11 Healthier Fast Food Breakfast Options

It’s not always possible to make time for a healthy breakfast when you have a busy schedule. Sometimes, therefore, you may find yourself at the nearest drive-in, grabbing something on the way to work.

Fast food is often considered unhealthy, and for good reason: most options will cost you lots of calories, saturated fat, added sugar, and sodium. Fortunately, healthier choices are available.

We’ve researched popular fast food restaurants to find you 11 healthier fast food breakfast options.

If you’re looking to monitor your calorie intake, there are several options.

These two breakfasts both contain less than 300 calories. Keep in mind, however, that they may not be as filling as a high-calorie meal. If desired, add a fruit cup for a few extra calories, filling nutrients and fiber.

You’ll also notice a few other breakfasts on this list that are under 300 calories.

1. Dunkin’ Donuts Veggie Egg White Omelette

The veggie egg white omelette is loaded with wholesome veggies and assembled with cheddar cheese on a thin multigrain layer. One serving contains (1):

  • calories: 290
  • Fat: 13 grams
  • Crabs: 27 grams
    • Fiber: 5 grams
    • Sugar: 4 grams
  • Protein: 17 grams
  • Sodium: 550mg

2. McDonald’s Egg McMuffin without Butter

The Egg McMuffin is a popular breakfast choice, and if you order it without butter, it’s under 300 calories. With butter, the sandwich’s calorie count is just a bit higher at 310 calories. One Egg McMuffin without butter contains (2):

  • calories: 280
  • Fat: 11 grams
  • Crabs: 30 grams
    • Fiber: 2 grams
    • Sugar: 3 grams
  • Protein: 17 grams
  • Sodium: 750mg

Avoiding meat can sometimes make it harder to order, especially when you’re also trying to get enough protein. These vegetarian meals include healthy vegetables and plenty of protein from egg whites.

3. Panera Bread Sandwich with Avocado, Egg White and Spinach

This sandwich has a serving of spinach, as well as avocado, which contains healthy fats and fiber that can help you feel full longer. A sandwich contains (3, 4):

  • calories: 360
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Crabs: 39 grams
    • Fiber: 5 grams
    • Sugar: 5 grams
  • Protein: 19 grams
  • Sodium: 700mg

4. Starbucks Spinach, Feta, and Egg White Wrap

This wrap is slightly lower in calories but still contains 20 grams of protein, another nutrient that can help you feel full. Sodium is quite high, so try to balance it with low-sodium meals throughout the day (3).

Also, consider taking fresh fruit with your wrap to make it a heartier and more balanced meal. One package contains (5):

  • calories: 290
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Crabs: 34 grams
    • Fiber: 3 grams
    • Sugar: 5 grams
  • Protein: 20 grams
  • Sodium: 840mg

Oatmeal is a great breakfast option because it’s packed with nutrients like filling fiber and other vitamins and minerals. The suggestions below are also suitable for people looking for low sodium meals (6).

5. Panera Bread Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries and Pecans

Steel cut oats are the least processed type of oats. They contain slightly more protein and fiber than rolled oats.

Panera Bread Steel Cut Oatmeal is topped with pecans and strawberries, which may help reduce your risk of heart disease and other conditions (seven, 8).

One serving of Panera Bread Steel Cut Oats contains (9):

  • calories: 360
  • Fat: 15 grams
  • Crabs: 52 grams
    • Fiber: 9 grams
    • Sugar: 17 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Sodium: 150mg

6. Starbucks Classic Oatmeal

This plain oatmeal is a perfect healthy base that you can jazz up however you like.

Oatmeal on its own is low in calories, so we recommend adding fresh or dried fruits and nuts to add fiber and healthy fats to round out the meal. Without toppings, one serving of rolled oats contains (ten):

  • calories: 160
  • Fat: 2.5 grams
  • Crabs: 28 grams
    • Fiber: 4 grams
    • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Sodium: 125mg

Smoothies are super convenient for busy mornings, but they’re often loaded with sugar and empty calories. These fast food smoothie orders include a good amount of protein with no added sugar, making for a hearty, drinkable breakfast on the go.

