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Worst Breakfast Foods in America

by Racer X Virtual Trainer

If you want to be a Champion on the track, better eat your Wheaties

To help you avoid morning mishaps, the authors of "Eat This, Not That!", Dave Zinczenko and Matt Goulding searched out the good, the bad, and the greasy, and uncovered some of the worst breakfast foods in America. They have presented a sampling of the worst offenders below and replaced them with healthy, tasty options that will stoke your metabolism, satisfy your appetite, and keep you burning calories all day long.

So the next time you're on your way to the race track and are thinking about breakfast, remember this list and consider how your choice will affect your performance on the track that day.

Worst Side Dish
Burger King Hash Browns (large)
620 calories
40g fat (11g saturated; 13g trans)
1,200 mg sodium
60g carbs
Yes, you’re ingesting more than a meal’s worth of calories from a side dish, but the real cause for concern here is that these little potato cakes pack seven times more trans fats than you’re supposed to eat all day! Until BK learns to cut out the partially hydrogenated oils, avoid encounters with potatoes of any kind at that fatty food joint.
Eat This Instead!
Burger King Egg & Cheese Croissan’wich 300 calories
17g fat (6g saturated; 2g trans)
740 mg sodium
26g carb

Worst Breakfast Sandwich
Hardee’s Monster Biscuit
710 calories
51g fat (17g saturated)
2,250 mg sodium
37g carbohydrates
When they say “Monster,” they mean it. This 700-calorie behemoth should be enough to scare anyone: It contains nearly a full day’s worth of sodium and saturated fat. Instead try the Sunrise Croissant with Bacon. It’s not exactly diet-friendly, but if you’re stuck at Hardee’s, it’s a way to escape without too much damage.
Eat This Instead!
Hardee’s Sunrise Croissant with Bacon
450 calories
29g fat (12g saturated)
900 mg sodium
28g carbs

Worst Kids Meal
Denny’s Big Dipper French Toastix with margarine and syrup
770 calories
71g fat (13g saturated)
107g carbs
As important as it is for mom and dad to eat a good breakfast each morning, it’s even more critical that their kids do. After all, breakfast affects their energy levels, metabolism, and performance in school. Better think twice before feeding them these dubious little sticks.
Eat This Instead!
Kid’s D-Zone Smiley Alien Hotcakes
340 calories
12g fat (5g saturated)
49g carbs

Worst Pastry
Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll
813 calories
32g fat (5g trans fat)
117g carbs
You wouldn’t start your day with three brownies, would you? As far as your body knows, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing if you wake up with this cinnamon-swirled disaster area. In fact, because Cinnabon offers no healthy alternatives, you’ll have to  invite friends (or enemies?) to share the risky roll, or steer clear of Cinnabon altogether.
Eat This Instead!
steer clear of Cinnabon altogether

Worst Smoothie
Smoothie King Grape Expectations II
(40 oz.)
1,102 calories
256g sugars
740 mg sodium
Why Smoothie King would even offer a 40 oz. serving size is beyond us. With more than half the calories you need in a day and the sugar equivalent of 12 Haagen Dasz ice cream bars, this “drink” should be renamed "diabetes in a glass." Just goes to show you the importance of drinking responsibly.
Eat This Instead!
Smoothie King Low Carb Strawberry Smoothie (20 oz.)
268 calories
3g sugars
176 mg sodium

Worst Combo Meal
McDonald’s Deluxe Breakfast
1,360 calories
64 g fat (22g saturated)
2,325 mg sodium
160g carbs
49g sugars
With four vehicles for refined carbohydrates (biscuit, hash browns, hotcakes, syrup), this “deluxe” disaster will send your blood sugar soaring. Why blow nearly an entire day’s calories under the arches, when a perfectly satisfying Egg McMuffin will save you more than 1,000 calories?
Eat This Instead!
McDonald’s Egg McMuffin with coffee
310 calories
12g fat (5g saturated)
820 mg sodium
30g carbs
3g sugars

Worst Omlet
IHOP Big Steak Omelet
1,490 calories
(No additional nutrition information available)
IHOP doesn’t provide nutritional information aside from calorie counts, but with a boatload of steak, a bucket of cheese, and handfuls of hash browns, this omelet’s fat and sodium numbers are surely just as appalling.
Eat This Instead!
Burger King Egg & Cheese Croissan’wich 300 calories
17g fat (6g saturated; 2g trans)
740 mg sodium
26g carb

