I suffer from high blood pressure. But I don’t want to give up my favorite fast food breakfasts. Below are some healthy low-sodium options for those of us with low salt restrictions who still want to enjoy our favorite fast food breakfast during a rushed commute to work or after a Saturday morning soccer game.
The Mayo Clinic recommends people at risk for heart attacks, high blood pressure, swelling, and strokes consume less than 1,500 mg of salt per day. That’s an average of 500 mg per meal. So just skip the bacon and add a healthy egg white, right? Wrong! One McDonald’s Egg White Delight contains 770 mg of sodium, only 10 mg different than an Egg McMuffin or Sausage McMuffin. That’s 270 mg more than allotted for breakfast. A hash brown contains 310 mg of salt, over half of the sodium allowed for your entire meal.
Because breads and cheeses are high in sodium, all of McDonald’s biscuit sandwiches, McGriddles, and bagels contain over 1,000 mg of salt, twice the amount you should eat for breakfast.
Burger King is similarly high in sodium. Burger King’s Southwestern Breakfast Burrito contains 1,660 mg of salt. That’s more sodium than you should consume all day! BK Ultimate Breakfast platter contains a whopping 3,020 mg of salt! Even a small hash brown contains 410 mg of salt, almost the full 500 mg allowed for breakfast.
Taco Bell’s new A.M. Crunchwrap ® is also high in sodium, containing over 1,150 mg of salt. Taco Bell’s Breakfast Burritos range from 790 to 1,070 mg of salt. Unlike Burger King and McDonald’s, where most of the menu choices contain over 1,000 mg of salt, Taco Bell offers a wide range of breakfast choices between 330 and 750 mg, with a few just over the limit to qualify for a healthy, low sodium breakfast.
At Taco Bell you can order Cinnabon ® Delights as a 2 pack for 80 mg of salt, a 4 pack for 160 mg, or even a 12 pack for 480 mg. That’s still within your target number of less than 500 mg of sodium! Taco Bell also offers a side of eggs for 95 mg, an A.M. Grilled Taco Egg and Cheese for 330 mg, a Sausage Flatbread melt for 410, and a Waffle taco with egg and cheese for 420 mg of sodium.
There are fewer low sodium options at McDonald’s and Burger King. At McDonald’s you can order a Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait for 70 mg, a Fruit & Maple Oatmeal with brown sugar for 160 mg, a hash brown for 310, or Cinnamon Melts for 370 mg of sodium.
Burger King’s low sodium options are similar and include Original Quaker Oatmeal for 100 mg of salt or One Cinnabon ® for 280 mg of salt.
A low sodium fast food breakfast is possible with the proper knowledge and planning. Taco Bell’s large variety of options ensures that anyone watching their salt intake can enjoy a healthy, flavorful breakfast on the go.