
Dunkin Donuts: Sausage, Egg and Cheese Croissant: 690 calories, 48 grams fat, 1340 mg sodium
Panera: French Toast Bagel Breakfast Sandwich with Sausage: 670 calories, 45 grams fat
Sonic Sausage Egg and Cheese Breakfast Toaster: 620 calories, 42 grams fat 1400 mg sodium
Tips for a healthier start into the day
If you’re going to get a breakfast sandwich, nutritionists suggest something on flat bread, in a wrap or on an English muffin. They also suggest choosing egg whites over regular eggs. Both Subway and Dunkin Donuts have egg-white options.
Nutritionists suggest selecting fruit and yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, whole grain cereals or fruit instead of a breakfast sandwich for a healthier start to the day.
Watch out for breakfast pastries, muffins and breakfast breads available in restaurants and coffee shops. Many pack more than 500 calories each.
Recommended daily allowances are no more than 2,000 calories for an adult, 20 grams saturated fat (60 grams total fat) and 1800 mg sodium.