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We Tried It: Healthier Options at Dunkin' Donuts

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/7/2008 6:26 AM   :  87 comments

Earlier this summer, Dunkin' Donuts unveiled a new breakfast menu called the DDSMART menu.

According to the company, "Labeled with a distinctive new logo, DDSMART menu items include both new and existing Dunkin' Donuts food and beverages that meet at least one of the following criteria: 25% fewer calories; 25% less sugar, fat, saturated fat or sodium than comparable fare, and/or contain ingredients that are nutritionally beneficial."

We've heard raves about the new egg white flatbread sandwiches, so we thought we'd taste test these items and others from the DDSMART menu.

So what did we think?

We loved the flatbread sandwiches. Some other menu items didn't go over so well. I picked up an assortment before work, and--like many of you--made impulsive choices and paid for calorically.

Egg White Turkey Sausage Flatbread Sandwich
Egg whites, turkey sausage, spinach, reduced-fat mozzarella on multigrain bread
280 calories
6 g fat
2.5 g saturated fat
820 mg sodium
37 g carbs
3 g fiber
19 g protein
"This is good. I've eaten it before, and I'd eat it again. Yum."

"This tastes very healthy to me. I liked it. I can taste the spinach and the cheese. The egg whites are flavorful and moist. The bread is good, like toast but crunchier."

"I don't feel greasy and gross after eating this. I sometimes like to get Egg McMuffins, but they're so heavy--and then I smell like a McMuffin. This is a nice, lighter alternative."

Reduced fat blueberry muffin
400 calories
5 g fat
2 g saturated fat
490 mg sodium
78 g carbs
3 g fiber
8 g protein

"Tasted like a blueberry muffin to me but a little sweeter. I could probably only eat half of it because it was sweet, but still very good."

"Blueberry muffins are my favorite kind, but I felt that the sugar overpowered the blueberry. Still, as far as muffins go, this one isn't bad."

"This was really good, but 400 calories for a muffin? I would not eat this again. I knew it couldn't be all that healthy. It has a sugar crust."


Egg White Veggie Flatbread Sandwich
Egg whites with peppers, onions, mushrooms and reduced-fat cheddar cheese.
290 calories
9 g fat
4 g saturated fat
680 mg sodium
39 g carbs
3 g fiber
11 g protein
"It was good for a lower fat option. It tasted like a southwestern omelet but a little drier. I did like that if I was eating this on the run, it had no messy sauce and didn’t fall apart on me, the flatbread held it together. I would eat this on the go for breakfast."

"This was pretty good. The bread isn't as moist as I'd like, but the eggs are delicious and the cheese is abundant. I taste all the vegetables, but the pepper is particularly pungent. I would eat this again."

"I liked this one. It was tasty and filling, but it wasn't heavy or greasy. I'm not a fan of doughnuts, so it's nice to have a savory option at Dunkin' Donuts."


Coffee Coolatta with Skim Milk (16 oz) Water, Skim Milk, and Coffee Coolatta Concentrate
170 calories
80 mg sodium
0 fat
41 g carbs
0 g fiber
40 g sugar
4 g protein
"Mmm, hazelnut. I like it. The only think I don't like is the brain freeze I got from drinking it too fast. Ha!"

"This is weird. I can't taste coffee. (I checked on it, and the Coolatta contains no coffee, just coffee extract. All I taste is sugar and hazelnut. I wouldn't waste 170 calories on this. I'd get a regular coffee. It has no calories!"

"This has 40 grams of sugar! I heard that and stopped after one sip. I’m pretty sure that's 3 tablespoons of sugar."


Reduced Calorie Berry Smoothie (16 oz. – small)
Yogurt, Reduced Sugar Berry Smoothie Base
(Medium has a whopping 370 calories and 3 g fat; the large has 490 calories and 4 g fat!)
250 calories
2 g fat
1 g saturated fat
160 mg sodium
49 g carbs
1 g carbs
41 g sugar
6 g protein
"Yuck, it tasted like artificial raspberry and left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. A little watery for a smoothie."

