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The Best & Worst Fast Food Breakfast Sandwiches—Ranked

We examined the menus at six different chains and determined which breakfast sandwiches are the healthiest and unhealthiest options.
breakfast egg sandwich cheese

Breakfast is a marvelous meal. It's the first meal you eat after fasting throughout the night, and therefore it's that much more satisfying. Sinking your teeth into a scrumptious sandwich comprising egg, cheese, and perhaps even a slice or two of lean meat makes for a satiating morning meal. Breakfast sandwiches served at fast-food chains can be chock-full of fat and sodium, though, which is why it's important to separate the worst sandwich on the menu from the best. You can do this by checking the nutrition online before walking in or going to a drive-thru window, but we made it so much easier for you: just use our cheat sheet here.

We looked at six popular quick-service restaurants and identified the best and worst breakfast sandwich at each. To determine the most unhealthy breakfast sandwiches from the most healthy, we ranked primarily on calories and sodium, and to break ties, we referred to protein and saturated fat content.

See if your favorite sandwich is one you should only order sparingly or one you should order for a quick healthy breakfast when you're in a hurry.

Here are the best and worst fast-food breakfast sandwiches.

First, the best breakfast sandwiches

Wendy's Bacon, Egg & Swiss Croissant

wendys bacon, egg, and swiss crossaint graded
Courtesy of Wendys

430 calories, 25 g fat (11 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 940 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (1 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 19 g protein

The saturated fat and sodium contents in this sandwich are still high, so this breakfast sandwich wouldn't be our first choice. It definitely doesn't have to be one you actively avoid though either, which is why it's our sixth-placed sandwich in the best category.

McDonald's Egg McMuffin

mcdonalds egg mcmuffin graded
Courtesy of McDonalds

300 calories, 12 g fat (6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 760 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 17 g protein

So the Egg McMuffin at McDonald's is actually a pretty good breakfast choice, clocking in at 300 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat. The 17 grams of protein from the egg, Canadian bacon, and cheese will help to curb hunger until lunchtime, so you can stay focused during your morning tasks.

Burger King Egg & Cheese CROISSAN'WICH

burger king egg cheese graded
Courtesy of Burger King

300 calories, 15 g fat (7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 580 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 11 g protein

What makes this sandwich rank just ever so slightly better than the Egg McMuffin is that it contains nearly 200 milligrams less sodium.

Dunkin' Donuts Egg Wake-Up Wrap Sandwich

dunkin donuts breakfast sandwich graded
Courtesy of Dunkin' Donuts

240 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 670 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (4 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 14 g protein

Breaking into the A club is Dunkin's Egg Wake-Up Wrap sandwich. Enclosing a veggie egg white omelet, this low-calorie sandwich contains a whopping 14 grams of protein and only 3 grams of saturated fat.

Panera Mediterranean Egg White Breakfast Wrap

panera bread caprese wrap graded
Courtesy of Panera Bread

260 calories, 8 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 650 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (3 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 19 g protein

The Panera Mediterranean Egg White Breakfast Wrap earns an A for its high protein content and low fat content.

Starbucks Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon & Cage Free White Sandwich

starbucks turkey bacon, egg, cheese graded
Courtesy of Starbucks

230 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 550 mg sodium, 28 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 18 g protein

Low in calories, sodium, saturated fat, and carbs, yet high in protein? Starbucks Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon and Cage-Free White Sandwich is the clear winner—A+ indeed!

And now, the worst breakfast sandwiches

Panera Steak and Egg Sandwich

panera steak and eggs graded
Courtesy of Panera Bread

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530 calories, 18 g fat (8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 910 mg sodium, 59 g carbs (2 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 34 g protein

We love Panera, but their Steak and Egg Sandwich is just a bit too high in calories, saturated fat, sodium, and even protein for us to consider it a healthy option. Not only does this cost you over a quarter of your day's worth of calories, but it also costs you nearly 1,000 milligrams of salt, and you should only consume a maximum of 2,300 milligrams each day. It also contains nearly half of your day's worth of saturated fat and almost 35 grams of protein, which is too much protein for one meal. Your body can only digest a maximum of 30 grams per hour.

Starbucks Smoked Shoulder Bacon Breakfast Sandwich

starbucks smoked bacon sandwich graded
Courtesy of Starbucks

550 calories, 31 g fat (14 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,170 mg sodium, 39 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 26 g protein

Starbucks may be your go-to place for drip coffee, but as tempting as it may be, we suggest you steer clear of ordering most of the breakfast sandwiches. The Smoked Shoulder Bacon Sandwich, for example, will cost you about 70 percent of your daily needs of saturated fat and just over 50 percent of your daily needs of sodium. We still awarded this sandwich a C because, if you can believe, there are even worse options.

McDonald's Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles

mcdonalds sausage egg mcgriddle graded
Courtesy of McDonalds

550 calories, 32 g fat (13 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,290 mg sodium, 45 g carbs (2 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 20 g protein

The McGriddle breakfast sandwich at McDonald's is iconic for its surprisingly sweet bun. But the Griddle Cakes are packed in sugar, which is why it contains the most sugar of any breakfast sandwich on this list. Aside from the added sugars, it's the near 1,300 milligrams of sodium that encourages us to give this breakfast sandwich a low score.

Wendy's Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit

wendys sausage egg cheese biscuit graded
Courtesy of Wendys

630 calories, 46 g fat (19 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,520 mg sodium, 31 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 21 g protein

Wendy's Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit packs just about your entire day's worth of saturated fat and more than half of your day's worth of sodium. For this reason, we awarded it a D because, yes, you can do even worse than this.

Dunkin' Donuts Sausage, Egg & Cheese Sandwich

dunkin donuts sausage egg cheese graded
Courtesy of Dunkin' Donuts

710 calories, 51 g fat (20 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,120 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (1 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 22 g protein

Over 700 calories and 20 grams of saturated fat? Sorry Dunkin', but you really dropped the ball here in terms of nutrition. We'll pass on this sandwich and instead order a Maple Long John Donut, which contains half of the calories, only 7 grams of saturated fat, and 310 milligrams of sodium.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

Burger King Double CROISSAN'WICH with Sausage

burger king double crossaintwich sandwich graded
Courtesy of Burger King

710 calories, 52 g fat (20 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 1,420 mg sodium, 31 g carbs (1 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 29 g protein

The breakfast sandwich that receives an F by our measures is Burger King's Double CROISSAN'WICH with Sausage, which contains trans fat and over 1,400 milligrams of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends that adults, especially those with high blood pressure, limit themselves to just 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day. This breakfast sandwich would essentially wipe out their entire day's worth—all at the first meal of the day.

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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more