The 9 Unhealthiest Fast-Food Breakfast Burritos, According to Dietitians

The 9 Unhealthiest Fast-Food Breakfast Burritos, According to Dietitians Breakfast burritos are convenient—and delicious—in the way that they pack all your favorite savory a.m. foods into a warm tortilla, so you don’t have to sit down to a morning meal with a fork and knife. However, most of the burritos you’d grab at the drive-thru aren’t what dietitians recommend eating for your first meal of the day. The problem: Most fast-food breakfast burritos are high in sodium, calories, and saturated fat. “Eating a very calorie-dense, high-fat, high-carb meal, can lead to low energy, lethargy, and feeling uncomfortably full,” says Colette Micko, MS, RDN, CDES , a dietitian with Top Nutrition Coaching. Instead, you’ll want to start your day with a balanced meal high in protein and fiber to prevent overeating and cravings for simple sugars or salty or fatty snacks later in the day, says Lena Bakovic, MS, RDN, CNSC , a dietitian with Top Nutrition Coaching. But that doesn’t mean breakfast burritos are totally off the table. “When ordering a breakfast burrito I recommend looking for options that are around 600 calories or less, contain at least 25 grams of protein, and have just one main source of carbohydrates, such as the tortilla versus tortilla and hashbrowns,” Micko says. You’ll also want to limit processed meats, choose just one source of fat (pro tip: opt for avocado instead of cheese and sour cream), and include a high-fiber food (such as avocado, peppers, onions, and/or beans), Micko says. Below, find the worst fast-food breakfast burritos across popular chains. Instead of grabbing one of those, check out our guide to The 10 Best & Worst Frozen Breakfast Burritos, According to Dietitians for easy grab-and-go breakfasts during the week. Burger King Egg-Normous Burrito Calories: 830 Fat: 46 g (Saturated fat: 17 g) Sodium: 2,055 mg Carbs: 69 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 4 g) Protein: 35 g Enormous, indeed. “Although this burrito is a high-protein breakfast option, it’s very calorie-dense, providing almost half of the daily typical calorie requirements for an American adult,” Bakovic says, pointing out that about half of the calories in this burrito come from fat. Even worse, this pick is especially high in saturated fat: U.S. guidelines recommend getting no more than 13 grams of saturated fat on a 2,000-calorie diet per day—and this burrito packs 17 grams alone. “It also contains more than 75% of the recommended daily sodium requirements for an American adult, which may have negative implications for people with histories of high blood pressure, kidney disease, or heart disease,” Bakovic says. Carl’s Jr. Loaded Breakfast Burrito Calories: 650 Fat: 36 g (Saturated fat: 12 g) Sodium: 1,240 mg Carbs: 50 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 2 g) Protein: 29 g Carl’s Jr. (also known as Hardees in some parts of the country) offers the Loaded Breakfast Burrito that’s stuffed with Sausage, bacon bits, scrambled eggs, hash browns, shredded cheese, and salsa. Sounds delicious, but this option contains about 50% of the recommended daily sodium requirements for an American adult. “It’s also high in saturated fats, which when combined with sodium, makes it a suboptimal choice for heart health,” Bakovic says. Chick-fil-A Hash Brown Scramble Burrito With Sausage Calories: 720 Fat: 47 g (Saturated fat: 16 g) Sodium: 1,450 mg Carbs: 46 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 1 g) Protein: 28 g Jam-packed with scrambled eggs, cheese, sausage, and crispy hash browns, this Chick-fil-A burrito boasts a significant amount of calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium. If you find yourself at the chicken joint for breakfast, consider ordering this burrito without the hash browns and swapping the sausage for grilled chicken, which reduces the calories by 220, fat by 21 grams, and carbohydrates by 12 grams. Plus, this swap will add about 7 grams of protein to your breakfast, and more protein will help keep you feeling full for longer. Jack in the Box Meat Lovers Burrito Calories: 810 Fat: 51 g (Saturated fat: 22 g) Sodium: 1,630 mg Carbs: 50 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 4 g) Protein: 40 g Sausage is the star of this grande breakfast burrito from Jack in the Box, and that explains the sky-high calorie and saturated fat content. “Excess calorie intake can lead to weight gain and metabolic dysfunction over time,” Micko says, adding that this burrito boasts over half of an entire day’s worth of fat, which will likely leave you feeling very tired 30 minutes to an hour after eating it. Plus, you’ll get plenty of carbs from the hash browns in this order. “The carbohydrate load of this burrito will likely lead to a crash shortly after consuming it,” Micko says. Taco Bell Grande Toasted Breakfast Bacon Burrito Calories: 570 Fat: 30 g (Saturated fat: 11 g) Sodium: 1,310 mg Carbs: 52 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 3 g) Protein: 23 g While not as caloric as other burritos on this list, this Taco Bell breakfast burrito may seem like a sound choice at first glance. However, the sodium and fat contents say otherwise. One burrito contains more than half a day’s worth of sodium, so it’s not a smart meal choice for people with heart or kidney issues. “If consumed routinely in combination with a generally high-sodium, high-fat, or high-calorie dietary pattern, it may contribute to worsening of metabolic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, chronic heart failure (CHF), or kidney disease,” Bakovic says. Taco Time Ultimate Burrito Calories: 720 Fat: 44 g (Saturated fat: 15 g) Sodium: 1,550 mg Carbs: 51 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 5 g) Protein: 28 g Another calorically dense breakfast burrito, this pick provides almost 40% of the daily typical calorie requirements for an American adult, Bakovic says. “Excess calories, over time, can contribute to weight gain and ultimately subsequent metabolic syndrome which is a combination of health conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.” What’s more, this pick is high in sodium and saturated fat—translation: It’s not an ideal choice for folks who already have heart disease or are at risk for developing heart disease. Carl’s Jr. Bacon Egg and Cheese Burrito Calories: 620 Fat: 35 g (Saturated fat: 14 g) Sodium: 1,600 mg Carbs: 37 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g) Protein: 37 g Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches aren’t the epitome of a healthy breakfast, and this inspired burrito from Carl’s Jr. is no exception. “This burrito exceeds 50% of the recommended daily sodium requirements for adults, making it a suboptimal choice for people with a history of hypertension, heart disease, chronic heart failure (CHF), or kidney disease,” Bakovic says. “The saturated fats from the bacon and cheese may contribute to raising the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels, which contributes to plaque buildup on artery walls, a condition known as atherosclerosis.” Sonic SuperSonic Breakfast Burrito Calories: 590 Fat: 33 g (Saturated fat: 13 g) Sodium: 1,770 mg Carbs: 49 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 3 g) Protein: 24 g This breakfast burrito has almost an entire day’s worth of sodium—and you can chalk that up to the salty sausage, cheese, and tater tots stuffed in the tortilla. “Having too much sodium can worsen blood pressure by causing the body to retain more fluid, and requiring more effort to circulate that fluid throughout the body,” Micko says. “This burrito also has 13 grams of saturated fat (an entire day’s worth), which can raise LDL cholesterol and worsen blood sugar levels,” Micko adds. Taco Time Country Burrito Calories: 650 Fat: 38 g (Saturated fat: 14 g) Sodium: 1,250 mg Carbs: 51 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 4 g) Protein: 26 g The fast-food Mexican-inspired joint is home to the Country Burrito, a breakfast loaded with all the a.m. favorites. “It includes plenty of animal products, including sausage, eggs, and cheddar cheese, that are high in saturated fat and can worsen heart health,” Micko says. “This burrito has a reasonable amount of protein and carbohydrates, but is very high in fat, saturated fat, and sodium.”

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