How to Make Fast-Food Breakfast Healthier

Craving that fast-food breakfast sandwich? Enjoy it with these healthy tips.

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How to Get a Real Egg at a Fast-Food Restaurant (2:30)

Breakfast foods are a favorite, and fast-food brands have taken notice by offering breakfast options all day long. Grab-and-go breakfasts are generally not the healthiest option, but making a few tweaks to your order might be able to save you some calories. Investigative reporter Tia Brown has a couple tricks to make sure your fast-food breakfast is as healthy as it can be.  

Breakfast Sandwich Eggs

Since the FDA doesn't have a clear definition of a real egg, this allows some fast-food brands to use egg products — eggs with additives in them. These are most commonly liquid egg mixtures that can be cooked into egg patties in advance, frozen, and then reheated as needed. Brown says the way to tell if your eggs are made with egg product is to see if it is flat and has a fold in it.

Her trick to ensure you’re getting a fresh egg is to ask to substitute egg for a round egg on your breakfast sandwich. They’ll crack a fresh egg and cook it right in front of you. 

Breakfast Sandwich Meats

If you're looking to add meat onto your breakfast sandwich, you should go for Canadian bacon over regular bacon or a sausage patty. Canadian bacon is considerd the healthiest of the three options because it is cut from the back loin of the pig and therefore is leaner and lower in saturated fat.

When compared to a burger, breakfast sandwiches appear to be the healthier option when it comes to calories and saturated fat. However, burgers have significantly more protein. Canadian bacon can give your breakfast sandwich the low-calorie, high-protein option it's missing. If you're not a fan of breakfast meats, you can double up on the eggs for more protein.

Hash Browns

While hash browns are lower in calories when compared to French fries, they are significantly higher in sodium. This crunchy side is made from more than just potatoes, making it not the best option to add to your order. Consider your daily sodium intake next time you’re ordering, and maybe opt out of the potato side.

Coffee

Brown found that when you order a regular coffee at many fast-food places, you’re likely to get a pre-made beverage that is loaded with milk and sugar. If you want to avoid these added ingredients, Brown suggests being diligent when you order. Ask for an unsweetened, plain coffee for your hot coffee and be careful to ask for nothing added in your iced coffee, or simply ask for a coffee over ice to avoid extras. Then, if you want milk or sugar, add it on your own — just don't overdo it. 

While fast-food shouldn't be a regular on your daily menu, these tips can help you get the healthiest options when you do get a craving for a fast-food breakfast special.  

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