“My body is completely confused,” my friend Rachel said as she sat down in my office. “For dinner last night, I had breakfast. Also, it was French food, but I got it from a Mexican restaurant.”
She’d tried one of Taco Bell’s new Croissant Tacos, which are available in limited release in certain outlets in Ohio–part of Taco Bell’s ongoing all-day breakfast menu experiment. They’re competing head-to-head with McDonald’s in the battle to make bacon and eggs a 24-hour affair.
As someone who grew up with an overworked single mom who occasionally served “breakfast for dinner,” I know the appeal of bacon and eggs at the end of a long day. And it seems to be working: Taco Bell registered about 20 percent more visits in the week following its all-day breakfast launch, while Mickey D’s visits increased by 9 percent, according to an analysis by Foursquare.
But which of these breakfasts will start your day–or your afternoon or your evening–off right? Our team at Eat This, Not That! magazine took every fast food breakfast into our food lab and uncovered the ingredients. Read on, and to blast fat from your belly at breakfast time, and all day long, drink green tea. Science in The 17-Day Green Tea Dietshows it actually shrinks fat cells. For the complete plan—which includes delicious weight-loss smoothies—click on The 17-Day Green Tea Diet!
We’ll start with…Burger King
BK was the first chain to go after McDonald’s crown, and they did so the old-fashioned way: by going bigger, greasier and Croissan’wich-ier. First, let’s examine the least healthy menu items, ranked from worst to absolute worst.
11. Ham, Egg&Cheese Biscuit
There’s a reason this classic is on every fast food breakfast menu—it tastes good. There’s also a reason why you shouldn’t eat too many: It tastes good because of the salt. Burger King’s version has a full day’s worth, thanks to biscuit soaked in it. Click here to discover how salt plays a role in The #1 Reason You’re Not Losing Belly Fat!
10. Sausage, Egg&Cheese Muffin
Let’s play a drinking game: Every time you see a sausage at in a Burger King, you have to swallow a full shot of salt. Each one is made of pork, salt, sugars and MSG, which increases appetite by blocking the message to the brain that you’ve eaten your fill. In fact, one group of researchers found that giving laboratory rats MSG increased their food intake by a whopping 40 percent!
9. Bacon, Egg&Cheese Biscuit
“Rise and shine with our Bacon, Egg&Cheese Biscuit,” crows Burger King. Then be prepared to fall right back asleep. The little sandwich features a full day’s worth of sodium, thanks to the bacon and eggs, and the biscuit is full of trans-fatty palm oil and corn syrup. As a result, it has less calories than the same sandwich at McDonald’s, but more sodium and sugar, and less protein.
8. Sausage, Egg&Cheese Croissan’Wich
Remember what we said about this same sandwich when it was on a muffin? This one has 7 grams more fat thanks to the croissant. BK’s signature morning roll may taste “buttery” but it’s actually made with 32 ingredients, including white flour, margarine, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial butter flavors and azodicarbonamide, the additive famously found in yoga mats. It’s new name: The Croissan’t. Just a few changes to your diet can mean big weight loss—don’t miss these new 50 Ways to Lose 10 Pounds—Fast
7. Sausage, Egg&Cheese Biscuit
You ever notice how fast food joints make as many meals as possible from the same ingredients? In this case, sausage, egg and cheese pair up (again), this time inside a biscuit, for yet another full’s day’s worth of salt—and more fat than the Croissan’wich. Instead, balance salt and protein perfectly with these 20 Best-Ever Soups That Burn Fat!
6. King Croissan’Wich with Sausage&Bacon
When was the last time you could say your breakfast was worse than a Big Mac? Order one of these and you’ll have your chance. Compared to the King Croissan’Wich with Sausage&Bacon, a Big Mac has 7 less calories, 5 grams less fat (and 8 grams less saturated fat), 300 grams less sodium and three greams more belly-filling protein.
5. Pancakes&Sausage Platter
You’d have to eat three and a half bowls of Frosted Flakes to equal the sugar count in these pancakes—and top it with a Jimmy Dean sausage and a half to equal the fat and sodium. If you need something sweet before work, indulge in a French Toast stick and walk away. Got a sweet tooth? Indulge instead in these 20 Best Chocolates for Weight Loss!
4. King Croissan’Wich with Ham&Sausage
“Twice the Satisfaction” for twice the fat, as this mouthful combines ham and sausage into one sandwich. Our tip: replace em both with bacon and save 10 g of fat.
3. Fully Loaded Croissan’Wich
Loaded questions, loaded weapons, getting loaded—the word never leads to good things. Take this “fully loaded” disaster, which wedges three kinds of pork (ham, sausage, bacon) into some eggs and cheese, sandwiched between a croissant. Also hidden inside: More than a day’s worth of sodium! That’s as much as you’ll find in 64 Rold Gold pretzels! Speaking of which, don’t miss this list of the 22 Foods You’re Eating That Aren’t Worth the Calories!
2. King Croissan’Wich with Double Sausage
If this were Game of Thrones, the King Croissan’Wich would be King Richard (spoiler alert: he doesn’t make it past season one). Thanks to the two sausages, it has more fat than another other ‘Wich on the menu. In general, avoid items with the word double in them, especially before 9am.
1. Worst Breakfast at Burger King is the… BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter
Take the worst of BK’s breakfast items—hash browns, a sausage, thee syrupy pancakes, a biscuit and eggs—and put them all on one plate, and a new king is crowned: The Worst Breakfast at Burger King. Eat this, and you’ll consume a day and a half’s worth of sodium before work. Just be grateful it’s not a Croissan’Platter. Skip it, and instead got for these 20 Healthiest Orders at Fast Food Chains.