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McDonald's Breakfast Menu: Unhealthiest Morning Options

McDonald's Breakfast Menu: Unhealthiest Morning Options

Some items are MUCH unhealthier than others

The McDonald's Big Breakfast is, in short, really bad for you.

The McDonald’s menu is full of items both healthy and unhealthy, and nowhere is that disparity more glaringly obvious than their breakfast menu. Everyone looks for something different for their first meal of the day, and whether it’s a fruit parfait or a big plate of pancakes and eggs, McDonald’s delivers. But don’t think for one minute that just because it’s breakfast doesn’t mean it’s not that bad for you. Here are the six unhealthiest breakfast options on the McDonald’s menu, from a calorie standpoint.

#6 Steak & Egg Biscuit
Calories: 540
Fat: 32 grams
Sodium: 1,470 milligrams

#5 Sausage, Egg, & Cheese McGriddle
Calories: 550
Fat: 31 grams
Sodium: 1,320 milligrams

#4 Sausage Biscuit with Egg
Calories: 570
Fat: 37 grams
Sodium: 1,280 milligrams

#3 Bacon, Egg & Cheese Bagel
Calories: 620
Fat: 31 grams
Sodium: 1,480 milligrams

#2 Steak, Egg & Cheese Bagel
Calories: 670
Fat: 35 grams
Sodium: 1,510 milligrams

#1 Big Breakfast with Hotcakes and Large Biscuit*
Calories: 1,150
Fat: 60 grams
Sodium: 2,260 milligrams

*This one is the worst offender, but all of the Big Breakfasts (which contain scrambled eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, and biscuits of varying sizes) are unhealthier than all of the other breakfast options, and are, in fact, the unhealthiest items on the whole menu).

15 Unhealthiest Fast-Food Breakfasts To Never Eat, According to Dietitians

Who knew breakfast could be so problematic? While stopping by one of your favorite fast-food haunts for a morning meal might be convenient and inexpensive, chances are it's not great for your overall health. That's because, as it turns out, cheeseburgers and French fries aren't the only fast-food landmines you need to look out for.

In fact, many fast-food breakfasts are just as unhealthy as the aforementioned cheeseburger and other high-calorie humdingers. Even some breakfasts that aren't off the charts calorie-wise are often packed with sugar, carbohydrates, sodium, and other things you need to keep an eye on in order to prevent obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems.

While you don't need to cut fast food out of your diet completely, eating it in moderation and making healthier choices when ordering can help soften the dietary blow it typically delivers. Still, some fast food options are far worse than others and should be avoided. Read on for the 17 unhealthiest fast-food breakfasts dietitians warn you shouldn't order, and for more on how to eat healthy, don't miss 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

McDonald's Big Breakfast with Hotcakes

Courtesy of McDonald's

McDonald's is known for its truly iconic breakfast options, but this huge platter will have you consuming more than half a day's worth of calories and nearly all of your allotted sodium in just one meal. And that's in the morning!

15. McDonald's Chicken McGriddles

You'll notice a trend here in the products named the worst. Too much black pepper. And the new Chicken McGriddles sandwich is certainly in that same wheelhouse. McDonald's debuted this concept for testing in certain franchises in August, 2019, and so far, so bad.

The concept is pretty simple. It's basically like McDonald's said, hey, what can we make with things we already have in-house — enter, the Chicken McGriddles.

It's two McGriddles with a McChicken patty in the middle, and that's it. And while the theory of that soft, maple syrup flavored pancake-like piece of bread sandwiched with a piece of the chicken we eat in our McChicken all the time seems amazing, try again. It's the strangest pairing of flavors McDonald's could have come up with.

Sure, the chicken and waffles pairing is all the rage, but this totally missed the mark. At first bite, it's delicious with the syrup and the chicken, but then the black pepper from the patty hits, and all of your taste buds are wildly confused. Definitely a great example of a genius idea but with poor execution.

The Bottom Line

Here, we’ve listed 12 of the least-carb meals at McDonald’s. They all contain less than 4 grams of carbs. For some, the carb count is near zero.

If you didn’t see your favorite McDonald’s item, don’t be disappointed. Many of their menu items can become totally keto-friendly just by tweaking how you order.

The best and fastest way to make a burger keto is to omit the bun, ketchup, and onions. They’ll knock the majority of carbs you find in any of their infamous burgers.

All-day breakfast returns to McDonald’s, sort of [Updated]

Update, February 7, 2021: It’s been months since McDonald’s put the kibosh on its popular all-day breakfast menu in an effort to streamline kitchen operations amidst the pandemic. And it’s been a while since the chain offered up a subpar alternative in the form of all-day breakfast pastries (which The Takeout found mostly lackluster). But ever since the Sun-Sentinel got wind back in November that many McDonald’s franchises in Florida were still selling McMuffins and McGriddles around the clock, other eagle-eyed reporters have tried to figure out how widespread the rogue breakfast items are. And Eat This Not That recently clued readers in on some stats about where breakfast is still being served past 11 a.m. each day.

“We decided to investigate by conducting a phone canvas of McDonald’s locations across the country,” Eat This reports, “And our hopes were up as soon as the information started to pour in from the West Coast restaurants, confirming that Florida isn’t the only place you can still get a McMuffin in the afternoon.”

