Welcome back! It is time for the 9th part in my series of restaurant survival guides! This time we will be looking into what to eat for health at one of America’s favorite morning stops: Dunkin’ Donuts!
I feel like this is going to be a tough one. In fact, I feel like it is going to be even tougher than some of my previous posts (like Burger King or Arby’s). If you want to check those out before continuing on with this one, simply click any of the links below:
I mean, what on earth can you find that is even remotely healthy at a place that is most famous for doughnuts and sugary coffee-based drinks? Well, I’m aiming to find out because that is the purpose of these posts!
I realize that people don’t always have time to cook at home, especially when they are trying to get out of the house in the morning to get to work or school. I know that Dunkin’ Donuts has been a stop of my own when my family and I are heading out on a road trip on certain mornings.
My goal, whether you visit out of necessity or choice, is to give you some knowledge and tools to make it a healthy one, should you choose to do so. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not a huge fan of big diet restrictions (unless they are medically necessary).
To me, the most successful and sustainable diets are ones of moderation. That means healthy foods make up the bulk of what you eat while at the same time, allowing yourself to indulge once in a while. This post is meant to give you options, especially for those who frequently visit the restaurants I discuss.
With that said, America may “run on Dunkin'”, but can you? Let’s find out!
The Dunkin’ Ditty – Behind The Giant
Whether you know it or not, Dunkin’ Donuts has been around for over 70 years! It got its start in Quincy, Massachusetts when a man named Bill Rosenberg opened up the first shop in 1950. Within 5 years, he had already signed a franchise agreement.
Over time, the company grew from one store to the over 11,300 stores in 41 states and 36 international countries it enjoys today! During those growing years, Dunkin’ has seen some highlights including:
- Launching Dunkin’ Donuts University in 1966.
- Opening their first overseas restaurant in Japan in 1970.
- Introducing the Munchkin in 1972.
- Opening 1,000 stores by 1979.
- Reaching 8 billion cups of coffee sold by 1999
- Being named BrandWeek Magazine’s Marketer of the Year in 2009.
- Reaching 10,000 stores opened by 2011.
- Being named the #1 Franchise in the world by Franchise 500 Magazine in 2020.
- Deciding to move away from using foam cups to reduce waste.
Not only have they opened standalone stores, but they have expanded into airports, stadiums, hospitals, military bases (to keep our troops healthy, I guess), and colleges.
If you want to check out more of their story and values, feel free to visit their brand website by CLICKING HERE.
Dunkin’ More Than Donuts – What Dunkin’ Offers
If you have been in a Dunkin’ Donuts recently, it’s obvious what is front and center: the doughnuts. However, they have expanded to include breakfast sandwiches, muffins, bagels, lunch offerings, and various drink options.
Their menu can be broken down into the following categories: Espresso and Coffee, Teas and More, Frozen Drinks, Sandwiches and More, Snacks and Wraps, Bagels and Muffins, and Donuts. I’ll list each menu item they have under each category, so you get a good snapshot of their offerings.
Click on any of the heading links to look more in-depth at each item!
- Espresso and Coffee
- Iced Coffee
- Cold Brew
- Iced Americano
- Iced Latte
- Signature Latte
- Iced Signature Latte
- Iced Macchiato
- Iced Cappuccino
- Teas and More
- Iced Tea
- Hot Chocolate
- Matcha Latte
- Iced Matcha Latte
- Vanilla Spice
- Frozen Drinks
- Frozen Coffee
- Frozen Chocolate
- Frozen Matcha Latte
- Sandwiches and More
- Sausage, Egg, and Cheese
- Bacon, Egg, and Cheese
- Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
- Turkey Sausage, Egg, and Cheese
- Ham, Egg, and Cheese
- Egg and Cheese
- Veggie Egg White Omelet
- Power Breakfast Sandwich
- Snacks and Wraps
- Wake-Up Wrap
- Hash Browns
- Snackin’ Bacon
- Bagels (served with various cream cheeses) and Muffins
- Cinnamon Raisin
- White Cheddar Bagel Twist
- Pumpkin Muffin
- Blueberry Muffin
- Chocolate Chip Muffin
- Coffee Cake Muffin
- Corn Muffin
- English Muffin
- Multigrain Thin
- Donuts come in 76 varieties that differ in combination and availability based on locale.
- Munchkins come in 11 varieties
Hopefully that gives you a good idea of what Dunkin Donuts offers on their menu. Click any of the links to be taken to the various items to investigate them further.
I will present the meal as well as the combined nutrition facts for them. Each percentage given will be based off of a 2,000 calorie diet. As an example:
Calories: 750 (37.5%)
For more information about the recommended daily value numbers, check out the FDA website.
Before we get to the healthier options, let’s have a brief intermission to watch something incredibly unhealthy from competitive eater, Matt Stonie, who is taking on a Dunkin Donuts challenge!
Meal Option #1 – Plain Multigrain Bagel with a Medium Coffee with Almond Milk and One Glazed Munchkin
It is unfortunate that when you hear the world “multigrain”, it doesn’t necessarily mean completely whole grain. Whole grain should really be the first ingredient and there shouldn’t be any enriched wheat flour if you are truly getting the healthiest option.
However, if you are looking to get a bagel, this is definitely your best choice out of all the varieties they offer, since it does at least have some whole grains.
You may be surprised that this option (and all the others) includes a sweet treat. I wanted to try, since you are going to Dunkin Donuts, to at least include some form of the signature offering without contributing a ton of unhealthy nutrition and Munchkins are definitely the way to do that. Here are the stats for this meal:
- Calories: 465 (23.3% DV)
- Total Fat: 11.5g (15.0% DV)
- Saturated Fat: 2.5g (13% DV)
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 0mg (0% DV)
- Sodium: 655mg (29% DV)
- Total Carbohydrates: 74g (27% DV)
- Dietary Fiber: 8g (29% DV)
- Sugar: 14g
- Protein: 17g
If you are looking for a simple, no-frills start to your day, this Multigrain Bagel meal is a decent choice. No, it doesn’t have any cream cheese on it or butter, but those would add a pretty decent amount of calories and fat, taking this in the wrong direction.
Here at least, you are getting some whole grains, fiber, mostly good fats, and carbs to power your morning. The calorie count isn’t all that bad either and you still get to have at least one sweet treat.
Meal Option #2 – Ham, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich with an Iced Coffee with Whole Milk and One Glazed Munchkin
Going a bit more substantial now, we get our first breakfast sandwich. For those who like egg sandwiches, this was the best offering of the traditional types. The nutrition facts listed here are for the standard English Muffin as there wasn’t an option on their website to change to a different type of “bread”.
However, you can up the nutrition by requesting this on a Multigrain Bagel or Multigrain Sandwich Thin. That will give you higher amounts of fiber. As is though, these are the stats:
- Calories: 460 (23.0% DV)
- Total Fat: 19.5g (25.0% DV)
- Saturated Fat: 7.5g (38.0% DV)
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 195mg (65.0% DV)
- Sodium: 1,005mg (45.0% DV)
- Total Carbohydrates: 48g (18.0% DV)
- Dietary Fiber: 1g (4.0% DV)
- Sugar: 9g
- Protein: 22g
As you can see, there are calories, good fats and protein to keep you full. On the other hand, you are getting a bit high in saturated fat, cholesterol (though that is due to the egg, which isn’t a terrible thing), and sodium. This is to be expected, though, when it comes to eating out at a restaurant.
You can definitely up the fiber content though if you make that multigrain switch, so I would suggest that.
Meal Option #3 – Veggie Egg White Omlet Sandwich with and Iced Americano and One Glazed Munchkin
Here we get what is probably the healthiest option out of the bunch. It’s on the multigrain sandwich thin, which is certainly a good start. However, you may be able to request it on the multigrain bagel if you want something with more carbs and fiber. On the other hand, the sandwich thin’s first ingredient is whole grain wheat, so that should be considered.
Here are the stats:
- Calories: 360 (18% DV)
- Total Fat: 16.0g (21.0% DV)
- Saturated Fat: 6.5g (22.5% DV)
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 20mg (7.0% DV)
- Sodium: 640mg (28.0% DV)
- Total Carbohydrates: 36g (14.0% DV)
- Dietary Fiber: 5g (18.0% DV)
- Sugar: 7g
- Protein: 18g
Not only is this pretty low on the calorie scale, but it also has good fats, fiber, and protein to keep you full. The Americano, which has two shots of Espresso, should also give you a shot of energy in the morning. Just be cautious as Espresso has a good amount of caffeine, so I wouldn’t make this a regular thing.
