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Question of the day: Now that some McDonald’s locations are offering free coffee on Mondays, are there smart breakfast options there for people who are trying to eat healthier?

January 12, 2015

Question of the day: Now that some McDonald’s locations are offering free coffee on Mondays, are there smart breakfast options there for people who are trying to eat healthier?

The answer: Yes. “We think of quick-serve restaurants too simply, and we paint them too black and white,” Roberta Duyff, RD, author of the American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide ($21, amazon.com), tells Health. “Be smart about what you’re choosing. Be judicious, and you can do fine at McDonald’s.”

Given how important a meal breakfast is, Duyff says that if the lure of free coffee will get you to McDonald's, and help you to eat breakfast, then it's a good thing all around.

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Duyff’s top choices for breakfast at McDonald's include:

Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait

150 calories, 2g fat, 4g protein, and 10% of your daily calcium

Fruit & Maple Oatmeal

290 calories, 4g fat, 5g protein, 5g fiber, 10% of your daily calcium

Egg White Delight McMuffin

250 calories, 8g fat, 18g protein, 4g fiber (Duyff notes that the sodium count is higher on this selection at 770mg; she recommends being cautious about sodium-rich foods for the rest of the day.)

She said even the regular Egg McMuffin is an OK choice with 300 calories, 13g fat, 17g protein, and 4g fiber. “The sodium content is on the high side (750mg), and so is the fat,” she cautions. “So you have to be cognizant of what else you eat that day.”

McDonald’s is offering the free coffee in selected cities, including parts of Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, and Texas, Money reports. Call your local store to see if they’re offering it.

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