If America runs on Dunkin’, we’re in danger of setting ourselves up for a collective afternoon sugar crash. I love flavored lattes, glazed donuts, and oversized muffins as much as the next person, but that energy drop a few hours after is steep, my friends.
Thankfully, there are options for healthy eating at DD if you know where to look. The chain has a dedicated DDSmart menu, which highlights foods with at least 25 percent less saturated fat, sodium, or sugar than everything else on their menu. (Like, um, the donuts.) Dunkin’ even recently came out with two new high-protein power bowls, a sausage scramble and and egg white bowl, which they’re serving at select locations for a limited time.
As for the regular menu, it’s actually *even* possible to stick to healthy vegetarian, keto, and Paleo eating plans while you’re there. Surprised? Here, registered dietitian Kim Melton, RD gives her top picks for the aforementioned diet types—fancy latte options included.
What an RD says: The DDSmart menu is where you’ll find both the oatmeal and the veggie egg-white sandwich—Melton’s healthy picks for vegetarians. “The oatmeal is the healthiest option and has great fiber and protein,” she says, adding that the dried fruit on top is a great topping. “For vegetarians who eat eggs and cheese, the veggie egg white sandwich also gives good protein [14 grams],” Melton says. “It looks like you can get it on a whole grain English muffin, which is going to have fiber.”
Order tweak: The oatmeal comes with brown sugar, which brings the sugar content up to 35 grams, so Melton advises either asking for it on the side so you can control how much you add in or nixing it all together. “If you get the veggie egg-white sandwich, just make sure they don’t slather tons of butter on it,” Melton says.
Drink recommendations: No matter what eating plan you subscribe to, Melton—not surprisingly—says black coffee or tea is going to be your healthiest bet. But if you’re feeling fancy, she says a skim (if you consume dairy) or almond milk latte is a-okay, though she adds that they don’t deliver much in the way of nutrient density. “The big thing is to avoid the whipped cream and sugary syrups,” she says. (So be sure to specify “no sugar” when you put your coffee order in.)
What an RD says: Eggs are ketogenic staple, so it’s no surprise that Melton pulled out these two egg-centric breakfasts. “Keto dieters are okay with some cheese, and the egg and cheese English muffin is going to give good protein,” Melton says (14 grams to be exact), though she adds that the wrap is the best option overall for keto. “It’s lower in carbs [than the egg and cheese English muffin], which is obviously something ketogenic dieters limit,” she says. (For reference: the Wake-Up Wrap has 15 grams of carbs; the English muffin has 37 grams of carbs.) “The turkey sausage also provides protein, but it does up the sodium amount, so it’s just something to be conscious of when you decide what to eat the rest of the day,” Melton adds.
Order tweaks: Since the keto diet is notoriously low-carb, Melton says most will opt to skip the English muffin and just eat the egg and cheese.
Drink recommendations: Besides going for good ol’ black coffee or tea, Melton again says the almond milk latte—sans syrups and whipped cream—is an okay drink option for the ketogenic diet. Stick to the small though; a medium size has 17 grams of carbs, which is slightly high. Strict keto followers are going to have to keep their order black, or with just a splash of almond or skim milk.
Menu picks: Turkey sausage, egg, and cheese wake up wrap
What an RD says: If you’re a strict Paleo devotee, unfortunately Dunkin’ Donuts isn’t going to be a great breakfast stop for you because all their options have at least one element that’s not technically allowed, such as processed meat, dairy, or grains. That said, it’s virtually impossible to eat perfectly all the time, and Dunkin’ Donuts is so darn popular that chances are you’re going to end up there at some point. (Airport breakfast, anyone?) When you do, Melton says the turkey sausage, egg, and cheese wake up wrap is going to be your best option. (Yep, this one again.) “The tortilla has less grains than the English muffin making it a better choice, and while the turkey sausage is still processed, it’s less processed than the ham or Canadian bacon,” she says.
Order tweaks: The Paleo diet is dairy-free, so skip the cheese.
Coffee recommendations: Since, again, dairy is off the table, if you want to get a latte, Melton says to opt for almond milk. It’s still going to have some sugar so if you’re *strict* Paleo, stick with the black coffee or tea.
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