McDonald's Breakfast Burrito - Key - © McDonald's Restaurants

‘Most Gluttonous’ Breakfasts: Your Worst Choices…

Sister Erin, a couple of days ago, dropped on me a long, compelling post, about bad breakfast foods. But I haven’t been able to find a way around the fact that my fave day-starters are among the author’s ‘worst picks’. Without making a damning confession…

Apples & Granola Bars - © julieseatsandtreats.comGranola ‘Breakfast Bars’: Maybe the most sinful choice you
can make. Even worse than the loose stuff, with milk…

“Hello. My name is Maggie. And I’m a Breakfast-holic.”

My story

I’ve always felt breakfast was the most important meal of the day. Even before that became a slogan among nutritionists and dieticians. Recent popular opinions expressed on social media contest that claim. But I accord them the attention they deserve. Which is little to none.

The problem is, I love breakfast too much.

Things have evolved – without any conscious input from me – to a place where I have a really big breakfast, no lunch and a smallish supper. Not a bad routine, according to current nutritional philosophy. But I live a life that’s just too sedentary for my own good.

I’ve become addicted to a breakfast that includes black coffee, a big breakfast burrito with 2 eggs and lots of veg, and a hashbrown patty. I know… That hashbrown stands out like a big, ugly pimple on an otherwise perfect face. But there you have it. And it’s a highlight of my breakfast. Especially when I’m feeling low. Nothing like a little sin to get your blood circulating…

But I’m haunted…

That post about ‘gluttonous breakfasts’, haunts me. But I’m going to go ahead and lay out not only a rundown on the worst offenders on the list, but also my own justification for indulging. Herewith, the baddest of the bad, in descending order of dietary ill-advisedness…

Here we go…

Breakfast Burrito

Dang… Right off the top, a clunker!

  • Serving: 1
  • Calories: 602

But I can counter with the observation that , while the post cites a serving size similar to the one I enjoy, the example burrito also includes sausage, refried beans or salsa. So I’m going to say I sin less by … let’s say 250 Calories. (For an estimated total of about 350 Calories.)

  • Serving: 1 cup / 245 ml
  • Calories: 597

And you thought granola was ‘healthy’. Well, it is. For an active people who exercise regularly pr work at manual labour, and need the calories. But the major portion of those comes in high carbs, added sugars and saturated fats. On the other hand, it’s full nuts and dried fruit and oats, which are all – on their own – really good for you. And you get milk with it.

I don’t partake anymore, though granola was breakfast for me once or twice a week when I was a young adult. But that was when I was at university, walking everywhere, and working summers on a farm. I’ll admit, I used to consider a granola bar a good snack. But it turns out those are even worse for the average non-athlete than the loose stuff.

Steak and Eggs
  • Serving: 1 x 8 oz. / 225 g steak + 2 eggs
  • Calories: 505

High in calories and fat, but rich in protein. And skip the Southern classic Chicken Fried Steak, which packs 649 Calories – without the gravy.

Blueberry Muffin
  • Servings: 1 medium
  • Calories: 426

Yikes! It’s all the fat and carbs involved that places this seemingly harmless breakfast treat in the nutritional ‘red zone’.

Hash Browns
  • Serving: 1 cup
  • Calories: 410

I’m gonna stop you right there to assert my relative innocence on this one. My single 2 oz. / 60 g oven-baked (from frozen) hashbrown patty clocks in at just 120 calories. Making it the equivalent of only about 1/4 of the serving quoted in the post. Even the 2 oz. McDonald’s hashbrown delivers only 147 Calories.

The low end…

Curiously, some of the lowest-Calorie breakfast dishes are among those folks might have assumed were the most sinful…

Bagel with Cream Cheese
  • Serving: 1 medium + 1 tbsp. / 15 ml of cream cheese
  • Calories: 320

The cream cheese will get you every time. This breakfast choice represents the top of what we’re calling the ‘low end’ of the ‘sin scale’.

  • Serving: Plain, 2 eggs
  • Calories: 282

Yes, that’s just eggs. No protein or veg. Still, it’s surprisingly low in Calories.

Breakfast Sandwich

But, as with many breakfast dishes, there’s a lot of fat and carbs. Still, compared to’ stealth offenders’ such as the Harshbrown or the Blueberry Muffin, it comes off as a great option…

Cinnamon Bun
  • Servings: 1 medium
  • Calories: 262

A tempting choice, but relatively high in Calories, carbs and added sugar while low in other nutrients. Even with a cup of coffee, this is not a ‘real’ breakfast.

Leftover Pizza
  • Serving: 1 slice (1/8 of a standard 12 in. / 30 cm pie)
  • Calories: 233

Just threw this one in as a prime example of the kind of shocker were warned you to expect at the top of the ‘low-end’ list. But I’ll admit I’ve opted for a slice for breakfast more than once in my time. Lots of carbs, sure. But lots of other stuff like protein and veggies, too.

My take

I’m currently preparing to ‘get back on the wagon’, menu-wise. And preparing to walk more when the weather gets warmer. I’m not as weather-resistant as I once was. Nor are my feet and knees in pristine shape, by any means. But I’ve resolved to renovate my breakfast routine to ‘clean it up’, and balance it out.

Whatever you choose to breakfast on, do so with full awareness of what you’re eating to start your day. And throw in a piece of fresh fruit, for good measure…

~ Maggie J.