The Healthiest Orders at Dunkin' Donuts
Sometimes, it's safest to stay with the classics. "Both our food and drink choices should ideally be kept simple," explains Susan Stalte, R.D. "When it comes to coffee choices, many can contain up to several days' worth of added sugar content alone thanks to the flavored syrups and other toppings. Since coffee contains virtually no calories, I stick to a medium black coffee with half of a regular sugar packet." Curious about sugar alternatives? "The research on them is split, so it comes down to your personal preference."
Turkey Sausage Flatbread
Research says you should aim for around 25 to 30 grams of protein in the morning, says Stalte. "Coming in at 26 grams of protein, the Turkey Sausage Flatbread is one of the best options to meet that goal. It offers a good amount of calories and carbohydrates for a meal, and also offers some fat for fullness." She does advise grabbing a bottle of water, as well, if you go for this choice, since it has a pretty high salt content. (BTW, here's the one reason your doctor may want you to eat more salt.)
Iced & Hot Tea
"Skip the sweet tea and go for the unsweetened green or black iced tea, or one of the fruit tea options," suggests Carrie Dennett, R.D.N., M.P.H., a Seattle-based nutritionist and owner of Nutrition By Carrie. "A medium-sized blackberry or mango pineapple fruit tea has about the same calories and sugar as adding a packet of sugar to the plain teas, which isn't too shabby." The hot tea choices are also good picks since they're all unsweetened.
Egg & Cheese English Muffin
"This is my personal go-to," says Stalte. "The Egg & Cheese English Muffin comes in at 300 calories, 13 grams of protein, and 2 grams of sugar. It's not enough nutritionally for a meal alone, so I pair it with one or two 100-calorie almond packets that I always keep in my bag. If you don't have a balanced snack readily available, try to request a second egg patty for an extra boost of protein and fat."
Cold brew coffee is also a great option on the menu since it doesn't have anything added to it. "If you don't like your coffee black, go for milk, either skim or whole, instead of cream," says Dennett. Can't handle dairy? Almond milk is another option. Want it sweeter? Add your own sugar so you can moderate the amount. "One packet of sugar adds only 4 to 5 grams of sugar and 16 to 20 calories. Like flavored coffee? Flavor shots add flavor without sugar, while flavor swirls add quite a bit of sugar. The latter is the sugary syrup you see them pumping into your cup.
(Want to try this on-trend drink at home? Here's how to make the perfect cold brew coffee.)
2 Egg & Cheese Wake-Up Wraps
Yup, you can have two! "We need enough calories in the morning, and the 180 calories in one of these Egg & Cheese Wake-Up Wraps is not enough to keep most people full without wanting to go back for a doughnut an hour later," says Stalte. "This simple wrap offers some heart-healthy fats thanks to the full egg and a good amount of protein. Again, a small snack paired with this menu option may help with fullness and to maintain energy levels."
Veggie Egg White Flatbread
"Swap your high-sugar hot chocolate for this espresso-filled beverage choice," says Stalte. "Better yet, keep it simple by adding little to no sugar. A small, hot Americano will pair well with a morning breakfast sandwich while giving you more than a bit of a morning wake-up."
"This 'smart pick' isn't so smart if you go for the brown sugar version with dried fruit, which contains 40 grams of sugar—that's 10 teaspoons," says Dennett. "A smarter pick would be to go for the plain oatmeal with only the dried fruit, which will cut the sugar significantly." Neither version has a lot of protein—just 5 grams—so adding your own nuts from home would make it a more satisfying choice."
Ham, Egg & Cheese English Muffin
That's right—the Ham, Egg & Cheese English Muffin is a healthy order. "This breakfast sandwich is a winner, with a good balance of protein, fat, and carbs and a respectable 7 grams of fiber," says Dennett.
There's room in every healthy diet for doughnuts. "If you're craving a sweet, this simple doughnut choice is your best bet," says Stalte. "Coming in at 12 grams of sugar (approximately 3 teaspoons) and 260 calories, one Glazed Donut should hit the spot. However, I suggest skipping the doughnut Munchkins, as it is much easier to overeat and take in more added sugar than one glazed doughnut alone."