Worst Breakfast in America
Bob Evans Stacked and Stuffed Caramel Banana Pecan Hotcakes
1,543 calories
77g fat (26g saturated; 9g trans)
2,259 mg sodium
198g carbs
109g sugars
It’s not a good sign when it takes you nearly five seconds to spit out the name of your breakfast. This bad boy packs in more than 75 percent of your calories for the day, along with more sugar and fat than nine glazed Dunkin’ Donuts, and nearly as much sodium as five Bloody Marys.
Eat This Instead!
3 Scrambled Egg Beaters with 2 slices of bacon and fresh fruit
314 calories
19.5 g fat (5 g saturated)
700 mg sodium
21 g carbs
18 g sugars


That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. VT Signature

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  1. Gravatar
    willy April 30, 2010 at 3:22 am

    Wow! Just read "Eat This Not That" Why in the hell would a nutritionist suggest subsituting a high fat, high sodium, high cholesterol, high chemical meal for a lower fat, lower cholesterol, lower sodium same chemical meal? I feel bad for anyone who thinks they can read that and believe it. Eat Organic(real) food and you and your kids will never get sick again!

  2. Gravatar
    Justin April 30, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Wow. This is a very disappointing article. I thought it would be don't eat "unhealthy processed junk," and have an interesting suggestion for "a natural and nutritious alternative" type of article. Instead, someone just went through Burger King and McDonald's nutrition charts and said which would be LESS unhealthy? I might as well have asked a 2nd grader what he thought would be the best nutrition plan for a healthy lifestyle.

  3. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer April 30, 2010 at 9:50 am

    You guys are missing the point. Of course eating healthy (whether its organic, natural, fresh, etc.) is the best option but for those times when you have to eat at fast food joints, this book does an amazing job of showing you how to make a better choice. Obviously fast food is not the best choice for good, healthy food. The point of the article was to give the reader options if they somehow find themselves at McDonalds in the morning on the way to the track b/c that's where mom and dad stopped. The reality is, sometimes you have to eat what is offered in a given circumstance. Of course if you have the option, skip fast food all together and eat something more nutritious.

    The article is also an attempt to show you how bad breakfast foods can be if you choose to eat fast food.

    Justin - This article in no way attempts to lay out the best nutrition plan for a healthy lifestyle. That is what's so great about this book. It doesn't preach and tell you what you should and should not eat. It educates the reader and lets them make up their mind for themselves. and yes, that is exactly what they did....went through and tried to point out the healthier options from the nutrition charts.

    And my mother always told me, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. You post was deleted.

  4. Gravatar
    Timothy May 08, 2010 at 9:26 am

    After going on my diet(I started at 251# now 159# = 92#), I read and really analyzed how and what I was Eating. VT has helped with ideas along with training tips.

    This article lets you know that "if" you eat at fast food restaurants you do have a choice on what you eat. I suggest you download the menu's and highlight what is acceptable and make a Go/No Go list of foods you can eat.

    Obviously Organic is the best choice but even organic food labels are misleading. So if you buying it for "Organics" sake you need to learn to read the rest of the label not just the front of it.

    Good Article Keep it up!!!

  5. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer May 10, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Thanks Timothy. Congratulations on the weight loss! As we say in Motocross, "I'm super pumped!"

    I keep meaning to post an article on Organic food. Don't just assume that b/c it's organic, its better. High Fructose Corn Syrup can be labeled as organic if it is grown organic. Just a thought....

  6. Gravatar
    Phil August 22, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I'm on the road a lot for business and have been really happy with Starbucks reduced fat turkey bacon and egg sandwiches and their oatmeal. The sandwich is only 320 calories and has 18 grams of protein. And the egg is supposedly cage free - I've been in egg laying plants for work and trust me you want cage free eggs. Add the oatmeal with all the nuts, a bit of the fruit, a touch of the brown sugar and a bit of skim milk and of course a coffee, and I'm good until lunch.

  7. Gravatar
    Phil August 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    My last post got me digging around on the Starbucks site. Looks like there is a better choice - the Spinach, Feta and Egg wrap has 10 grams fewer carbs, the same amount of protein, 3g more fiber, and 40 fewer calories than the reduced fat turkey bacon. 3 grams more fat, but I don't mind fat. Would this be a better choice?

  8. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer August 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I think it is...less carbs and fewer calories and only a small amount more fat. Think I'll try this next time I'm at Starbucks.....Thanks for sharing!

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