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Every Fast-Food Oatmeal—Ranked by Nutrition

A registered dietitian ranks 10 popular fast-food oatmeals based on sugar, fiber, and protein content.
FACT CHECKED BY Samantha Boesch

When you need a filling, comforting, and overall healthy start to your day, oatmeal is a top choice because of its many health benefits. One cup of cooked oats has four grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, and is a good source of minerals like iron, magnesium, and selenium. The best part? You can enjoy this nutritious breakfast anywhere thanks to several fast-food chains that feature it on their breakfast menu.

Unfortunately, as with most fast food, not all choices are healthy. While each fast-food oatmeal has at least 4 grams of fiber, some are higher in added sugars, making them less nourishing. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to less than 36 grams per day for men and 25 grams per day for women. Routinely eating too many added sugars can increase the risk of weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, cavities, and other health concerns.

While some fast-food oatmeal may be less nutritious, others will give you a boost of healthy fats, protein, and vitamins and minerals from ingredients like nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit. To help you start your day (even a busy one) in the best way possible, here are 10 fast-food oatmeal options, ranked from unhealthiest to healthiest. Read on, then check out 20 Healthy Fast-Food Orders, According to Dietitians.

Mcdonald's Fruit and Maple Oatmeal

Mcdonald's Fruit and Maple Oatmeal
Nutrition (Per order):
Calories: 320
Fat: 4.5 g (Saturated fat: 1.5 g)
Sodium: 150 mg
Carbs: 64 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 31 g)
Protein: 6 g

McDonald's Fruit and Maple Oatmeal takes its place as the unhealthiest fast-food oatmeal, mostly because of its 18 grams of added sugars from the brown sugar that's included and the optional dried fruit toppings. Even though it's one of the unhealthiest fast-food oatmeals, it may be a healthier choice than other breakfast options, as it has four grams of fiber, only 150 milligrams of sodium, and just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

 The 9 Healthiest Fast-Food Breakfast Burritos

Wendy's Fresh Baked Oatmeal Bar

wendys oatmeal bar
Nutrition (Per order):
Calories: 280
Fat: 10 g (Saturated fat: 4 g)
Sodium: 230 mg
Carbs: 45 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 23 g)
Protein: 3 g

Wendy's Fresh Baked Oatmeal Bar is oatmeal in bar form, which we appreciate for the convenience of eating it one-handed in the car. While it has four grams of fiber from the oats, it's packed with 23 grams of sugar, many of which are from added sugars. The third ingredient is sugar, and it also includes two types of dried sweetened fruit and honey for three types of added sugars in each bar. And with only three grams of protein, you'll likely reach for another meal or snack shortly after finishing this one.

Tim Horton's Homestyle Maple Oatmeal

tim hortons oatmeal
Tim Horton's
Nutrition (Per small order):
Calories: 220
Fat: 2.5 g (Saturated fat: 0.5 g)
Sodium: 220 mg
Carbs: 49 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 20 g)
Protein: 5 g

Tim Horton's Homestyle Oatmeal is a maple-flavored oatmeal with 20 grams of sugar, most of which is added sugar. With no fruit or nuts to add extra fiber, healthy fats, or protein, each serving has just 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.

 14 Healthiest Fast-Food Breakfasts

Panera Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries & Pecans

panera steel-cut oatmeal with strawberries and pecans
Panera Bread
Nutrition (Per order):
Calories: 360
Fat: 15 g (Saturated fat: 2 g)
Sodium: 170 mg
Carbs: 52 g (Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 17 g)
Protein: 8 g

The Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries & Pecans from Panera has more fiber and protein than many other fast food oatmeals, but the cinnamon crunch topping adds a good amount of extra sugars. I love that this oatmeal has fresh strawberries and unsweetened pecans, adding healthy and filling fats along with extra fiber and natural sweetness. For less added sugars, you can skip the cinnamon crunch topping or ask for a "light topping" to enjoy the taste but reduce the sugar and calories.

