Fast food chains have done a very good job of turning breakfast into a game. But in this quest to capture the market, they apparently have forgotten about one thing: nutrition.
America's Unhealthiest Fast Food Breakfasts (Slideshow)
Fast-Food breakfasts make sense for a number of reasons. Many are hand-held, and can be quickly picked up enroute to the office and eaten in the car. Second, they're served at a time when the restaurant would otherwise be closed, giving them the opportunity to make money during a different time of day (called a "daypart" in the chain restaurant business). Third, the ingredients — eggs, ham, English muffins, and the like — are easy to source and employees don’t require much additional training in order to prepare them. In the end, it’s a win-win for everybody — except for your waistline.
It’s no surprise that fast food, for the most part, is unhealthy, but it might come as a shock to learn just how unhealthy some fast-food breakfasts are. Sure, a traditional Egg McMuffin (the standard-bearer of breakfast sandwiches) only contains 290 calories and 12 grams of fat, but their steak, egg, and cheese bagel contains a whopping 680 calories and 35 grams of fat (more than a Quarter Pounder with bacon and cheese), and that isn’t even the unhealthiest McDonald's offering!
Healthy or unhealthy, fast food breakfasts don’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. Since the fast-food breakfast was invented in 1969 with the release of Jack in the Box’s Breakfast Jack (ham, egg, and cheese on a bun) and brought mainstream with the rollout of the Egg McMuffin three years later, it’s caught on like wildfire. And just like every year seems to bring another hottest chile pepper in the world, so chains are constantly one-upping themselves to come out with a more outrageous and calorie-ridden breakfast item.
Before you drive up to your favorite chain for your next breakfast, then, check out the unhealthiest breakfast items from nine major chains. Opt for some yogurt and fresh fruit instead; your waistline will thank you.
40 of the Unhealthiest Restaurant Meals in America
Restaurant meals are known for being calorie and fat bombs, but some are worse than others. Way worse. A typical restaurant entrée has roughly 1,000 calories, according to The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). But some meals are downright artery-clogging, with almost a day's worth of calories, saturated fat, and sodium&mdashby government standards, at least. Here's a list of some of the most unhealthy items you can order.
Filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, chicken chorizo, cheese, crispy potatoes, avocado, peppers, and onions, it's no surprise this burrito made the list. With a serving of sour cream and black beans, this entree will set you back 2,730 calories, 73 grams of saturated fat, and 4,630 milligrams of sodium.
A soft pretzel might feel like a pretty safe choice, but this particular movie theater snack is roughly the nutritional equivalent of six original soft pretzel's from Auntie Anne's. The Bavarian Legend is 9" wide, weighs about 1.5 pounds, and has 1,920 calories, 15 grams of saturated fat, and 7,600 milligrams of sodium.
You could feed your fried chicken craving with this Italian-style dish, or you could eat four pieces of Popeyes fried chicken and four biscuits for about the same amount of calories, according to CSPI. This meal will cost you 1,870 calories, 55 grams of fat, and 3,080 milligrams of sodium.
Tacos can be healthy, but not when the tortillas are coated with a crispy grilled cheese and stuffed with pork, bacon chorizo and cream sauce. Along with the side of rice, beans and a 32 ounce IPA, this meal comes in at 2,040 calories, 27 grams of saturated fat, and 3,820 milligrams of sodium.
Chili's puts their own take on chicken and waffles by topping the creation with bacon, jalapeños, and ancho-chile ranch. Served with fries and a honey-chipotle sauce, this meal comes in at 2,510 calories, 40 grams of fat, and 4,480 milligrams of sodium.
We're not denying that this triple chocolate cookie, complete with peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, marshmallows, and vanilla ice cream sounds good, but it's probably best enjoyed sparingly. And with plenty of other co-diners. This dessert contains 1,580 calories, 31 grams of saturated fat, and 135 grams of sodium.