"This tasted a little fake to me. I think it's too creamy. I prefer just fruit and ice in my smoothie."

Multigrain bagel with reduced fat cream cheese
This seemingly light and healthy item is the highest calorie choice on the "DDSMART" menu.
500 calories (380 for the bagel)
15 g
7 g saturated fat
980 mg sodium
5 g fiber
75 g carbs
18 g protein

"This was a good choice, and I like that there is some fiber and more protein than the veggie flatbread sandwich. It's smaller than the usual takeout bagel, but it's still a good size."

"I didn't notice that the cream cheese was reduced fat. It was rich and creamy. I really liked this, but I wouldn't eat it very often."

"I can't believe there are 500 calories in this. I would much rather have the entire egg sandwich than just a bagel and cream cheese."

If you're at Dunkin' Donuts--or any other fast food joint—for breakfast, choose carefully. The egg white flatbreads are good choices, as is regular coffee. We've declared these our new favorite fast food breakfast!

As is turns out, you can have two glazed doughnuts for fewer calories (but more fat) than the muffin or the bagel and cream cheese. That bagel is a good reminder that "healthier," "reduced fat" and "lower in fat" doesn't necessary mean low in calories.

Have you tried the egg white flatbreads? What did you think?


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Comments

  • 37
    Look at the size of that muffin. Four hundred calories in one muffin? That's almost 1/3 of my low calorie day intakes. Gosh, if you want to lose weight or just maintain your body weight, stay away from it. - 10/7/2008   6:45:22 PM
  • 36
    I LOVE DD Iced Coffee and miss it dearly now that I've moved away from the East Coast. Recently, while we were in Chicago, we had DD coffee everyday and I opted to try one of these sandwiches. It was AWFUL! These are patties of egg, veggie and meat or cheese that are premade and frozen then stuck in the microwave when you order them. Mine was not microwaved enough and they gave me the sausage one even though I asked for the other one (b/c I try not to eat meat when possilbe). So basically it was just poorly prepared. But yeah, the thought of frozen egg patties with bits of stuff in them is very unappealing to me. I'd rather have the frickin' donut! - 10/7/2008   6:28:42 PM
  • 35
    Oddly enough we did an inventory at work this morning and I picked up breakfast at DD for everyone and made my choice the eggwhite flatbread veggie. I lov it, it was a much better option for me than the fatty sandwiches everyone else wanted. It was a little higher in sodium but sodium is not usually an issue for me so it was the best option I could have gone with. Very tasty, flatbread was crispy and didn't get soggy and held the sandwich together to eat on the run. I would definitely get this again if dining out was my only option for an on the go breakfast and a "real food diner" was not an option. - 10/7/2008   2:51:21 PM
  • MARGUERITEMTL
    34
    I would consider the flatbread options when I'm on the road. It can be very devastating on healthy eating when you are constantly on the road for work and it is always good to know what is a good choice out there.