7. King Lean1 Vanilla Smoothie

This smoothie gets its sweetness from bananas and includes both almonds and protein to make it a complete meal packed with healthy fats, fruit and protein. It’s only 22 grams of carbs, so if you’re limiting carbs, it can be a great choice.

If you’re not a fan of vanilla, the chocolate and strawberry versions of this smoothie have similar nutritional content. Try adding spinach or kale for a boost of greens you won’t even taste.

A 20 ounce (591 ml) vanilla smoothie contains (11):

  • calories: 240
  • Fat: 10 grams
  • Crabs: 22 grams
    • Fiber: 4 grams
    • Sugar: 8 grams
  • Protein: 21 grams
  • Sodium: 320mg

8. Jamba Juice Protein Berry Workout Smoothie

Filled with berries and bananas, this smoothie includes mostly natural sugars. It is also low in fat and sodium.

As a bonus, this smoothie can be ordered with whey or pea protein and is blended with soy milk, making it suitable for plant-based diets. A 16 ounce (473 ml) smoothie contains (12):

  • calories: 300
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Crabs: 52 grams
    • Fiber: 3 grams
    • Sugar: 41 grams
  • Protein: 19 grams
  • Sodium: 115mg

9. Chick-Fil-A Egg White Grill

This sandwich includes not only egg whites but also chicken, bringing its protein content to 26 grams. It’s also low in calories, so a fruit cup would be a great addition to round out this breakfast.

Although the calories are low and the protein is high, the sodium content of this meal is also high. So try to balance it with low sodium meals throughout the day. A sandwich contains (13):

  • calories: 290
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Crabs: 30 grams
    • Fiber: 1 gram
    • Sugar: 2 grams
  • Protein: 26 grams
  • Sodium: 980mg

10. Starbucks Turkey Bacon, Cheddar, and Egg White Sandwich

Finding low-fat options at fast food restaurants can be a challenge, but conveniently, this breakfast sandwich fits the bill. It’s even low calorie.

Also, Starbucks usually offers fresh fruit and yogurt if you want to bulk up that meal while keeping it low in fat. A sandwich contains (14):

  • calories: 230
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Crabs: 28 grams
    • Fiber: 3 grams
    • Sugar: 2 grams
  • Protein: 17 grams
  • Sodium: 550mg

11. Greek Yogurt Chick-Fil-A Parfait

If you’re watching your sodium intake, this yogurt parfait might be a good choice, as it only contains 80 mg of sodium. While this is the lowest sodium option on this list, a few others — like Starbucks Oatmeal Smoothie and Jamba Juice — are also low in sodium.

This meal is higher in sugar than some others, but note that the natural sugars in the berries contribute to the total. A perfect contains (15):

  • calories: 270
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Crabs: 36 grams
    • Fiber: 1 gram
    • Sugar: 26 grams
  • Protein: 13 grams
  • Sodium: 80mg

Fast food is generally considered unhealthy, but in today’s fast-paced world, it’s a convenient way to grab a meal when you’re on the go. Here are some tips for ordering healthier.

Order fresh fruit

Most fast food restaurants offer fresh fruit as a side dish, which is a more nutritious and filling option than sides like fries or hash browns.

By enjoying fresh fruit with your fast food breakfast, you add nutrients and fiber to your meal. Fiber can help you feel full longer, especially if you choose one of the lower calorie options on this list.

Opt for protein and fiber

Because both fiber and protein can be filling, it’s a good idea to choose meals that offer a good amount of both.

When ordering breakfast, high-protein options may include eggs or egg whites, cheese, or yogurt. Fruits and nuts are good examples of fiber-rich breakfast ingredients.

Avoid sugary drinks

Some drinks on fast food menus can add a lot of sugar and empty calories to your order.

A simple way to save calories is to stick to water or unsweetened drinks, such as black coffee or tea, instead of milkshakes, sodas, sugary iced coffees or iced teas.

Prepare before your visit

Fast food restaurants are required to provide nutritional information for their menu items, so if you have time, try to identify some options before heading to the drive-thru. This way you can make an informed and healthy decision.

Whether you’re looking for oatmeal, sandwiches, smoothies or something else, there are several fast food options available – and they’re not that unhealthy for you.

As a general rule, opt for foods high in protein, vegetables, fiber and fruit, and avoid those high in sodium, saturated fat, added sugar and calories.

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