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Fast food choices for your morning drive

Do you know how many calories you're eating?
May 28, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you're getting up at the crack of dawn and plowing the north forty you deserve a big hearty breakfast. But most of us grab a quick shower and settle for a long commute to work. We all need nutrition in the morning. What you grab at the drive-thru or coffee shop can greatly vary in terms of fat and calories, so arm yourself with knowledge.

Starting at the coffee shop. Nutrition facts show a venti Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino at Starbucks is 750 calories, offering as much sugar as three sodas. But knock the size down a notch to a grande, ordering a Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino Light and save yourself over 600 calories, enough for a bowl of whole grain cereal.

If a donut hits the spot, be super choosy about your Krispy Kreme selection. Treats like the New York cheesecake donut and the chocolate crème filled donut average about 350 calories. Your best bet is to stick to the original glazed Krispy Kreme to shave off 150 calories and nearly half the fat.

Those who prefer a breakfast smoothie might be shocked at the stats on a large Peanut Butter Moo'ed at Jamba Juice. At 840 calories and 21 grams of fat, this breakfast is quite a bit to swallow. Thank goodness they've got a line of Jamba light smoothies like the Mango Mantra at 160 calories.

Those looking for something substantial will certainly find it at Del Taco. Are you ready for half your day's quota for calories and all the saturated fat you should have in a day in one meal? You'll find that in the Macho Bacon and Egg Burrito, which is 1030 calories and 60 grams of fat, with 20 of those fat grams saturated. At 1150 calories, McDonald's Deluxe Breakfast has nearly identical artery clogging opportunities, and that's not a good thing. The Deluxe Breakfast has 59 grams of fat, with 20 of the fat grams saturated.

The good news? Both fast food joints offer better choices. Del Taco has a tasty 250 calorie breakfast burrito, and then there is the tried and true Egg McMuffin at a respectable 300 calories and 12 grams of fat.

While whole grains, fresh produce, nonfat dairy and lean proteins remain your best bet, if your visits to fast food restaurants are occasional and your choices are educated, you can save yourself hundreds of calories, which equates to shaving off some pounds.

All of the companies mentioned in this story have nutrition facts published on their Web site. You can also check out "Eat This, Not That," by Editor in Chief of Men's Health, David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding. Rodale Press, $19.95.

 

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