Of course, there are healthy fast food burger choices, like a single hamburger. But this DoubleSmoke Shack with bacon, cherry pepper, and ShackSauce is one of the most fattening options. The sandwich alone has 930 calories, but paired with a side of fries and a peanut butter shake, this fast food lunch comes in at 2,240 calories, 55 grams of saturated fat, and 3,170 milligrams of sodium.
"This sandwich sounds like a light, fresh option, but this is another example of a calorie bomb at what is perceived as a healthy fast casual restaurant," says Kailey Proctor, RD at the Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange County, California. This sandwich has 900 calories, 13 grams of saturated fat, and 1,510 milligrams of sodium, so it's best to ask for the basil mayo and pesto on the side.
While it does have 10 grams of fiber, this salad has more calories than some fast food burgers. "The main calorie and fat driver in this meal is the fried tostada bowl. Nix the fried tostada bowl to make a heart healthier salad," says Proctor&mdashand ask for dressing on the side. All-in-all, this salad has 1,000 calories, 49 grams of saturated fat, and 1,730 milligrams of sodium.
"Heavily processed meats, like the salami and pepperoni, combined with a pesto vinaigrette brings the calorie, fat, saturated fat, and sodium content up," says Proctor. When picking out a sandwich, look for leaner sources of protein, like chicken breast or turkey, to bring down the calorie and fat content. This sandwich has 1,030 calories, 23 grams of saturated fat, and 3,310 milligrams of sodium.
As if the McFlurry wasn't unhealthy enough, you can also buy it with a packet of M&Ms mixed in. Carbs and sugar content make this horrible for you. "The McFlurry contains precious few micronutrients that will support your health. In fact, your liver is probably going to be working overdrive to process and eliminate all the synthetic additives in the ice cream and candy," says nutritionist Lisa Richards. It contains 630 calories, 14 grams of saturated fat, and 200 milligrams of sodium&mdashoh, and 86 grams of sugar.
It might not sound that bad, but the Chicken & Bacon Ranch Melt is one of the unhealthiest items on Subway's menu. "The ranch dressing, combined with the cheese and bacon, means that the sodium level is sky high. In fact, a 12-inch sub contains almost two-thirds of your daily sodium," says Richards. It contains 540 calories, 10 grams of saturated fat, and 1,100 milligrams of sodium.
"The Triple Whopper won't do your waistline any favors, thanks to the 1,140 calories and 75 grams of fat, and the high sodium levels are bad for your heart health," says Richards. Just as bad, this burger contains 5 grams of trans fat, which can increase your LDL cholesterol, clog up your arteries, and increase the risk of heart disease, she says. It also has 27 grams of saturated fat and 840 milligrams sodium.
This burger is pretty hefty, thanks to cheese, bacon, sauces, patties, and more. And the nutritional facts prove how bad it is for your health. It contains 1,130 calories, 27 grams of saturated fat, and 1,920 milligrams of sodium.
Quesadillas are usually higher in the calorie, fat, and sodium department due to the amount of full-fat cheese in them, but this option from El Pollo Loco also has a cream-based dressing, says Proctor. It has 940 calories, 23 grams of saturated fat, and 1,820 milligrams of sodium.
1,760 milligrams of sodium in a salad? No thanks! This salad has 620 calories and 28 grams of fat, too, which is probably not the "healthy" salad you had in mind.
Whether you're eating it for breakfast or dinner, this is a fat bomb. With 1,020 calories, 53 grams of fat, and 1,450 milligrams of sodium, this sandwich will account for almost half of your daily calories.
These honey, sweet chicken tenders are super bad for you. Just one tender contains 400 milligrams of sodium. Yikes. Not to mention 200 calories and 14 grams of fat. We repeat: in just one tender.
With 1,090 calories, 72 grams of fat, and 1,650 milligrams of sodium, this burger is a calorie bomb and super fatty. (It's a "triple" for a reason!) Even the warning on the site says, "Use both hands!"
"Depending on the accoutrements, this morning meal of eggs, pancakes, toast, and processed meats stacks up to nearly 2,000 calories and an obscene amount of sodium&ndashnearly double the daily recommendation," says cookbook author, registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer Dana Angelo White, MS, RD ATC. The full meal contains 1,900 calories, 46 grams saturated fat, and 4,680 milligrams sodium.