    But at home I prefer preparing a batch of oatmeal (I make it with fat free milk instead of water, has better taste and adds on my daily calcium and I ensure it is a little bit more liquid to survive the nuking process). Every morning I nuke it lightly not too much since I had 2 teaspoon of grided flaxseed and fresh berries. It is delicious filled with good nutritional value. Good for a women in her perimenopause :) and quick. - 10/7/2008   2:40:55 PM
  • 33
    they got rid of all the DD around here, so I don't need to worry about what to eat there! Which apparently is a good thing because they only thing I'd like there is the doughnuts! - 10/7/2008   2:02:43 PM
  • GOAL142
    32
    I'm sorry, but over-processed, frozen, not-at-all-fresh fast food just is not appealing to me. I used to work at DD, and the frozen egg pucks were just YUCK. I would be willing to bet the amount of preservatives in this food would embalm a horse. Thanks for the study, but I will stick to making my own food ;O)
    (In a hurry? Make your breakfast the night before and micro in the morning! Fresh fruit is fast too. It works and we are a family of seven....) - 10/7/2008   1:54:27 PM
  • 31
    I do like the new flatbread sandwiches. Very tasty & satisfying for breakfast. I've had the multi-grain bagel & lowfat cream cheese at 2 different DD locations. The one location it was good - my mom & I actually split it so calories weren't to bad. Then I got it at another location & the cream cheese was disgusting - it was gritty & just plain gross. I'll stick to my veggie flatbread & coffee from now on. Every once in a while I treat myself to an iced latte, but they have a lot of sugar in them! DD coffee is my favorite coffee though hands down. - 10/7/2008   1:48:32 PM
  • 30
    Yikes 40g of sugar in that latte...that's ..quick math time... 40x4...160 kcals. That is way, way, way too scary!! No wonder someone reviewed it as "all I taste is sugar" because that's practically all it is! Good thing there aren't any DD's out this way. - 10/7/2008   1:47:44 PM
  • 29
    i would try the egg flatbreads at dunkin donuts. the muffin and bagel are RIDICULOUS when it comes to calories. and you're still hungry a little while later. - 10/7/2008   1:43:07 PM
  • 28
    I got the bagel and cream cheese a few weeks ago and couldn't eat half of it... I found the reduced fat cream cheese to be terrible and I'm not one to mind things that are low on calories/fat, etc. Maybe I just love their regular cream cheese so much that I can really taste the difference. I haven't been back to DDs in quite some time, but the next time I'll be all over that veggie egg white sandwich. I'm shocked that the comments said it's not greasy... the pictures really look greasy... but, I'm sure it's yummy! - 10/7/2008   12:50:21 PM
  • 27
    I have tried the egg white and turkey sausage flatbread twice now. I really like it and I'm happy they have a healthier option now! - 10/7/2008   11:44:10 AM
  • 26
    I have never tried any of these items because we do not have dunkin donuts here in Minnnesota. - 10/7/2008   11:30:13 AM
  • 25
    The drinks are definately not healthy for individuals with diabetes. - 10/7/2008   11:22:43 AM
  • WORDSTAR
    24
    My personal opinion? I think calling these items "food" is really stretching the definition! - 10/7/2008   11:21:48 AM
  • 23
    400 calories muffin? 40g of sugar in a latte? and they call that's only the "healthy" menu... I don't even want to know what's in their other stuff - 10/7/2008   11:15:20 AM
  • CALA08
    22
    I love the egg white turkey sausage flatbread! I travel a lot with my job and one of the counties I frequent has a Dunkin Donuts that I get these from. Thankfully, I am only there one to two days a week. This hot breakfast is a nice change from my granola bars and cereal. Plus, I am a donut-aholic so I am just glad they have an option that is somewhat healthier! - 10/7/2008   11:03:16 AM
  • 21
    500-600 mg of sodium? 40 g of sugar? Geez! I am NOT interested in eating these. They might be low-fat, but I just can't see them as "healthy". Just like others said beofre: it's still junk food... - 10/7/2008   10:55:54 AM
  • 20
    I like the turkey sausage flatbread, but it has a pretty high carb count and I'm not always willing to alot that many of my daily allowance to one food item. On the bright side, this item inspired me to make my own egg white scramble with fresh spinach, mushrooms, onions, turkey sausage and provalone. Without the bread it's not too bad! - 10/7/2008   10:49:05 AM