Caribou Coffee Blueberry Almond Oatmeal

Caribou Coffee Blueberry Almond Oatmeal
Caribou Coffee
Nutrition (Per order):
Calories: 310
Fat: 8 g (Saturated fat: 0.5 g)
Sodium: 210 mg
Carbs: 54 g (Fiber: 9 g, Sugar: 13 g)
Protein: 16 g

Oatmeal isn't typically a protein-rich breakfast, but Caribou Coffee's Blueberry Almond Oatmeal has 16 grams of filling and satisfying protein in each serving. Caribou Coffee doesn't share the ingredients on its website, but a little digging found that they add protein powder to their oatmeal, which makes it more protein-rich than any other fast-food oatmeal option. Thanks to the combination of fresh blueberries, oats, and almonds, each serving also has 9 grams of fiber.

Jamba Juice Oatmeal

Jamba Juice Oatmeal
Jamba Juice
Nutrition (Per 2 scoop serving with no toppings):
Calories: 170
Fat: 2.5 g (Saturated fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 20 mg
Carbs: 31 g (Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5 g)
Protein: 6 g

Jamba Juice Oatmeal starts with plain oats, but the real magic lies in the toppings. Instead of dried fruit and sugar like most fast-food oatmeal, you can top your oats with fresh fruit like bananas, strawberries, or blueberries for extra fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Coconut flakes can add extra calories and fat to help you feel satisfied, and while they'll increase the added sugars, you can also add honey or granola to your oats.

 15 Healthiest Instant Oatmeals on Grocery Shelves

Pret A Manger Oatm*lk Porridge

Pret A Manger Oatm*lk Porridge
Pret A Manger
Nutrition (Per order):
Calories: 180
Fat: 4.5 g (Saturated fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 150 mg
Carbs: 30 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 0 g)
Protein: 5 g

Pret A Manager's Oatm*lk Porridge is vegan-friendly and features just oats and oat milk for a creamy porridge. No sweeteners are added to the porridge itself, but you can choose from various toppings to make it your own.

Pret A Manger Creamy Porridge

cup of oatmeal from Pret A Manger
Pret A Manger
Nutrition (Per order):
Calories: 230
Fat: 7 g (Saturated fat: 2 g)
Sodium: 230 mg
Carbs: 36 g (Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 10 g)
Protein: 9 g

Pret's Creamy Porridge is made with oats, but it also has the addition of quinoa, flax seeds, amaranth, and chia seeds, which make it a more filling and nutrient-rich breakfast than oats alone. Each cup without toppings has nine grams of protein and five grams of fiber.

 12 Unhealthiest Instant Oatmeals—Ranked by Sugar Content 

Au Bon Pain Oatmeal

Au Bon Pain Oatmeal
Au Bon Pain
Nutrition (Per small order):
Calories: 170
Fat: 3 g (Saturated fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 5 mg
Carbs: 32 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 1 g)
Protein: 6 g

Another plain oatmeal option, Au Bon Pain Oatmeal comes with just oats that have the standard four grams of fiber and six grams of protein. It's even made without salt for people who are watching their sodium intake. You can choose which toppings you want to add. If you want to limit the added sugars, steer clear of dried fruit, which is usually sweetened, brown sugar, or honey. Fresh fruit can add sweetness without the extra unnecessary sugars.

The Healthiest Fast-Food Oatmeal is…the Starbucks Rolled and Steel Cut Oatmeal

Starbucks Rolled and Steel Cut Oatmeal
Nutrition (Per order):
Calories: 160
Fat: 2.5 g (Saturated fat: 0.5 g)
Sodium: 125 mg
Carbs: 28 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 0 g)
Protein: 5 g

The Rolled and Steel Cut Oatmeal at Starbucks is a blank slate, which is great for adding whatever you'd like and none of what you don't want. Enjoy it plain, or add any combination of dried fruit, almonds, brown sugar, blueberries, or honey. Just keep in mind that some of these additions will add extra added sugars. For the most nutrition, stick with blueberries and almonds, with a small drizzle of honey if you need a little extra sweetness.

Kelsey Kunik, RDN
Kelsey Kunik is a registered dietitian, freelance writer, nutrition consultant, and sustainable food blogger. Read more about Kelsey
Sources referenced in this article
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