Why is this so bad for you? "Pile on a fried and greasy taco, burrito, and a chalupa, and then finish it off with cinnamon twists (more fried) and a sugary soda," explains White. That'll all set you back 1,180 calories, 52 grams fat, and 2,370 milligrams sodium.
This take on surf n' turf is way, way bad for you. It clocks in at 1,390 calories, 94 grams of fat, and 2,050 milligrams of sodium. Yes, that's right, it has trans fat, which is a huge no-no for your heart.
Mac and cheese on a burger? Yes, it sounds amazing, but it might be bad news for your health. "Doesn't every cheeseburger need a pile of fried mac and cheese? And a side of fries, of course," jokes White. Avoid this doozy, as it comes to 1,330 calories, 83 grams of fat, and 2,560 milligrams of sodium.
Nothing cool about this frosty beverage! "With a whopping 30+ teaspoons of sugar and just about nothing else, this drink is sure to do a number on your blood sugar," says White. a large has 480 calories, 60 milligrams sodium&mdashand 121 grams of sugar. (Yikes!)
Know what you don't need to eat all at once? Bacon, brisket, roast beef, cheddar cheese sauce, and ranch dressing! "It's calorie, saturated fat, and sodium overload! This one sandwich has 760 calories and 2,120 milligrams of sodium (almost 100% of the 2,300 milligrams you should have in one day)," says Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD. It also has 41 grams of fat.
"A buttery croissant meets a bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg and comes in at a whopping 770 calories, 21 grams of saturated fat, and 730 milligrams of sodium," says Rizzo. Please don't start your day with this&mdashit won't start the day on a good note.
This app is loaded with refined carbohydrates (almost 200g worth!), which Sam Presicci, MCN, RD, LD, CPT, Lead Registered Dietitian at Snap Kitchen, warns can contribute to digestive issues and leaky gut. "The high carbohydrate count is also bad news for blood sugar control [and] the sodium in this dish is also over 3,000 milligrams, which well exceeds what someone should aim for in one meal," she says. It n total, it consists of 1,950 calories, 56 grams of saturated fat, and 3,840 milligrams of sodium.
"This burrito doesn't actually look as indulgent as some of the other options, but the combination of bacon, sausage, tater tots, scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, and tortilla means you'll be eating 840 calories, 2,220 milligrams of sodium, and 19 grams saturated fat for breakfast," says Rizzo. The amount of calories and salt alone will wreck your energy.
"This burger has two beef patties, triple the cheese (whatever that means), and four times the regular amount of bacon. In other words, this burger serves up 910 calories, 24 grams of saturated fat, and over 1,670 milligrams of sodium&mdashthat's half the calories and 2/3 the sodium you should have in a day," says Rizzo.
"With 2,500 calories, 125 grams of fat, almost 4,500 milligrams of sodium, and a staggering 283 grams of carbs (plus 105 grams of sugar), this dish may take the cake for most problematic," says Presicci. You'd need to drink almost three 12oz cokes to consume the same amount of sugar, and 283g of carbs in one sitting is sure to send you on the blood sugar roller coaster.
Many busy bees stock up doughnuts in their refrigerator and heat it for breakfast. Doughnuts are basically desserts and although they can give you a sugar high, they do not give you the wholesome energy you need from your breakfast.
Believe it or not, many people across the world eat rice with curries and dals early in the morning. Rice has too much starch that will make you sluggish and sleepy in the morning. It is a breakfast that is really too heavy!
The dishes are ranked on a combination of factors: calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar. CSPI doesn't judge every restaurant in America it works from a list of the top 200 restaurants in America according to Nation's Restaurant News, a trade publication that covers the restaurant industry.
Say you are able to exercise superhuman restraint and refrain from eating the free chips and salsa and instead opt to eat only your meal.
• either the bacon refried beans or the vegetarian black beans
TLDR: This plate is the equivalent of 11 Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos.
