When examining McDonalds nutrition, there are some healthier foods to be found on the fast food menu. Hopefully your fast food meals are limited, but on the occasion when you do indulge, be an educated consumer. Check the nutrition labels on food choices to steer clear of the high fat, sodium and sugar foods on the menu.
Sandwiches to Avoid
McDonalds most popular sandwiches–the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder with Cheese and the Big and Tasty–are not just high in fat and calories, but are also a portion-size disaster. Even with vegetables like lettuce and tomato, it’s an oversized serving of fat, sodium and calories. If your intent on a sandwich, opt for the plain hamburger, a grilled snack wrap, the grilled chicken sandwich or the 4-piece nugget and pair it with a side salad instead. This way, you portion control your fat, sodium and sugar intake while simultaneously bumping up the nutrition.
Salads to Avoid
An array of salad options are now available at McDonalds, and they do provide healthier eating options. However, the Southwestern Salad with Crispy Chicken and the Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Crispy Chicken are very high in fat and calories. Choosing the grilled chicken option reduces the calories and fat significantly and is a better option in both cases.
Breakfast Choices to Avoid
If you’re looking for breakfast items, avoid the white flour pancakes that are high in processed whilte flour and sugar. Skip the biscuits and burritos that are loaded with fat and white flour. Instead, reach for the egg mcmuffin, a plain english muffin or the 2 scrambled eggs which are all lower in fat, calories and (except for the english muffin) have the protein and the nutrition of eggs.
Fried Options to Avoid
Nearly all of the french fries, chicken, hashbrowns and fish are fried and therefore high in fat. McDonalds has switched to Canola oil so the trans fats are gone, but reducing portion sizes or eliminating the fried choices altogether is the healthiest option. If you are intent on choosing a fried product, chicken retains its protein and nutritional value regardless of how its cooked. So, limit your portion size and pair it with a healthy salad for the fresh, low fat vegetables you need.
Drinks to Avoid
While McDonalds features an extensive list of sodas, fancy coffee drinks and milk shake items, most are very high in sugar, caffeine and some with fat–loading your diet with empty calories. Avoid the regular lattes and ice drinks in favor of the coffees with sugar substitutes or just regular coffee. Orange juice and apple juice are a better nutrition option, but are typically high in natural sugars, without fiber. Unsweetened tea, low fat white milk, bottled water and regular coffee are the best choices.
Avoiding diet-busting choices when dining at McDonalds by asking for nutritional fact sheets when making your selections. Fact sheets are available at the food counter.