Not all of these franchises are serving breakfast all day, but many are serving it until mid-afternoon, which is a vast improvement for those who like to indulge in some lunch pancakes. It sounds like if you’re an eager customer willing to do the sleuthing, you’ve got a good shot at finding a McDonald’s location where your eggy needs are met. Good luck to those of you tirelessly pursuing your dreams.

Update, November 9, 2020: While America grapples with the reality of only having pastries to satisfy their McDonald’s breakfast craving for the majority of the day, Florida’s Sun-Sentinel has revealed a major scoop: Some rogue McDonald’s franchisees are still selling the all-day breakfast menu items we know and love, from hash browns to burritos.

“We’re not supposed to sell them all day long,” a McDonald’s employee at a location in Broward County, Florida told the Sun-Sentinel, “but the Hotcakes, we can just slap on the grill, and the Sausage Burritos are pre-made so we just have to heat them up. And the hash browns, we just put in the fryer.” So, barring more complex breakfast orders like scrambled eggs or bagel sandwiches (which are made to order), a lot of customer favorites can be purchased any time of day, whether McDonald’s corporate gives it the formal green light or not.

Brent Upchurch, whose family operates 30 McDonald’s locations in Florida, pointed out that franchises aren’t breaking any strict rules by serving all-day breakfast it’s just that they don’t get to promote it with signage, advertising, and the like. Nor would they want to, in fact, because as the Sun-Sentinel puts it, all McDonald’s franchisees must adhere to “tight standards of uniformity that are intended to ensure a consistent and predictable experience across its 14,000 U.S. locations.” To that end, breakfast items are being treated sort of like a secret menu: you won’t find it on the menu board, nor on the mobile app, nor any third-party delivery apps. You just have to ask when you get there, and see if you get lucky.

If the Sun-Sentinel was able to find over 20 Florida locations serving breakfast favorites on the sly, then surely some of the locations where you live might be doing the same. Start doing some reconnaissance, readers, and let us know what you turn up.

Update, November 3, 2020: ICYMI, we recently got our hands on the new McDonald’s breakfast pastries—Apple Fritter, Blueberry Muffin, and Cinnamon Roll—for a comprehensive Taste Test. See how they fared by reading our full review.

Original post, October 8, 2020: One of the early casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic was the McDonald’s all-day breakfast, a fan favorite since 2015. In the interest of “streamlining” its menu, the chain put an end to midnight biscuits and dinner McMuffins. But now, as restrictions have lifted and happier days are here again (really?), McDonald’s has announced that it will be serving breakfast all day again!

But wait. Nothing is ever as great as it seems. Because by “breakfast,” McDonald’s doesn’t mean hash browns and McGriddles and all the other menu items Americans have grown to know and love and depend upon at all times of day. No, it means that it’s introducing three new pastries: the Apple Fritter, Blueberry Muffin, and Cinnamon Roll. None of these require cooking, which presumably makes things easier for employees, particularly those working the drive-thru. As one employee told Business Insider, “I absolutely do not think we should bring [all-day breakfast] back.”

Higher-ups in the chain remain noncommittal. “We know our customers deserve a break now more than ever, and are excited to give them another reason to visit their favorite breakfast destination by offering delicious flavors they crave, any time of the day,” Linda VanGosen, the vice-president of brand and menu strategy, in a statement. And those flavors are sweet McPastries. Understood?

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!

Australia: Big Brekkie Burger

Finally. Our early morning cravings for cheeseburgers can be met, and all it takes is a 16-hour flight to Australia. That's where you'll find the Big Brekkie Burger, the Aussie take on breakfast that's making us seriously consider surrendering our passports and starting a new life in the outback.

Available until 10:30 a.m., the Big Brekkie Burger is a dream come true for morning burger-eaters. It combines a 100 percent Aussie beef patty with a freshly-cracked round-cooked egg, a few strips of crispy bacon, a slice of melty cheese, and a layer of crispy McDonald's hash browns, topped with "a generous dollop of BBQ sauce" on a sesame seed bun.

If a $3,600 airline ticket isn't in the budget right now, you can hack together this burger yourself, thanks to the all-day availability of McDonald's breakfast here in the States. Order a plain Quarter Pounder, and an Egg McMuffin, substitute bacon. Throw in an order of hash browns and a side of barbecue sauce, and prepare to get your hands dirty. It's a small price to pay for greatness.

McDonald's spicy chicken McNuggets left just as quickly as they arrived.

The new limited-time-only menu item was thought to be in response to the flourishing market for fast-food chicken products, as well as the smash success of Wendy's spicy chicken nuggets.

The chain's spicy nuggets, as well as the Mighty Hot Sauce they came paired with, quickly sold out just two weeks after being released, proving how much customers loved the new version of its classic nuggets. While some restaurants may still have stock, most are completely out of them. However, all hope is not lost for spicy nugget fans.

"We're thrilled with the positive response to these limited-time offerings," McDonald's said in a statement. "If our customers truly can't get enough, there's always a chance we'll bring limited-time menu items back in the future."