The holidays are just about here, and between errands and travels, you may have to hit up a fast-food joint or coffeehouse in search of breakfast. The bad news: There's plenty of junky temptation out there. The good news: Lots of franchises have jumped on the health bandwagon and now offer better alternatives. Here's what to avoid, as well as better-for-you choices:
What to skip: Like most coffeehouses, Starbucks' bakery menu has plenty of obvious calorie and fat bombs: donuts, fritters, croissants, and the like. But their Zucchini Walnut Muffin is a wolf in healthy sheep's clothing. It has a whopping 490 calories, 28 grams of fat, and 490 milligrams of sodium.
What to order: The Strawberry & Blueberry Yogurt Parfait has 300 calories and just 3.5 grams of fat (none of it saturated), along with a satisfying 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fat. Crave a hot breakfast? The Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal clocks in with 140 calories, 2.5 grams fat, and 4 grams of fiber.4 Ways Yogurt Boosts Your Health
What to skip: You'd think one of those Egg McMuffins is the worst breakfast offender. Nope, that honor goes to the Big Breakfast with Hotcakes. It weighs in at a heart-stopping 1,090 calories, 56 grams of fat (including nearly all the saturated fat you should have for the day), and 2,150 milligrams of sodium.
What to order: The 290-calorie Fruit & Maple Oatmeal has 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. Nice! Even better, order it without brown sugar and request light cream to save 50 calories and slash the fat in half. Can't resist the Egg McMuffin? Order it without the American cheese and it comes in at a not-so-awful 250 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 15 grams of protein.
What to skip: C'mon, how bad can a smoothie be? Depends what you order. Choose a 24-ounce (that's the Original size) Peanut Butter Moo'd and you'll slurp down 770 calories before you know it.
What to order: Lots of places are serving oatmeal these days, but Jamba's is made from hearty steel-cut oats made with a touch of soymilk. Order yours plain with a cut-up banana. It's just 240 calories, but has 6 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein that will hold you over until lunchtime.4 Ways a Healthful Breakfast Can Help Make You Younger
What to skip: The Breakfast B.M.T. Melt, with its hefty 480 calories and 22 grams of fat, is sure to make you drag all morning long.
What to order: The Black Forest Ham, Egg & Cheese -- on a muffin with an egg white -- offers ample indulgence for 170 calories and 4 grams of fat. The 14 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber will keep you satisfied in the a.m.
What to skip: Resist the sesame bagel with cream cheese. This classic combo tallies at 440 calories and 14 grams of fat. Hey, bagels have gotten big, and those schmears of cream cheese are generous, too.
What to order: Go for the Skinny Sesame Bagel with light garden veggie cream cheese. It has just 310 calories. Even better, swap the cream cheese for hummus, which has heart-healthy fat, satisfying protein, and 20 percent of the iron you need for the day.
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