Heart Attack on the Side: Eleven Scary Fast-Food Breakfasts

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How would you like to meet half your daily caloric allowance and your recommended daily sodium and saturated fat intake in one quick breakfast eaten on the road? It’s becoming progressively easier to do these days as food technicians, chefs, and market researchers, holed away in corporate fast food studios, are busy developing monstrous new breakfast items. Trying to claim as much of the fifty-seven billion dollar fast food-breakfast market as they can, the fast food giants are drumming up increasingly cheesy, steak-y, fried chicken-y breakfast dishes that tap into flavor combinations that have proven successful for lunch and dinner items. It’s no longer eggs and English muffins for fast-food breakfast. Breakfast burger, anyone?

What’s most striking about some of these high-calorie items?aside from the unsustainable, industrial, often GMO and synthetic ingredients?is the very high sodium and saturated fat content. According to the USDA, the current recommendation for sodium consumption is less than 2,300 milligrams a day. For saturated fat, the maximum allowance is between eighteen grams and thirty-one grams, depending on your caloric intake needs. Many of these breakfast items meet or exceed the daily sodium and fat allowances, and provide much more than one-third of your daily caloric needs.

1. Carl’s Jr. Breakfast Burger

Yes, I’m afraid you read that right: “breakfast” and “burger” in the same menu description. How do you turn a regular burger into a breakfast burger? By adding not only an egg, but also bacon, American cheese, and hash-brown nuggets, too!

Calories: 780
Fat Calories: 370
Total Fat: 51 grams
Saturated Fat: 15 grams
Sodium: 1460

2. McDonald’s Big Breakfast with Hotcakes

Chances are that if you are ordering a breakfast that contains scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, hotcakes, and a biscuit, you’re probably not really watching your waistline. (Well, watching it increase, maybe.) But still, the tally for this corpulent combination is quite impressive.

Calories: 1150
Fat Calories: 540
Total Fat: 59 grams
Saturated Fat: 20 grams
Sodium: 2260

If you decide to go with something less bulky, like the McSkillet Burrito with Sausage, you’ll still be ringing up 610 calories. The “best bet” here is the Egg McMuffin at 300 calories and five grams of saturated fat. But then again, the thought of pasteurized and processed American cheese, Canadian-style bacon, and liquid margarine may leave you a little blue in the gills.

3. Burger King Double Croissan’wich with Sausage, Egg, and Cheese

Does the cutesy name make it any less threatening?

Calories: 680
Fat Calories: 421
Total Fat: 49 grams
Saturated Fat: 18 grams
Sodium: 1520

4. Hardee’s Double Sausage Egg ?n’ Cheese Biscuit

Anytime you start saying “double sausage” when talking about a meal, you should just know to expect trouble … like twenty-one-grams-of-saturated-fat kind of trouble. Along with your RDA for sodium and saturated fat all scooped up with this one sandwich, you can pretty much eat nothing else besides celery for the day. The problem with any of the biscuit meals here is that the biscuit alone is 370 calories.

Calories: 830
Fat Calories: 570
Total Fat: 63 grams
Saturated Fat: 21 grams
Sodium: 2100

5. Hardee’s Loaded Breakfast Burrito

Can you imagine? Eggs, crumbled sausage, bacon, diced ham, and lots of shredded cheddar cheese wrapped in a warm flour tortilla and served with zesty salsa. I like the use of “zesty”—as if it somehow lightens this overwhelming brick of animal fat disguised as a burrito.

Calories: 760
Fat Calories: 400
Total Fat: 49 grams
Saturated Fat: 21 grams
Sodium: 1380

6. Hardee’s Low Carb Breakfast Bowl

You probably think the low-carb item is going to be the better option. How does this sound: eggs topped with a sausage patty and a slice of Swiss cheese, then piled with a loaded omelet (with crumbled sausage, bacon, diced ham, and shredded cheddar), then finished with more shredded cheddar and sprinkled with bacon bits. Sounds like “call 911” to me.

Calories: 620
Fat Calories: 450
Total Fat: 50 grams
Saturated Fat: 21 grams
Sodium: 1380

7. Jack in the Box Steak and Egg Burrito

I don’t know who came up with the idea of steak and eggs for breakfast, but ouch. It’s even worse when they’re wrapped up in a tortilla along with hash browns, cheddar cheese, jack cheese, and a bunch of sauce.

Calories: 821
Fat Calories: 450
Total Fat: 48 grams
Saturated Fat: 15 grams
Sodium: 1616

8. Jack in the Box Extreme Sausage Sandwich

When a regular sausage sandwich just isn’t enough.

Calories: 690
Fat Calories: 445
Total Fat: 41 grams
Saturated Fat: 17 grams
Sodium: 1356

9. Chick-fil-A Sausage Biscuit

The Chick-fil-A sausage biscuit is not too much better or worse than the other sausage biscuits. The general problem with a biscuit breakfast is that it’s not that large a meal, yet you’re using up a lot of calories for junk and animal fat.

Calories: 590
Fat Calories: 370
Total Fat: 41 grams
Saturated Fat: 16 grams
Sodium: 1250

10. Chick-fil-A Chicken, Egg, and Cheese Bagel on a Sunflower-Multigrain Bagel

Well, it’s nice that they opted for a multigrain bagel studded with sunflower seeds, but does that really hide the fact that there’s a slab of fried chicken between the eggs and American cheese?

Calories: 530
Fat Calories: 200
Total Fat: 23 grams
Saturated Fat: 7 grams
Sodium: 1330

11. Burger King Biscuits and Sausage Gravy Platter
I can’t decide which one is worse: the Biscuits and Sausage Gravy Platter or the Double Croissan’Wich with sausage, egg, and cheese. The calories are the same, but you can have thirty-five grams of fat with 2350 milligrams of sodium (that’s your limit for the day), or you can opt for the forty-nine grams of fat with 1520 milligrams of sodium.

Calories: 680
Fat Calories: 310
Total Fat: 35 grams
Saturated Fat: 28 grams
Sodium: 2350

Originally published on Care2


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