6 Brunch Orders Worse Than a Steak Dinner

SHAPE magazine
Healthy Living
August 6, 2012

You can enjoy brunch without blowing a full day's worth of calories--here's how!

1. Instead of eggs benedict...
The one redeeming quality about this brunch staple: It contains protein-rich eggs, which are a great source of selenium and vitamin D, says Margaux J. Rathbun, certified nutritional therapy practitioner and creator of nutrition website Authentic Self Wellness. But the benefits of this calorie bomb end there, thanks to toppings like ham and and high-fat Hollandaise sauce-all served on an English muffin .

Eggs benedict
Eggs benedict

"All of these types of foods combined together can be difficult to digest, making you feel bloated, tired, and excessively full," Rathbun says.

Exactly how bad are they? Eggs Benedict from one popular breakfast chain come in at a whopping 1,050 calories and 57 grams of fat.

Order this instead...
Scrambled eggs and whole wheat toast . Sprinkle your eggs with a little sea salt (if it's available) for added trace minerals, Rathbun says.

RELATED: 7 Foods a Nutritionist Would Never Eat

Biscuits and gravy
Biscuits and gravy

2. Instead of biscuits and gravy...
Most of the biscuits and gravy served by restaurants are pre-packaged and processed, making this breakfast a mother-load of calories without much nutritional value, Rathbun says. Just one biscuit (with gravy) will set you back around 680 calories and almost 32 grams of fat.

Order this instead...
A whole grain English muffin (a great source of fiber and energizing B vitamins) with jam.

Cheese blintzes
Cheese blintzes

3. Instead of cheese blintzes...
They tempt your taste buds for a reason-they're loaded with sugar, fat, and empty calories ! And don't let that 'fruit' topping fool you, Rathbun says. More often than not, that pretty berry topping contains added sugar and food coloring, which makes this breakfast more like a dessert, and not a healthy way to start your day.

Exactly how bad are they? Order them from most popular breakfast chains, you can expect to ingest about 1,000 calories and 69 grams of fat per serving!

Order this instead...
Ask for a side of cottage cheese topped with fresh, antioxidant-rich berries, Rathbun says.

4. Instead of belgian waffles...

Belgian waffles
Belgian waffles

It turns out there are some situations in which pancakes are the "better" choice. Belgian Waffles contain almost three times as many calories and five times the fat as one pancake, says Rania Batayneh, MPH, a nutritionist, eating strategist, and owner of Essential Nutrition for You. "Extra butter in the recipe makes the edges perfectly crispy, while the fluffy insides are perfect for absorbing sugary and caloric toppings like butter, syrup, whipped cream, fruit compotes-even ice cream."

One plain waffle can contain up to 500 calories and 21 grams of fat, a number that can easily double (even triple) depending on your topping selection.

Order this instead... A single pancake. If you've got to have something sweet, go for a more portion controlled serving with pancakes-and order whole wheat if they're available. (And go easy on the butter and syrup!)

Cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon rolls

5. Instead of cinnamon rolls...
Watch out for these sweet treats! Made of mostly white flour , sugar, and butter, some of the larger ones can weigh in at more than 800 calories, says Mary Hartley, a registered dietitian with an online practice at AskMaryRD.com.

Order this instead...
If they are available, order reduced-fat quick breads made with fresh fruit and healthy oils, Hartley says. If not, go for whole-wheat toast with fruit preserves.

RELATED: 50 Tasty Foods Under 50 Calories

Hash browns
Hash browns

6. Instead of hash browns...
An average order of hash browns adds an extra 350 calories and 15 grams of fat to your meal, Batayneh says. And while that doesn't sound too terrible, remember this is just a side dish. "Hash browns have minimal protein and fiber, so they'll send your blood sugar soaring; but they're also high in fat, since their high surface area soaks up so much oil," Batayneh says.

What to order instead: A half order. "If potatoes are a necessity in your breakfast, ask for a half portion and pair them with lean protein and veggies for a hit of fiber," Batayneh says.

Photo credit: www.simplecomfortfood.com

More on SHAPE:
12 Salads Worse than a Bic Mac
7 Low-Cal Brunch Recipes to Serve at Home
10 New Ways to Eat Oatmeal

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