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Breakfast on the run: Your healthiest options

During the week, do you enjoy a healthy breakfast at home? Or are you more likely to grab food from your favorite coffee place or fast-food drive-through on the way to work? Consumer Reports’ food experts tasted 48 breakfast items and collected nutrition data, looking for healthier AND tasty options.

Consumer Reports checked out the offerings at six popular chains, tasting 48 items that stood out on the menu as better choices, including sandwiches, oatmeal, smoothies, and other morning favorites. And they analyzed the nutritional information. It can be tough to find items with lower amounts of fat, calories, sugar, and sodium.

Quick breakfast sandwiches can span the nutrition spectrum.
The Starbucks Chicken, Sausage and Bacon Biscuit has over 1,100 milligrams of sodium. A better sandwich choice would be Panera Bread’s Avocado, Egg White and Spinach on a sprouted grain bagel flat, with nearly half the sodium. Our tasters found it fresh tasting and flavorful.

More and more chains now have oatmeal as an option. These whole-grain breakfasts can be a great source of antioxidants and dietary fiber. But watch out for added sugars. The best ones are unsweetened oatmeal with toppings like fresh fruit, nuts, and raisins.

CR says that if you have to grab and go, there are good choices available, and you can upgrade almost anything you pick. Consider choosing multigrain bread over a croissant. And have your egg sandwich without the bacon or ham.

Research shows that people who eat breakfast have lower rates of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes than people who skip “the most important meal of the day.” So it’s a good idea to make healthy choices first thing in the morning.

Author: Consumer Reports
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