The Cracker Barrel’s Country Boy Breakfast: 6401kJThe Cracker Barrel's Country Boy Breakfast.
“Enjoy three eggs, Fried Apples, Hashbrown Casserole and grits plus Two Pork Chops or Country Ham or Sirloin Steak. Comes with All the Fixin’s: Sawmill Gravy, homemade Buttermilk Biscuits, real butter and the best Preserves n’ Jam.”
(1,530 calories, 25 grams of saturated fat, 4,730 milligrams of sodium.)
McDonald’s Big Breakfast includes a buttermilk biscuit, sausage patty, scrambled eggs, hash browns, hotcakes.
Fat: 60 grams
Sodium: 2,260 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 20 grams
Cholesterol: 575 milligrams
The 10 Most Unhealthy Meals Served by America's Fast Food Chains
According to a new study released this week, Americans now have a top 10 list of “The Most Unhealthy Meals Served by America’s Fast Food Chains," which could help us avoid the worst of the worst.
The new list may shock some people as it contains some of our favorite fast food menu items including specialty pizzas, juicy hamburgers and potpies.
The fast food items made it to the top of the list this year after an in-depth consumer study conducted by the analytical group, 24/7 Wall Street.
Analysts say "Junk" foods, or processed, low-nutrient foods, are still a significant part of the American diet.
French fries, mainly purchased from fast food restaurants, are still on the rise and Americans consumed an average of 152 pounds of added sugars in just one year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Since junk food is often high in unhealthy fats, sugar, sodium and/or calories, gaining an understanding of what draws Americans to it may motivate some to maintain healthier dietary behaviors, food experts said.
Eating healthier diets could prevent at least $71 billion per year in medical costs, lost productivity, and lost lives, according to the U.S. Department of Health.
Obesity alone is estimated to cost $117 billion, and osteoporosis costs $14 billion in medical expenses.
Although fast food chains are now offering a lot of “healthy food” options, some food experts say they may not be better for you.
Nutritionists say fast food outlets would be better off reformulating their entire menus, making small changes in salt and fat content and adding more vegetables rather than just offering some token healthier alternatives.
"Fast food restaurants are legitimately concerned about negative publicity,” said Charles Areni, an academic professor at the University of Sydney.
“It’s a public relations move to say, 'We're doing something about healthy food options', but what they may inadvertently be doing is making things worse."
He says research from Duke University found a person can feel they've met a health goal by taking a small action such as considering a salad without actually ordering it.
"It's a social necessity to offer a healthier option these days," he said.
Lola Berry, nutritionist and author of the recently released book Inspiring Ingredients, says it's becoming trendy to be healthy and fast food outlets are giving consumers what they want – healthier options.
"If it means people who would always eat fast food having a salad meal instead of a burger and chips, then it's a positive step, but it's scary to think that some of the healthier options, if you go through them with a fine-tooth comb, aren't necessarily all that much healthier," Berry said.
Many trends in society helped create the modern fast food industry and are still helping fuel its growth.
Many children, especially racial minorities, live in single-parent households – a whopping 65 percent of non-Hispanic black children and 37 percent of Hispanic children as of 2007, according to Kids Count.
Mothers are working outside the home at much higher rates than in years past. It is projected that women will account for 46.9 percent of the labor force in 2018, up from 46.8 percent today.
Add to this mix, high unemployment rates caused by the uncertainty of the worldwide economy, and the allure of fast, cheap food becomes hard to resist.
A hectic daily schedule may make it difficult to plan, prepare and sit down to a healthy meal, according to a report published in the "Journal of the American Dietetic Association."
The report also revealed that more than 92 percent of surveyed adolescents and adults claimed they eat fast food because it is "quick," and 80 percent because the food is "easy to get to."
The same may be said for grabbing a bag of potato chips or a candy bar at a convenience store. If these factors motivate you to consume more "junk" than healthy fare, health officials say consider setting aside time one day each week to purchase and prepare healthy foods, such as fresh-cut vegetables, fruit and baked chicken breasts you can incorporate into your meals throughout the week.
Packing a healthy lunch the evening before a hectic day may also help.
