When you think “fast food,” McDonalds is the first place that comes to mind for most people. They’re the largest fast food restaurant in the world, serving nearly 70 million customers every single day. McDonalds has been known over the years for their calorie-filled Big Macs, greasy French fries, and supersized sodas. You never would have seen “McDonalds” and “nutrition” used in the same sentence 10 years ago.
But, they’ve clearly been feeling the heat from health-conscious consumers like you and I and public advocacy groups. Now they’re doing some good things I’d like to see other companies follow.
Here are A Few Examples
1. In September, 2011, McDonalds reduced the French fry portions in their Happy Meals by more than half and added apples to every Happy Meal.
2. They mostly have 10% sodium in almost all of their foods.
3. They signed a voluntary Food Pledge to solely across the country advertise product to children that represent healthier dietary decisions.
4. They have pledged to “reduce metallic element a median of fifteen % across the menu by 2015″ and to “reduce additional sugars, saturated fat and calories through varied portion sizes, reformulations and innovations” by 2020.
5. McDonald’s now has a mobile app that lets you access nutrition facts information from your phone.
6. They offer several helpful resources on their website:
· Meal Choices for People with Diabetes
· Simple Steps to Save on Sodium
· Simple Steps to Cut Calories
7. You can now find healthy sides like apples, yogurt, fruits, and nuts on the menu.
But just because there are healthier choices available doesn’t mean the unhealthy ones have disappeared. So let’s look at nutrition facts for some of the worst things on Mickey Ds’ menu.
Your Waistline Will Thank You If You Avoid These
- Angus Bacon & Cheeseburger: 790 calories, 39 grams of fat (17 saturated, 2 trans), 63 grams of carbs, 2070 milligrams of sodium
- Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese: 750 calories, 42 grams of fat (19 saturated, 2.5 trans), 1360 milligrams of sodium
- Premium Crispy Chicken Club sandwich: 620 calories, 29 grams of fat (7 saturated), 1200 milligrams of sodium
- Big Breakfast with Hotcakes: 1150 calories, 60 grams of fat (20 saturated), 116 grams of carbs, 2260 milligrams of sodium
- McFlurry with M&Ms (16 oz.): 930 calories, 33 grams of fat (20 saturated, 1 trans), 128 grams of sugar
McDonalds has made some progress in recent years, eliminating trans fat from their foods and increasing the amount of healthy options. Here are a few of their healthiest choices on the menu:
• Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich: 350 calories, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 820 mg sodium
• Honey Mustard Grilled Snack Wrap: 250 calories, 8 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 650 mg sodium
• Chipotle BBQ Grilled Snack Wrap: 250 calories, 8 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 670 mg sodium
• Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken and Balsamic Dressing: 325 calories, 10.5 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 1070 mg sodium
• Snack Size Fruit and Walnuts: 210 calories, 8 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 60 mg sodium
• Egg McMuffin: 300 calories, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 30 g carbs, 820 mg sodium
• Fruit & Yogurt Parfait (with granola): 150 calories, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 23 g sugar
• Apple Slices: 15 calories, 0 g fat
BOTTOM LINE: McDonalds has taken some really big steps to increase their healthy menu offerings. And as the largest fast food chain in the world, they should. The McDonalds nutrition facts mobile app is a cool tool that I recommend downloading if you’re a frequent Mickey D’s customer (it’s free).
I think they still have work to do, but they’re heading in the right direction. If you stay away from the stuff most people order (Big Mac, fries, Coke, etc.) and choose the items above you can escape with a relatively healthy meal.
DO not eat this high calories burger: