Is it possible to eat healthy at McDonald's? While there are quite a few meals on the McDonald's menu that pack in enough calories, fat, and carbs for the entire day, there are also some healthy McDonald's orders on the menu to pay attention to. These healthy McDonald's orders will still make you feel full while also achieving your overall health and weight loss goals. It just takes looking at the menu from a different perspective, particularly from a registered dietitian.
We asked Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, and author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook, to choose a few healthy McDonald's orders that you can snag during your next trip to the golden arches. So make sure to bookmark this list for later, and if you're looking for even more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
per 1 meal: 300 calories, 12 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 760 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 17 g protein
"With people on the go, quick breakfasts are essential to fuel the morning," says Goodson. "With only 300 calories and 17 grams of protein, the Egg McMuffin is a great on-the-go breakfast that will help you feel satisfied throughout the morning."
per 1 meal: 320 calories, 4.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 64 g carbs (4 g fiber, 31 g sugar), 6 g protein
"With 4 grams of fiber, the Fruit&Maple Oatmeal is a great option to start the day," says Goodson. "Fiber is well known to promote good heart and gut health."
Sausage Burrito + Apple Slices
per 1 meal: 325 calories, 17 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 800 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (1 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 13 g protein
"Made with an egg, sausage, and veggie mixture, this burrito provides you with 13 grams of protein for only 310 calories," says Goodson. "Paired with apple slices, this makes a complete breakfast for an on-the-go morning."
Not sure what to order at other restaurants? Here are 11 Meals To Order at Fast-Food Restaurants, According to a Dietitian.
6-piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal
per 1 meal: 475 calories, 22.5 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 715 mg sodium, 46 g carbs (2 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 24 g protein
Yes, the kid's menu—particularly those Happy Meals—are great, healthy options for adults as well! They don't go overboard on the calories, fat, or sugar, and still provide the customer with a lot of protein.
"With six pieces of white meat chicken, apple slices, 1% milk, and a few fries, this meal is a great way to satisfy your taste buds while also adding some nutritious components," says Goodson. "As a registered dietitian, I always say if you choose a menu item like fries, surround it with 'healthy friends'."
per 1 meal: 400 calories, 21 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 560 mg sodium, 39 g carbs (1 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 14 g protein
"If you are looking for a crunchy sandwich, the McChicken has 400 calories, 14 grams of protein, and is layered with lettuce," says Goodson. "Eating that as a meal or with apple slices can be a great [option]."
per 1 meal: 300 calories, 13 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 720 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (2 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 15 g protein
"If you are craving a burger, the basic cheeseburger is the way to go! With 15 grams of protein and only 300 calories, this burger can satisfy your craving without killing your calorie budget for the day," says Goodson.
4-Piece Chicken McNuggets + Apple Slices
per 1 meal: 185 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 330 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 9 g protein
Need a snack? Skip the fries and go for those crunchy Chicken McNuggets instead—paired with apple slices!
"If you are looking for an on-the-go snack with a pop of protein, the 4-piece Chicken McNuggets provide you 9 grams of protein for only 170 calories," says Goodson. "They contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Adding apple slices makes [this order] the perfect snack."
Now that you know the healthiest meals to order, here are the 10 Worst Menu Items at McDonald's to avoid.