In order to create the top 10 list, 24/7 Wall Street examined the menus of the top restaurant brands in the quick service category by sales as determined by QSR, an industry publication, looking for items that were the highest in calories, carbohydrates, sodium and saturated fat.
Analysts then ranked them against the nutritional guidelines issued by the USDA.
Food experts also took the average nutritional ratings of menu items compared with the USDA recommendations. Carbohydrates, saturated fat, and sodium were given the most weight. Calories and protein were also considered.
Here is the list of “The Most Unhealthy Meals Served by America’s Fast Food Chains:"
1. Pizza Hut Triple Meat Italiano
• Calories: 1280
• Saturated Fat: 23g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 123 (38 percent)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 3070mg (133 percent)
(Pizza – plain with cheese and sauce – is not particularly unhealthy. This menu item contains "all-natural pepperoni, all-natural Italian sausage, and baked ham." Pizza Hut offers plenty of healthier choices.)
2. Subway 12" Italian B.M.T.
• Calories: 900
• Saturated Fat: 16g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 94 (27 percent)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 3000 mg (130 percent)
(It's easy to see why Subway does not list this sandwich under its "low fat footlongs" on its website. It has a whopping 3,000 mg of salt, 130 percent of the recommended allotment in a daily diet. "The problem with Subway is the portion size" and the problem with this sandwich is the salty luncheon meats. Subway is getting the message about salt. As an April USA Today article noted, "Beginning today, sodium content in Subway's 'Fresh Fit' sandwich line in the U.S. will be cut 28 percent vs. 2009, when Subway first began to cut salt. And sodium in its overall sandwich line will be cut by 15 percent, compared with the same period.")
3. Taco Bell XL Grilled Stuft Beef Burrito
• Calories: 880
• Saturated Fat: 3g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 94 (26 percent)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 2130mg (93 percent)
(Taco Bell has mastered the art of blending meats and cheese in ever-creative caloric combinations. Taco Bell calls it its "biggest burrito yet." It has "a blend of three cheeses – cheddar, pepper jack and mozzarella – flavorful seasoned rice, hearty beans, reduced-fat sour cream, chunky guacamole, avocado ranch and fiesta salsa, wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla." Taco Bell's sales have been hurt by the publicity surrounding the quality of its beef.)
4. KFC Chicken Pot Pie
• Calories: 790
• Saturated Fat: 28g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 43 (12 percent)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 1970mg (86 percent)
(Salty and high in calories, there is little positive that can be said about the KFC Chicken Pot Pie. A Yum! Brands spokesman had this to say: "It's all about providing our consumers with choices, and each of our brands has introduced products that are lower in calories and fat, such as KFC's Kentucky Grilled Chicken.)
5. McDonald's Angus Chipotle BBQ Bacon
• Calories: 800
• Saturated Fat: 37g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 66 (18 percent)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 2020mg (88 percent)
(The Angus Chipotle is big and has bacon, two red flags for any dieter. The Golden Arches have borne the brunt of negative publicity about fast food. That's unfair, analysts said. They did find that McDonald's did have more healthy options" than other chains.)
6. Sonic SuperSONIC Bacon Double Cheeseburger
• Calories: 1370
• Saturated Fat: 14g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 95 (27 percent)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 1610mg (70 percent)
(The name alone should think. Those brave enough to chow down on this 1,370-calorie monstrosity probably shouldn't eat much for the rest of the day. Once a regional operator in the South and Midwest, Sonic (Nasdaq: SONC - News) now operates in over 3,500 locations.)
7. Wendy's Triple
• Calories: 1030
• Saturated Fat: 18g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 66 (18 percent)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 1800mg (78 percent)
(Anyone eating this monstrosity might not realize that the USDA recommends that people eat a portion of meat roughly the size of deck of cards. This Wendy's monster burger clocks in at a whopping 423 grams.)
8. Subway Footlong Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki
• Calories: 750
• Saturated Fat: 2.5g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 117 (41 percent)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 1810 mg (79 percent)
(Subway unhealthy? In some cases, the answer is "yes." While this sandwich is low in calories and fat, it is high in salt. The portions of Subway's footlong sandwiches are too large.)