  • 19
    After I looked at the sodium and sugar in each of the items. I still consider them junk food. - 10/7/2008   10:43:44 AM
  • CRICKETRO
    18
    I'm so glad I never get anything at fast food joints; at most an espresso; i avoid those places like plague cause i don't believe that they truly go through the trouble of making the items healthier - 10/7/2008   10:38:20 AM
  • 17
    Oh, if only there were DD in Minnesota! ----- on second thought, that may be TOO tempting for me. I guess they are a good treat when we travel. - 10/7/2008   9:57:36 AM
  • SP_COACH_NANCY
    16
    DD is making a come back in the DFW market, so I haven't had the opportunity to see what they serve. But 400 calories for 1 muffin...YIKES! I had a whole wheat English muffin with light Smart balance, a small banana, and a container of Yoplait fat-free yogurt for under 400 calories. I don't do well eating sweet stuff that early in the morning, either. Thanks for sharing... - 10/7/2008   9:54:55 AM
  • 15
    My Dr. and I were talking about how McDonald's was killing us out right. 2 sausage mcgriddles for 2 bucks. How can people turn it down when they really are un aware of how unhealthy it is. - 10/7/2008   9:54:33 AM
  • 14
    I tried and loved the Egg White Veggie Flatbread Sandwich. I will definitely order it again. But first I really want to try the Egg White Turkey Sausage Flatbread Sandwich. Hopefully it is just as good.
    - 10/7/2008   9:54:07 AM
  • 13
    They just opened a Dunkin Donuts within walking distance of our office. It's so dangerous. It's easy to go in for a coffee, but come out with a handful of munchkins. Fortunately, my coworkers and I have worked out a system in which we don't go alone, and usually someone is the voice of reason. I agree that the flatbread turkey sausage and egg sandwich is great. They also have good, reasonable flatbreads for lunch too, which are pretty filling. We go there a lot for coffee, but we try to stay away from all of the other temptations. - 10/7/2008   9:50:41 AM
  • 12
    I've also heard that a plain donut from DD is only 300 calories. Now, that won't be very filling, but it's one of those things where if you are craving that flavor, it's better to choose the plain donut over the jelly-filled. - 10/7/2008   9:43:44 AM
  • MISCHIEF0199
    11
    I think more places shoulf follow DD's example, it's better then grabbing complete junk of the shelves of a convience store - 10/7/2008   9:21:58 AM
  • 10
    I don't get snacks from places like that. - 10/7/2008   8:59:40 AM
  • 9
    If I were on a roadtrip, this would be a wonderful alternative to places like Cracker Barrel (deadly to anyone who is watching their intake!). But would I go out of my way for this?......no. That being said, kudos to DD for putting forth the effort and remembering that not everyone wants to eat their high fat/high calorie/high EVERYTHING donuts! - 10/7/2008   8:25:59 AM
  • JMSURPRENANT
    8
    I've tried the eggwhite flatbreads and do like them and I applaud DD for doing this - the fast food drive through window has been a MAJOR curse for me... from McD to BK to DD. I prefer the veggies egg white flatbread personally.... - 10/7/2008   8:10:48 AM
  • 7
    I have tried the veggie flatbread sandwich and love it. It is not something that I will go get all the time but occasionally to have something different, it is a good go to food instead of the donuts. - 10/7/2008   8:08:40 AM
  • 6
    I would only get a coffee at DD and never one of their fattening & sugary drinks, yuck! But alas I gave up caffeine, coffee, dairy & eggs. I'll have to stick to eating at home. - 10/7/2008   7:45:33 AM
  • 5
    The egg white turkey sausage flatbread sandwich is sooo good! It's perfect for a quick breakfast or lunch...and with it being under 300 calories you can't go wrong! - 10/7/2008   7:40:31 AM
  • 4
    None of those options looked appealing! - 10/7/2008   7:40:13 AM
  • 3
    I'd rather eat at home!

    OTG - 10/7/2008   7:36:13 AM
  • 2
    And other than the drinks, LOADED in sodium - definitly not choices I'd make. Rather have some granola with soy milk! - 10/7/2008   7:12:38 AM
  • 1
    All these items are LOADED in carbs - bad choice for diabetics!!! (DH, not me)

    I'm SO GLAD we don't have a Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme here where I live or I'd BE a donut!!! - 10/7/2008   7:11:48 AM

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