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Apr 18, 2024
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8 Healthy McDonald’s Food Orders, According to a Dietitian

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You can find healthy options at McDonald’s that will let you enjoy your favorite fast-food restaurant without derailing your health goals.
The post 8 Healthy McDonald’s Food Orders, According to a Dietitian appeared first on MyFitnessPal Blog.

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8 Healthy McDonald's Food According to a Dietitian

Let’s face it: McDonald’s is everywhere. Whether you’re making a quick Micky D’s run to fuel up for a busy day or your body is craving the McNuggets you fell in love with as a kid, it’s normal to dine now and then at one of the most recognizable fast-food chains on the planet.

The good news is that you’ll find some healthy options at McDonald’s that will let you enjoy your favorite fast-food restaurant without derailing your nutrition and weight loss progress.

Can You Be Healthy Eating McDonald’s?

Fast food is often high in sodium, calories, and fat. Too many of these things can affect both your mental and physical health. That’s why moderation is key. If you crave those iconic fries or a classic burger, it’s okay to indulge once in a while. Making smart choices and simple swaps at fast-food joints like McDonald’s means you can still honor your cravings in a way that feels good for your mind and body.

Here are some handy things to remember the next time you order at McDonald’s:

  • The chicken menu items are usually just as high in protein as the beefy burgers but often have less fat.
  • It can be tempting to supersize your meal, but sticking to smaller portions will help you feel good about your choices later.

8 Healthy McDonald’s Food and Meals According to a Dietitian

Daisy Mercer is a registered dietitian who works with MyFitnessPal. We asked her what she looks for when considering the healthiest McDonald’s items.

“The healthiest options, in my view, tend to include more ‘whole’ ingredients, with options for reduced serving sizes (4-piece instead of 10) as well as a lower calorie count (400ish and below),” Mercer explains.

Keeping that in mind, some of the healthiest options we’ve chosen are ones that follow Mercer’s guidelines. We’ve covered you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so that you can enjoy McDonald’s anytime!

1. Fruit and maple oatmeal

Snag a McDonald’s healthy breakfast and start your day with a bowl of fruit and maple oatmeal. Oats have tons of health benefits since they’re high in antioxidants, are a source of whole-grain fiber, and can help lower cholesterol. For these reasons, oatmeal is considered one of the healthiest breakfast items to help you start your day.

This oatmeal has 320 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and six grams of protein, making it an all-around healthy choice.

2. Egg McMuffin

If you like a savory fast-food breakfast, opt for the original Egg McMuffin. It has 310 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 17 grams of protein. This could be a better option if you’re counting macros, as it has 30 grams of carbs compared to oatmeal, which has 64. Thanks to the egg, cheese, and lean Canadian bacon, it also has a nice protein boost.

3. 4-piece Chicken McNuggets with small fries

McDonald’s chicken nuggets are iconic. If McNuggets are your jam, go for the 4-piece size, which has just 170 calories, 10 grams of fat, and nine grams of protein.
“Chicken options,” notes Mercer, “generally contain a lower ratio of saturated fat than the options that go heavy on the beef and cheese.”

And thanks to the low-calorie count, you can pair your nuggets with a side of small fries and still keep your meal under 500 calories. An order of small fries has 230 calories and 11 grams of fat, not including dipping sauces like ketchup.

4. Filet-O-Fish sandwich

The Filet-O-Fish is a McDonald’s classic with 390 calories, 19 grams of fat, and 16 grams of protein. Even though it’s better to eat fish broiled or seared to save on fat, fish has several health benefits and is usually quite lean. You can ask for it without cheese or sauce to lower the fat content or enjoy it as is.

5. McDonald’s classic hamburger

When thinking about the lowest-calorie food at McDonald’s, you might be surprised to discover that the classic burger has just 250 calories. With the included toppings, it has nine grams of fat and 12 grams of protein, which isn’t too bad. As with the nuggets, you can pair a burger with small fries and still come in under 500 calories.

6. Apple slices

A side of apple slices is the healthiest food you’ll find at McDonald’s, so feel free to pair it with anything else on the menu. One serving has just 15 calories, zero fat, and just three grams of sugar. When considering sides, it’s a healthier choice than fries or other sweet treats.

7. Hash browns

Perfectly golden and crispy, hash browns are hard to resist when stopping by McD’s in the morning for breakfast. Each has 140 calories, eight grams of fat, and two grams of protein. A hash brown alone might not fill you up, so pair it with any of the other breakfast items mentioned on this list and still enjoy an entire meal for under 500 calories.

8. Sausage burrito

If you’re craving something a little different for breakfast, try the sausage burrito, which has 310 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 13 grams of protein. It’s a nice alternative to a breakfast sandwich filled with eggs and sausage for protein and peppers and onions for a bit of veggies. You’ll also find some melty cheese inside, which always makes everything taste better!

Make Healthy Eating a Habit Even While Enjoying McDonald’s

The bottom line is that restaurants like McDonald’s aren’t out of bounds when you’re trying to make healthy choices. As Mercer reminds us, sticking with McDonald’s low-calorie items makes it easy to find items that are tasty and sure to satisfy. The trick is mindfulness and moderation — to enjoy what you’re eating in the moment and not overthink things. “But for the ultimate in wholesome ingredients, predictability, and mindful preparation,” Mercer says, “there’s simply no place like home.”

To make things even easier the next time you grab McDonald’s, track your calories and macros with the MyFitnessPal app. Setting good habits around food — such as mindful eating, moderation, and fueling your body with what it needs — may be things you’re already doing, so logging your food is just one more tool in your nutrition arsenal.

Download the app today to get started!

The post 8 Healthy McDonald’s Food Orders, According to a Dietitian appeared first on MyFitnessPal Blog.

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