The Complete Takeaway Breakfast Nutrition Guide

You’re running late to work and it’s cold; grabbing a quick hot takeaway breakfast is all too tempting. That decision is yours, but you should know the nutritional consequences. Check out Lifehacker’s comprehensive nutritional listing of breakfast options from major fast food chains.

When we ran Takeaway Food Week earlier this year, we covered dinner and lunch options, but didn’t look at the breakfast menu. We’ve made up for that here with a summary of the available options from McDonald’s, Hungry Jack’s and Subway. For each operator, we’ve listed the relevant nutritional information (as provided on their respective sites). We haven’t covered other regular menu options or drinks, but given the time of day , our guide to coffee is definitely also worth checking out.

Here’s the full table; you can click on the column headers to sort results for any given column, so you can see the worst offenders for kiojoules, salt, fat or any other category. (The Subway numbers assume six-inch wheat bread and include cheese.)

Whether any of these represent unhealthy choices depends on several factors, including (crucially) what else you’re going to eat during the day. None of these options will put you over the average recommended daily intake for kilojoules, fat or salt on their own, but if you have similar options at lunch and dinner, you’re not doing yourself any nutritional favours. (The average recommendations in that area are around 8700KJ of energy, no more than 90g of fat and no more than 2000mg of salt, though these vary depending on your size, weight and other health issues.)

As we found with other takeaway meals, avoiding combos is generally wise. Some kind of bacon and egg roll on its own isn’t the worst start to the day, but adding in hash browns and a full-milk coffee means you’ll be over your daily targets before you know it. As with burgers, the equivalent options from Hungry Jack’s are fattier and more calorific than the McDonald’s equivalents. And is with all takeaway, there’s no harm if you have it occasionally; the danger is if you have it regularly and add in all the less-healthy options.

What’s your favourite takeaway breakfast, and do you care if it’s healthy or not? Tell us in the comments.


  • Although they differ from outlet to outlet, it would be great if you could include options like muffins and banana bread. Just because it’s not from a cafe doesn’t mean it’s anything healthy.

    • Oh, and on the point at hand, I seldom have breakfast, and am unlikely to buy takeaway breakfast – particularly as a “time-saver”. I’m more likely to pick up a large coffee and use that as a hunger suppressant until lunch.

      Aren’t I healthy? heh.

    • The fetish would be fine if I had any taste in colours! The embedded spreadsheet does have a big advantage in letting you sort the data according to your own preferences/interests.

      • FWIW, I’ve found the fact the data is supplied in Excel format quite handy (I’m a data-analyst so use Excel a lot).

        I’ve downloaded and collated the data Life Hacker has provided for Plan-hacker’s before when researching mobile plans. Only downside was I never realised sooner that you can actually download the *.xlsx file if you click the “View full-size workbook” button.

  • I don’t care how nutritious the subway options are, since they went with the fake “egg pancake” over real eggs, they are at the bottom of my preferences!

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