9. Wendy's Baconator Double
• Calories: 930
• Saturated Fat: 34g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 55 (15 percent)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 1840mg (80 percent)
(Who says you can never have too much bacon? Anyone with sense, that's who.)
10. Burger King Triple Whopper with Cheese
• Calories: 1140
• Saturated Fat: 25g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 41 (11 percent)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 110mg (5 percent)
(The Triple Whopper makes the Quarter Pounder with Cheese seem like health food. At 1,140 calories, it packs more than twice the punch of the McDonald's burger, which has 535 calories.)
Per bowl (545 g) : 480 calories, 8 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 20 mg sodium, 102 g carbs (11 g fiber, 70 g sugar), 7 g protein
"Energy bowls" might be the biggest trend at juice places, but remember that another word for "energy" is "calories." While some of the sugar comes from fruit, a lot of it comes from honey and granola, leading to nearly two days' worth of sweetness in just one bowl. Instead, pick up a protein-rich bowl of Greek yogurt topped with berries to cut out 80 calories and 28 grams of sugar. For more calorie-saving swaps, check out these easy ways to cut calories.
"Home of the Original Chicken Sandwich," Chick-Fil-A was founded in 1946 out of Georgia and now has more than 2,200 restaurants across the United States. The chain has one location at the Calgary Airport and plans to expand to Canada in 2019, but for now only operates in the United States in the mid-90s, it opened a pair of locations in South Africa, both of which were closed by 2001.
The restaurant's sausage, egg, & cheese biscuit is roughly 600 calories, while its most unhealthy lunch and dinner options run as high as 1,500 calories even its honey peppercorn salad is 630 calories. Do yourself a favor and ignore the milkshakes.
Best American Breakfast Foods
Here's a list of 24 classic American breakfast staples…even though French toast, Belgian waffles, and English muffins might make you do a double take.
24. Pancakes and Maple Syrup
Who doesn’t love waking up to the smell of pancakes? There is something about pancakes that suggests that the day is going to be great, especially if you are sharing them with your family.
Regardless of how much of a hurry you are in, pancakes is one breakfast that you really do need to take slow. This makes them a fantastic way to slow down and get your day going on the right food, rather than rushing right from the start.
23. Toasted English Muffin
Having a toasted English muffin can be an easy and fast option for breakfast. One of the great things about these is that there are so many different options for toppings – so you can really tailor them towards what you like to eat.
Some of the simpler options are butter, Nutella or cream cheese, but there are also many more interesting and complex alternatives. In fact, you can simply treat an English muffin much like a sandwich and use this as a guide for what to put on them.
22. Eggs Benedict
Eggs benedict is one of the most common example of using English muffins as a breakfast food. These are really common at restaurants, but they are also surprisingly easy to make at home.
The breakfast simply includes an English muffin, some type of ham or bacon (Canadian bacon is often used), a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. The combination of flavors works very well together, and this is also a high protein breakfast, which can help you to feel full for longer.
21. Biscuits and Gravy
Biscuits and gravy is a particularly common breakfast in the United States, especially in the South, although the meal isn’t very common in other parts of the world.
In fact, the word biscuit in British English refers to cookies, so the phrase biscuits and gravy doesn’t even make sense in British English. Despite this, the American version of biscuits and gravy can be a particularly hearty breakfast and a great introduction to the day.
20. Bagel with Cream Cheese
Bagels are a great option for an easy breakfast, especially as you can cut them in half and stick them in the toaster to warm them up. There are a lot of different varieties to choose from, including ones topped with sesame and sunflower seeds, as well as ones with different dough types, like rye and whole-grain.
As with English muffins, there are a wide range of options for toppings. Cream cheese is a particularly good option and another common approach is cream cheese along with smoked salmon.
19. Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon rolls are a particularly appealing breakfast choice for anyone who enjoys sweet foods. They are also particularly appealing because of the taste of cinnamon, as this is a really good breakfast flavor.
