Fast Food Breakfast Ideas if you have Diabetes
Fast food breakfast for diabetics? Yes, the options certainly do exist! Just because you have blood sugar concerns does not mean you can’t have options when eating out. If you’ve been around here for awhile, you’ve probably seen our other blogs about eating fast food when you have diabetes. Convenience options like fast food are often demonized for being “bad” or “unhealthy” but we believe that all foods have a purpose and do not have moral value. You can get a balanced meal from numerous fast food and fast casual places that won’t send your blood sugar soaring.
Check out our fast food for diabetes blog, what to drink at Starbucks, or if you’re in the grocery shopping mood, what to buy at Costco.
What to look for when choosing fast food breakfast for diabetics?
When it comes to eating for blood sugar management, everyone has different needs. Some people can eat a larger amount of carbohydrate at a meal than others and still have balanced blood sugars. For the options we recommend in this blog series, we typically aim for around 45 grams of carbohydrate. Sometimes an option may be a little more, sometimes it’s less. Make adjustments based on your individual carbohydrate needs.
Total carbohydrate for the meal is one of the first things we consider. Does it fall within our goal? Then we look at the balance of the meal. Protein, fat, and fiber help balance out the carbohydrate and keep blood sugar more stable. Look for options that have good sources of protein like eggs, breakfast meats, cheese, or Greek yogurt. If there’s an option for whole grains, that will add fiber. Most fast food options are already going to provide fat (from eggs, cheese, breakfast meats), but something like a yogurt parfait or oatmeal could benefit from adding nuts/seeds/nut butter for fat.
6 Fast Food Restaurants to Order Breakfast for Diabetes
McDonalds Breakfast for Diabetes
- Egg McMuffin (30 g carb) + Hash brown (18 g carb) = 48 grams carbohydrate
- Biscuit sandwich (bacon egg & cheese or sausage egg & cheese) = 38 grams carbohydrate
- Sausage Burrito (25 g carb) + Hash brown (18 g carb) = 43 grams carbohydrate
- Fruit and Maple Oatmeal (without cranberry raisin blend) = 47 grams carbohydrate
Taco Bell Breakfast for Diabetes
- Breakfast Crunchwrap = 53 grams carbohydrate
- Breakfast Quesadilla = 41 grams carbohydrate
- Cheesy Toasted Breakfast Burrito = 38 grams carbohydrate
- Hash brown = 14 grams carbohydrate
- 2 pack Cinnabon delights = 17 grams carbohydrate
Panera Breakfast for Diabetes
- Chipotle Chicken Scrambled Egg and Avocado on Ciabatta = 44 grams carbohydrate
- Avocado Egg White Spinach and Cheese on Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat = 39 grams carbohydrate
- Sausage Egg and Cheese on Brioche = 32 grams carbohydrate
- 4 Cheese Soufflé = 36 grams carbohydrate
- Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries Parfait = 27 grams carbohydrate
- Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat + Cream Cheese = 37 grams carbohydrate
Chick-fil-A Breakfast for Diabetes
Chicken Biscuit = 45 grams carbohydrate
Egg White Grill (30 g) + small Fruit Cup (13 g) = 43 grams carbohydrate
Hash Brown Scramble Bowl (19 g) + Hash Browns (23 g) = 42 grams carbohydrate
4 count Chicken Minis = 41 grams carbohydrate
Sausage Egg and Cheese Muffin = 30 grams carbohydrate
Greek Yogurt Parfait with Cookie Crumbs = 31 grams carbohydrate
Dunkin Breakfast for Diabetes
- Turkey Sausage Egg and Cheese Muffin = 39 grams carbohydrate
- Wake up Wrap (15 g) + Hash browns (13 g) = 28 grams carbohydrate
Any food can fit into your nutrition plan, including fun foods like donuts. Incorporating a higher sugar option into a meal that includes protein and fiber is going to leave you with better blood sugars than just eating donuts alone. Just be aware that a donut can add 30-50 grams of carbohydrate, depending on the donut choice.
Starbucks Breakfast for Diabetes
- Spinach Feta and Egg White Wrap = 34 grams carbohydrate
- Turkey Bacon Cheddar and Egg White Sandwich = 28 grams carbohydrate
- Egg White and Roasted Red Pepper Egg Bites = 11 grams carbohydrate
- Bacon and Gruyere Egg Bites = 9 grams carbohydrate
- Petite Vanilla Bean Scone = 18 grams carbohydrate
Ham & Cheese Croissant = 28 grams carbohydrate
Cheese Danish = 33 grams carbohydrate
Chocolate Croissant = 34 grams carbohydrate
Breakfast is an important meal when you’re working to stabilize blood sugars. A high protein breakfast can help keep your blood sugars more stable throughout the morning, and can even help you feel more satiated throughout the day. If you ever find yourself snacking into the evening, you are likely undereating earlier in the day. Amp up your protein at breakfast and throughout the day to feel more satisfied. If the option is fast food breakfast or no breakfast at all, you best believe we are choosing fast food breakfast! As you can see from this list, you can find numerous fast food breakfast options for diabetes management.
An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.