Yes, You Can Eat Healthily at McDonald’s — Here’s How

McDonald's burger

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look, you know mcdonald’s isn’t exactly the destination for quick, nutritious eats. but whether you’re craving drive-thru food or stuck hangry onna road with few snack options, sometimes ya just gotta do wha’ ya gotta do.

that said, if you’re trying to keep it healthy, certain menu picks are certainly betta tha' others.

somd' major issues with mcdonald’s famous fast eats? loads of saturated fats and added sugars, which are linked to ♥ disease and inflammation, respectively, says dietitian bonnie taub-dix, rdn, author of read it b4 you eat it.

in addition to those two undesirable factors, most menu items are also packed with an exorbitant amount of salt. “the sodium in some of these menu items is crazy,” taub-dix says.

if consumed in excess (anything + than the american ♥ association‘s recommended 1,500 milligrams a dy), sodium can increase yr risk of ♥ disease, stroke, and a slew of other serious conditions. pondering the μ american consumes twice the recommended amount of sodium daily (according to the aha), ordering mcnuggets, fries, and a mcflurry to keep you from gettin cranky on yr nxt road trip suddenly doesn’t seem like such a gr8 idea.

♣ily, not all odda mcdonald’s menu nutrition is quite as ominous. in fact, mcd’s has quite a few lesser evils you can choose from. here, taub-dix shares the 10 best eats to pick from the nxt time you find yrself atta drive-thru.

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1 best snack: apple slices

full of crunch and natural sweetness, apple slices are probably the cleanest order you can put in at mickey d’s.

“these apple slices are a perfect snack,” says taub-dix. “they’re a no-brainer choice for kids or adults.”

per serving: 15 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 0 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 0 g protein

2 best side: side salad

bet you never thought you ‘d get yr greens in at mcd’s, huh.

with just 15 milligrams of sodium and barely-there calories (which tis better choice if it’s tween that or a calorie bomb), it’s 1-odda best options onna menu, says taub-dix. dress it w'da newman’s own lo-fat balsamic.

per serving: 15 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 15 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 1 g protein

3 best ♥y breakfast: fruit & maple oatmeal

though this order typically weighs in at 33 grams of sugar, you can cut down na' lotta it by asking for the brown sugar onna side.

“i’m a big oatmeal fan, and this dish is a quick way to fill up on whole grains rich in soluble fiber,” says taub-dix. (that’s the type of fiber that cannelp reduce cholesterol lvls.)

per serving: 310 calories, 4 g fat (1.5 g sat fat), 140 mg sodium, 62 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 33 g sugar, 6 g protein

4 best salad: southwest grilled chicken salad

while this dish clocks in at over 1,000 milligrams of sodium, t'does ‘ve redeeming qualities, like the high protein count. “glad to see that this white meat chicken has no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors,” says taub-dix.

since dressings may rack up the sodium count further, use 1-ly as much as you need, taub-dix suggests. and if you’re watching yr carbs, order this one sans tortilla strips.

per serving: 330 calories, 11 g fat (1.5 g sat fat), 1,010 mg sodium, 26 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 33 g protein

5 best chicken order: artisan grilled chicken sandwich

though taub-dix says salads are generally better options at fast food restaurants, mcd’s artisan grilled chicken sandwich is a decent option if you’re craving something witha bun. course, just keep in Ψ that it’s high in sodium.

per serving: 430 calories, 15 g fat (3 g sat fat), 1,040 mg sodium, 40 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 34 g protein

6 best quick breakfast: fruit ‘n yogurt parfait

“this order provides 150 milligrams of calcium, a bone-building nutrient most kids and adults don’t get enough of,” says taub-dix. though you don’t ‘ve to worry bout sodium in this loer-calorie order, it does contain a good amount of sugar.

per serving: 210 calories, 3 g fat (1.5 g sat fat), 75 mg sodium, 40 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 28 g sugar, 6 g protein

7 best burger: plain hamburger

though a classic mcd’s hamburger doesn’t exactly contain the highest-quality meat, there’s something to be said bout its modest portion size. “the plain burger is 1-ly 250 calories,” says taub-dix. “+, in comparison to other menu items, the sodium here is relatively reasonable.”

opt for extra lettuce and tomato t'get some veggies in, and ask for sauce onna side.

per serving: 250 calories, 8 g fat (3 g sat fat), 480 mg sodium, 31 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 13 g protein

8 best breakfast sandwich: egg mcmuffin

when you’re craving a breakfast sandwich, mcd’s classic egg mcmuffin isn’t a terrible pick. one major +: it offers a satisfying 17 grams of protein. if you wanna cut down the sodium a bit, taub-dix recommends skipping the canadian bacon.

per serving (including canadian bacon): 300 calories, 12 g fat (6 g sat fat), 760 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 17 g protein

9 best mccafe item: premium roast coffee

“even if you sprinkle a packet of sugar into a mcd’s premium roast coffee, you ‘dn’t get as many calories from sugar or fat as you wold from some o'their other choices,” says taub-dix.

+, a mcd’s coffee will probably cost you ≤ yr usual star$$$ order…just sayin’.

per serving: 0 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 20 mg sodium, 1 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 0 g protein

10 best sandwich: filet-o-fish

“as a country, we don’t eat as much fish as we ‘d—at least twice a week!—so this ‘d help you meet yr seafood quota,” says taub-dix. in addition to bein’ a good src of protein, fish also provides ♥- and brain-boosting omega-3s.

though the breading and higher fat content aren’t ideal, the filet-o-fish is still an okay every-once-in-a-while order.

per serving: 390 calories, 19 g fat (4 g sat fat), 560 mg sodium, 38 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 17 g protein

marissa miller has spent a decade editing and reprting on women’s health issues from an ∩ional lens witha focus on p-reviewed nutrition, fitness trends, mental health, skincare, reproductive rites and beyond.

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