Many people buy cinnamon rolls as-is or buy ones that just need to be put in the oven, but actually making them from scratch isn’t actually as challenging as it seems. The sweet and sugary nature of this breakfast means that this makes a good treat, but not something you should have as breakfast every day.
18. Belgian Style Waffles
Belgian waffles tend to have large squares, deep pockets and relatively light batter. When done right, the waffles will tend to be crispy on the outside, but light on the inside.
The deep pockets mean that there are a huge range of potential toppings, including fruit, syrup, chocolate sauce, ice cream and frequently combinations of all of those. Breakfast versions of the waffles tend to focus more on fruit and syrup flavors, but even then, there are a lot of different options.
17. Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast burritos are a more savory option for breakfast, but they are also a very hearty option. Like a normal burrito, these typically involve a flour tortilla that is wrapped around the filling. The difference here is the specific filling.
Breakfast burritos often make use of breakfast staples, like scrambled eggs, ham, cheese, sausage, bacon and hash browns, but once again, the options for variation are endless. Salsa, potatoes, avocado, beans, spinach, feta and mushrooms are just some of the many other potential ingredients that can be included.
16. French Toast
French toast is another nice addition to breakfast. This one is often associated with lazy Sunday mornings, but it can work nice any day, especially as it is relatively fast to prepare.
The basic approach involves soaking or dipping bread in a beaten egg mixture and then frying them. There are, of course, many variations depending on the specific recipe that you choose, including the use of milk or cream in the mixture, as well as spices like nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon or sugar.
15. Bacon and Eggs
Bacon and eggs are two foods that most people associate with breakfast – and with good reason. The flavors work well together and often you will see some type of starch included, such as a croissant, some toast, fried potatoes or hash browns.
You might see the eggs scrambled, poached, fried or even occasionally hard boiled. Regardless of the variations used, bacon and eggs is still a particularly satisfying way to start the day.
14. Fruit Smoothie
Fruit smoothies are a more health conscious way to start the day, and they work really well for people who don’t have a whole lot of time. After all, you can put them in a to-go container and drink them along the way. Fruit smoothies also work well as a way to add in other healthy components to a diet.
For example, people often mix in leafy greens or protein powder to make a more complex and filling smoothie that sill largely tastes like fruit. As always, there is a huge number of different variations that can be tried and people tend to tailor their smoothies towards their own preferences.
13. Plain Toast & Butter or Jam
Toast is probably one of the simplest options for breakfast, but it still remains an extremely common one. After all, to cook the toast you just need to stick a few pieces of bread in a toaster and wait for them to be done.
Then it’s just a matter of adding on whatever toppings you like, such as butter or jam. On busy days, I have a tendency just to eat the toast as I am going out of the door – as that lets me make sure I at least have something in my stomach to keep me alert.
12. Hashbrowns AKA Potato Pancakes
The term hash browns basically refers to potatoes being pan fried after being shredded, although there are some variations on the definition. Often you will find these in the form of hash brown patties, although the loose shreds of hash browns are also common.
While hash browns aren’t commonly used on their own as a breakfast item, they are frequently used on the side of other parts of the meal, like eggs and bacon.
11. Sweet Crepes
Crepes have a lot of similarities to pancakes, but they tend to be thinner and lighter. This makes them perfect for fillings, and often you will see crepes rolled up with fillings in a similar way to burritos.
The term sweet crepes generally refers to the fillings, because crepes are generally made in the same way regardless of whether sweet or savory fillings are used. Some common sweet options for crepes include fruit, powdered sugar and chocolate syrup, a berry sauce, or sugar and lemon.
10. Breakfast Parfait
Parfaits are a great option for getting granola, fruit and yogurt into your breakfast in a more interesting and more portable way. If you make these up in portable containers (mason jars are especially common), the parfaits become something that you can make the night before and take with you for a very easy breakfast or lunch.
Many grocery stores also offer their own versions of parfaits, but as is often the case, homemade ones do tend to be better.