This biggest concern with this one is the saturated fat, but at least you are getting some veggies in this option.
Meal Option #4 – Power Breakfast Sandwich with a Medium Coffee with Almond Milk and One Glazed Munchkin
The Power Breakfast Sandwich takes the Egg White Omelet sandwich and adds a patty of turkey sausage for a boost in protein. Here is how it stacks up:
- Calories: 505 (25.3% DV)
- Total Fat: 26.5g (34.0% DV)
- Saturated Fat: 9.5g (48.0% DV)
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 60mg (20.0% DV)
- Sodium: 1,085mg (48.0% DV)
- Total Carbohydrates: 39g (14% DV)
- Dietary Fiber: 5g (18% DV)
- Sugar: 11g
- Protein: 27g
With the highest protein and calorie count, along with a decent amount of fiber and total fat, this is definitely an option that will keep you full. However, you will need to be cautious the rest of the day since both the saturated fat and sodium in this one meal take up nearly half of your daily intake of those two nutrients.
Which Option Is For You?
When I decided to try to find what to eat for health at Dunkin Donuts, I was a little skeptical that I’d be able to choose anything. I honestly thought we were in for a rough ride. However, it does seem that they offer at least a few options that can contribute positively to your day.
I suppose that it just goes to show that if you look hard enough, you can find healthier options when eating out at restaurants. Hopefully, this survival guide has made doing that work a little easier for you and you feel more equipped to go out there and make healthier restaurant decisions.
Now, it’s your turn! What do you think of the meal options I presented from Dunkin Donuts? Have you had any of them before? If so which ones and what did you think? What is your normal go-to from Dunkin? Do you find these guides to be helpful to your decision-making process when you go out to eat?
Would you ever take on that Matt Stonie challenge? Let me know in the comments section below!
If you have any questions on this or any of the other guides I’ve put out, please feel free to inquire. I’d be happy to try to help as best I can.
Considering how to eat healthier, even during the business of life? Check out more posts below that can help you out with your nutrition:
- Recipe Of The Week – Banana And Peanut Butter Oatmeal
- Recipe of the Week – Banana Carrot Pancakes
- Recipe Of The Week – Easy Beef And Bean Burritos
- Recipe Of The Week: Panko Chicken With Wilted Greens and Fried Eggs
- Recipe Of The Week: Grilled Ribeye Steak and Cheese Sandwich
- Recipe of the Week – Part 6: My Ultimate Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl
- Recipe of the Week – Part 7: Capellini Pomodoro
- Oregano’s Health Benefits – It’s Not Just A Pizza Topping
- Basil’s Health Benefits – What Italy’s Primo Herb Can Do For You
- Parsley’s Health Benefits – Not Just A Garnish!
- Rosemary’s Health Benefits – Packing A Flavor And Nutritional Punch?
- The Artichoke’s Health Benefits – Who Knew Thistles Were So Tasty?
- The Apricot’s Health Benefits – Why Haven’t I Been Eating These?
- Arugula’s Health Benefits – Nutritious or Just Delicious?
- Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel – Both Inside And Out
- How Healthy Are Avocados? Is What You’ve Heard True?
Ingredients / Nutritional Additions:
- What Is The Best Vegan Protein Powder? GoL Raw Meal Review
- Vega One Organic All In One Shake – Will It Be Your Meal Replacement?
- Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli Cereal – Power Your Morning!
- Orgain Organic Protein Powder and Superfoods – I’m Switching!
- What Is PBfit? A Boost Of Protein And Flavor!
- What Is The OMAD Diet? – The Most Extreme Intermittent Fasting Method
- What’s The Carnivore Diet? Descending Into Diet Madness
- What Is A Juice Diet? Read This Before Starting One!
- Does Intermittent Fasting Help Weight Loss? My Personal Results!
Finally, are you looking to make some extra money, save money and get free gift cards, save money on high quality products, or potentially start your own business? Check out my suggestions!
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That’s all for now! God Bless and Happy Eating!