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Muy Yum!: 20 Worst Breakfasts in America

September 8, 2011

I will readily admit that while I am not actually a fan of breakfast (the most important meal of the day…but I’m just not a morning person ok?! Sheesh. But I’ve been getting better about eating a bowl of cereal/yogurt to begin my day), I am a huge fan of breakfast foods (at brunch, my favorite meal of the day). But, of course, Eat This, Not That! had to go ruin/inform about some of the most enticing of breakfast treats.

Studies show that people who take time for a morning meal consume fewer calories over the course of the day, have stronger cognitive skills, and are 30 percent less likely to be overweight or obese.

Beyond that, people who skip breakfast are more likely to drink alcohol and smoke, and they’re less likely to exercise. Your morning meal, in other words, is like the foundation of your house—everything else rests on it.

But in the hands of food processors, breakfasts suddenly become loaded with sodium, unhealthy fats, and added sugars, all of which serve to catapult your blood sugar, sap your energy levels, and tell your body to store fat. Start your day this way and you’ll be ready for a second breakfast—and a nap—before 11 a.m.

And so we begin on “the good, the bad, and the greasy” of breakfast foods in America…it’s going to be a wild ride. Here are some of the most appalling:

Remember when Paula Deen used this to sandwich her bacon cheesburger?! Wow.

19. Worst Breakfast Doughnut

Krispy Kreme Powdered Cake Doughnut

290 calories
14 g fat (6 g saturated)
19 g sugars

Both of these are classic sugar doughnuts, but in otherwise equal matchups, cake doughnuts will always lose out to yeast doughnuts. Make this mistake twice a week and you’ll be looking at nearly 3 pounds of extra fat by the end of the year. Still need to satisfy your morning sweet tooth? Along with the Original Glazed, the sugar doughnut is the best of all doughnuts on the Krispy Kreme menu. In this case, “best” means “least evil,” since doughnuts are pure empty carbs and added fat; proceed with caution.

Bacon Always Beats Sausage

14. Worst Breakfast Sandwich

Jack in the Box Sausage Croissant

580 calories
39 g fat (13 g saturated, 4 g trans)
770 mg sodium

Two simple but immutable rules are at play here: 1) Bacon always beats sausage, and 2) buns always beat croissants. The Breakfast Jacks are a rare bright spot on the menu, made even brighter by the fact that they’re available all day. Take advantage.

Not So Ideal After All...

13. Worst “Ideal” Breakfast

Jamba Juice Ideal Meal Chunky Strawberry

590 calories
18 g fat (3 g saturated)
55 g sugars

Similar approaches to breakfast with very different results. Replacing an oatmeal base with sugars and granola is never a good swap. Lately, Jamba has been making a big push into the food space, and the fresh banana oatmeal represents one of the best new additions to their menu.

I am queasy just looking at it...

9. Worst Fast-Food Burrito Breakfast

Hardee’s Loaded Breakfast Burrito

780 calories
51 g fat (20 g saturated)
1,620 mg sodium

Are you really ready to sacrifice an entire day’s worth of saturated fat to a food made in the microwave? Hardee’s breakfast menu reads like a blueprint of how not to start your day. You might as well stay in bed.  Burritos are bad news in even the most capable hands, but give a giant tortilla to Hardee’s and watch the mayhem ensue. Exhibit A: A massive tortilla swaddling a glut of ham, bacon, sausage, eggs, cheese, and hash browns.

Can't you just feel your arteries clogging?!

5. Worst Mall Breakfast

Cinnabon Regular Caramel Pecanbun

1,100 calories
56 g fat (10 g saturated, 5 g trans)
47 g sugars
141 g carbohydrates

This isn’t breakfast, this is dessert. And an atrocious one at that. The only speck of nutrition to be found in the bun comes from the nuts. Too bad they’re coated in a river of sugar. Cinnabon and malls are inseparable. Consider it a symbiotic relationship: Researchers have found that men are turned on by the smell of cinnamon rolls, and further studies have shown that men are more likely to spend money when they’re thinking about sex. But just because Cinnabon might be good for Gap doesn’t mean it’s at all good for you. This dangerously bloated bun contains nearly an entire day’s worth of fat and more than half of your daily allotment of calories. (For those keeping score, that’s as much as you’ll find in 8 White Castle hamburgers).


Numero Uno! Congrats Bob Evans!

1. Worst Breakfast in America

Bob Evans Stacked & Stuffed Caramel Banana Pecan Hotcakes

1,543 calories
77 g fat (26 g saturated, 9 g trans)
2,259 mg sodium
109 g sugars

It’s not a good sign when it takes you nearly 5 seconds to spit out the name of your breakfast. This bad boy packs in more than 75 percent of your calories for the day, along with more sugar and fat than 8 glazed Dunkin’ Donuts and nearly as much sodium as 5 Bloody Marys. Research shows that starting your day off with refined carbs will lead to higher consumption levels throughout the rest of the day. Just imagine, then, how many calories you’ll knock back with 198 grams of low-quality carbs in your belly.

WOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!! To think you could eat 8 glazed Dunkin’ Donuts and drink 5 Bloody Marys and equal that breakfast…holy moly. Hope you started your day in a healthier way!

(All images courtesy of Eat This, Not That!–forever my obsession)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2011 3:50 pm

    I do not think I could stomach any of these!

  2. sexy curmudgeon permalink
    September 8, 2011 7:45 pm

    I just love the “Eat this, not that!” Images. It’s like a huge retaliation against all the enticing, almost fantastical images that restaurant chains and producers normally use to advertise their products.

  3. Fedora permalink
    September 13, 2011 1:15 am

    I dont like the insinuation that people are so much better simply because they eat breakfast- and ppl try to make it all the time!
    More like- the people who go to the trouble to eat breakfast, also go to the trouble to do other good things too.
    Much more of a reflection on personalities than the power of oatmeal.

  4. Amna permalink
    September 14, 2011 3:00 pm

    They all look DELICIOUS. AGGH. They have cinnabon in my neighborhood in Pakistan. I am avoiding driving by.

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