Griddlecakes are another interesting breakfast addition. The term is a confusing one, as it is often considered a synonym for pancakes, yet can also specifically mean cake- or biscuit-like foods cooked on a griddle. In the latter case, you can see a wide range of variety in recipes and end products.
Regardless of the specific definition or recipe, griddlecakes are a very good breakfast option, Often you will end up with a hearty and sweet breakfast that offers a great way to get your day going.
8. Sausage and Egg Sandwich
As fast food restaurants will testify, breakfast sandwiches (like this sausage and egg one) are a very popular way to start the day. As with other options on this list, sandwiches like this are great because they are relatively portable while still offering that breakfast taste.
This type of sandwich can be made on normal bread, but more common alternatives are English muffins and ciabatta buns. Whatever approach you take, they are certainly delicious and great fuel for the day.
7. Stuffed Omelet
Omelets come in endless varieties, especially when you are considering the stuffed variety. This type of omelet essentially acts as a sandwich, with the fillings wedged between the two sides of the omelet – although you certainly can’t pick it up and eat it like a sandwich.
Most omelets rely on cheese as some part of their filling, such as mozzarella, cheddar or even feta cheese. Beyond this, fillings can include a wide range of combinations of different meats and vegetables.
Croissants originate in France and have been particularly common in both France and Austria throughout history. However, they are becoming increasingly popular as a breakfast staple in the United States and are easily recognizable by their crescent shape.
Croissants tend to be flaky and buttery, although their relatively light substance makes them largely unsuitable as the sole component of a breakfast. Nevertheless, they are especially common in a continental breakfast and many people do start the day with a croissant and a cup of coffee.
5. Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry muffins are a fairly common anytime food, but they are also a good addition to a breakfast.
They are light enough to work well with a cup of coffee for people who don’t like eating very much in the morning. Yet at the same time, a blueberry muffin can be a good way to round off a more hearty breakfast and satisfy any lingering cravings for sweets.
4. Huevos Rancheros
Huevos rancheros doesn’t sound like a particularly American dish, but it is a dish with Mexican origins that is becoming increasingly common in the United States. At its heart, this is an egg-based dish that uses elements of traditional Mexican cuisine.
The dish includes the use of, tortillas, tomato-chili sauce, refried beans and rice. However, there are also many variations to the dish, including additions like sour cream and lettuce that aren’t part of the dish’s original culture.
3. Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs are fast, easy and extremely common as an addition to breakfast. The protein from the eggs makes them especially appealing as a breakfast option and the eggs can offer a hearty start to any day. There are many variations that can also be made with scrambled eggs, such as including ham, cheese or chives as part of the egg mixture.
While most people use either milk or water to make the eggs, they can also be made using cream, which creates a richer (and less healthy) dish.
2. Hot Oatmeal or Porridge
Porridge itself has a long history of being a common breakfast food and oatmeal is the latest example of this (generally speaking, oatmeal can be considered a kind of porridge).
Both types of breakfast contain oats and a type of fiber that has been associated with lowering cholesterol. While oatmeal and porridge can be very good additions to the breakfast table, be a bit wary around the pre-packaged and flavored varieties. Often these are high in sugar. You are better off choosing plain versions and flavoring them yourself.
As an egg and cheese based dish, it’s pretty easy to see why quiche can be used as an appealing breakfast food. Like the one in this image, ham or bacon is also a common addition, and other potential ingredients include mushrooms, sweet potatoes and spinach.
The most common approaches to quiche involve the use of pastry, but for those who don’t want the effort, crustless recipes do exist.
2020 BONUS! Avocado Toast
Millennials get made fun of constantly for enjoying avocado toast, but it's legit really good – and good for you! You can't go wrong with a shot of complex carbs and healthy fats right in the morning. If you aren't buying it from a restaurant for $15 then it's really not that expensive.
An avocado is what – $2.50 max from the store?
Cheap. Healthy. Satisfying. Energy delivering. Welcome to the day!
How do we get to the actual recipe to see the ingredients and directions?
There aren’t any specific recipes associated with these pictures – the are just for inspiration and admiration!