Health experts have given surprising opinions on choosing a Big Mac as a breakfast option, with one nutritionist saying that the burgers fall within the range of the recommended calorie intake.
The debate comes after McDonald’s this week announced that it’s All-Day Menu will be available around the clock, meaning that Big Macs, Quarter Pounders and Chicken McNuggets are now breakfast options.
Surprisingly, at 520 calories per serving, a Big Mac breakfast falls within the recommended calorie intake for men and is just slightly over the recommended amount for women.
“According to the latest research, we should all be aiming to consume around 15-25 per cent of our energy requirements for breakfast,” Nutrionist Lyndi Cohen from blog The Nude Nutritionist, told Yahoo7.
“For women this works out to be 300-500 calories and 375-625 calories for men.
“Assuming you don’t eat or drink anything else, the Big Mac provides adequate calories for men and only slightly too many for women.”
But as a regular breakfast item?
While the Big Mac is acceptable as a ‘sometimes’ food, Ms Cohen warns that the burger should not be eaten as a regular breakfast meal.
“If you’re looking for a natural, preservative free option for breakfast, the Big Mac is not a good choice,” Ms Cohen said.
“The major concern with the Big Mac is that it provides almost half the amount of saturated fat we are meant to have each day,”
“Consuming too much saturated fat has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in Australia – and the world,” she said.
Another nutritionist says she is horrified by the prospect of the Big Mac as a breakfast meal, let alone occasional treat.
“If someone ate a Big Mac for breakfast on a regular basis, not even taking into consideration the calorie count, it would severely affect their health as they would not be getting in the required nutrients needed for a good, wholesome breakfast,” Victoria Malouf, Nutritionist at the Nutritional Trainer in Bondi, Sydney said.
High in sugar and preservatives
“If you just look at some of the ingredients on the ingredient list, the Big Mac bun contains sugar as the third ingredient, with also things such as fermented Acidity Regulator (270), Acidity Regulator (260)), Emulsifier (471) and Preservative (282),” Ms Malouf said.
“It does not contain many wholefood ingredients,”
“It is continually eating foods like this on a regular basis that can cause major health problems and diseases such as fatty, liver, diabetes and heart disease due to all the excess sugar and preservatives that are being consumed,” she said.
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However, the experts agree that the Big Mac stacks up poorly against other traditional breakfast items such as muesli or eggs on toast.
“The Big Mac contains 9g of sugar, equivalent to two teaspoons,” Ms Cohen said.
“While this is the same amount of sugar found in a healthy muesli, the Big Mac is also high in saturated fat, total fat and sodium,” she said.
Ms Malouf suggests that a healthier breakfast would be “a home cooked meal of poached eggs, avocado, roast tomato, spinach and mushroom on sourdough bread”.