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11 Scary Unhealthy Fast Food Breakfasts

By Melissa Breyer for Care2.com

How would you like to meet your daily sodium and saturated fat allowance, as well as nearly half of your daily calorie needs, in one quick breakfast eaten on the road? It’s becoming progressively easy these day as food technicians, chefs and market researchers, holed away in corporate fast food “studios,” are busy developing monstrous new breakfast items. Trying to claim as much of the $57 billion fast food breakfast market as they can, the fast food giants are drumming up increasingly cheesy, steak-y, fried chicken-y breakfast dishes that tap into flavor combinations that have proven successful for lunch and dinner items. It’s no longer eggs and English muffins for fast food breakfast…breakfast burger anyone?

What’s most striking about some of these high-calorie items–aside from the unsustainable, industrial, often GMO and synthetic ingredients–is the very high sodium and saturated fat content. According to the USDA, the current recommendation for sodium consumption is less than 2,300 milligrams a day. For saturated fat, the maximum allowance is between 18 grams to 31 grams, depending on your caloric intake needs. (You can calculate your caloric need with this calculator from the Mayo Clinic.) Many of these breakfast items meet or exceed the daily sodium and fat allowances, and provide much more than one-third of your daily caloric needs.


Healthiest Menu Choices at Carl’s Jr.

Carl’s Jr. isn’t exactly known for their healthy options. In fact, they may be best known for their unhealthy burger creations. However, because life gives you no other option than eating in unhealthy establishments from time to time (think driving cross-country or it being your boss’s favorite burger joint), we wanted to see if we could find at least a few options that could be considered healthy.

The below meal options all meet the requirements of our registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield who says that meals should have less than 500 calories and less than 500 milligrams of sodium, according to the the new daily sodium recommendations. As you can see, it’s slim pickings.


Diet Disaster: Carl’s Jr. Foot-long Cheeseburger

the foot-long cheeseburger from Carl's Jr.Here’s a new item for This Is Why You’re Fat: Carl’s Jr. “footlong cheeseburger.” The colossal burger is only available on a trial basis at 50 Southern California locations, like the Santa Ana store where a blogger from Food Beast snapped this photo. He reported that the burger is several beef patties stuffed into a foot-long loaf, just like a sub sandwich. It’s available for $4.00 for the “basic” version, or for $4.50 for a burger with fixings like tomato, lettuce and onions. “The dough on the bread seems a little off,” reports the brave tester. “But the execution of the entire sandwich still remains interesting and I’m intrigued to say the least.” (more…)