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All-day breakfasts start at McDonald's: How do the meals compare health-wise?

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As of today, McDonald's customers can order from the breakfast menu all day, every day, in a big change that's been a hot topic of conversation across the nation.

The fast food behemoth is making a selection (though not all) of its breakfast menu items available at any time of the day – giving diners the chance to have a McDonald's "brinner" or have their Big Mac with a hash brown on the side.

Much of the early debate was about an unexpected divide in the country. The majority of American states will have access to McMuffin sandwiches but no Biscuit sandwiches, while a small pocket in the South will get Biscuits, but no McMuffins.

As you can see from this map, Minnesota is firmly in McMuffin country.

So say you decided to eat a McDonald's breakfast for dinner – how would that stack up health-wise compared to the other menu items? We've put together a few comparisons.

It should be noted that recommended daily intakes for adults range from 1,600-2,400 calories for women and 2,000-3,000 for men, according to Livestrong.

Sausage and Egg McMuffin

According to McDonald's nutritional values guide, having a Sausage and Egg McMuffin, with a hash brown and small latte on the side, would mean you consume:

Sausage and Egg McMuffin: 470 calories, 30g total fat (sandwich weighs 162g).

Hash brown: 150 calories, 9g fat (out of 56g weight).

Small latte: 170 calories, 9g fat (12 fl oz. cup).

Total: 790 calories, 48g fat.

Hotcakes and Sausage

Another breakfast option that should be available all day in most participating eateries, which is a bigger meal than the McMuffin, and we've paired it up with a Fruit 'N' Yogurt Parfait and a Pineapple Smoothie.

Hotcakes and Sausage: 510 calories, 25g fat (189g weight).

Fruit 'N' Yogurt Parfait: 150 calories, 2g fat (149g weight).

Medium Pineapple Smoothie: 260 calories, 1g fat (16 fl oz cup).

Total: 920 calories, 28g fat.

Big Mac and Fries

If you compare these to the famous McDonald's Big Mac, with medium fries and a regular Coke on the side, it looks as though you're eating more calories, less fat, but you get more in your meal.

Big Mac: 540 calories, 25g fat (212g weight).

Medium fries: 340 calories, 16g fat (111g weight).

Medium Coke: 200 calories, 0g fat (21 fl oz cup).

Total: 1,080 calories, 41g fat.

McChicken Sandwich, salad, juice

Say you wanted leaner meat in your sandwich and opted for the McChicken Sandwich with a healthier side, and an orange juice? You'd be limiting both your calories and your fat intake.

McChicken Sandwich: 370 calories, 17g fat (144g weight).

Side salad: 15 calories, 0g fat (78g weight).

Minute Maid Medium Orange Juice: 190 calories, 0g fat (16 fl. oz cup).

Total: 575 calories, 17g fat.

Bacon Clubhouse Burger, large fries, milkshake

It's been a long day, you've been run off your feet, you've exercised some, and you've decided you want a treat. Here's the Bacon Clubhouse Burger, which is one of McDonald's bigger, fattier burgers that will almost certainly taste great.

On the side? Large fries, obviously, and a large milkshake to boot. Needless to say, the results push the boundaries of the recommended daily intake levels.

Bacon Clubhouse Burger: 740 calories, 41g fat (274g weight)

Large fries: 510 calories, 24g fat (168g weight).

Large chocolate milkshake: 850 calories, 23g (22 fl oz).

Total: 2,100 calories, 88g fat.


At the end of the day, given the plethora of food options offered at McDonald's, there are many possible combinations you can use to make any meal you have healthier/unhealthier at your own discretion – so this is in no way a definitive guide.

Breakfasts tend to have similar caloric content than traditional McDonald's sandwiches, but the regular lunch and dinner meals tend to be higher in calories and fat because they come with fries.

If you want more information on McDonald's nutritional values, they publish them all here (so yes, this article was fairly simple to put together as a result, and made the writer really, really, hungry).

Twin Cities alternatives for all-day breakfast

If you're looking for a more traditional breakfast/brunch by Minnesota standards, then there are plenty of alternatives out there for places that serve breakfast all day.

It's a couple of years old, but the Minnesota Eater put together this guide of 13 places in the Twin Cities where you can grab breakfast food at any time of the day.

Yelp also has a list of the highest-rated all-day breakfasts in the metro area.

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