McDonald's has been around for decades and has quickly become one of the most popular fast-food chains around the world. The food is addicting, and at such low prices, the meals are almost impossible to resist. In America, there seems to be a McDonald's stationed on nearly every corner in major cities - and no matter where you are, you're likely just a few steps away from devouring a good ol' BigMac!
According to Business Insider, McDonald's serves their food to 68 million people every single day - that's equal to about 1% of the world's population!! Unfortunately, these 68 million people are often served food that is ridiculously high in calories, fat, and salt. McDonald's sells poor-quality foods at every meal of the day, including; deep fried hash brown breakfast sandwiches, bacon-and-cheese-filled burgers, overly-sweetened ice-cream McFlurries, over-dressed fat-and-salt-saturated salads, and ridiculously-sized portions of deep fried spuds (fries). McDonald's is notorious for serving up these high-energy foods that contain very little nutritional value. It's certainly no secret that the menu items offered at McDonald's are unhealthy choices, but just how harmful are their products? This list outlines the top 20 worst foods to order at McDonalds (ranked in order based on calories). Even though these foods may satisfy your taste buds as you gobble them up, your tummy won't be smiling for long. Most of their menu items are simply recipes for disaster - featuring a nice toothache with a side of exhaustion and a dash of nausea... All in all, these 20 McDonald's meals will leave you with nothing but regret, wasted money, and a dent in your overall health.
20 Banana Chocolate Chunk Muffin 430 cals (13g fat)
Thinking of grabbing a quick morning snack on the way to work? Might want to think again… These small little muffins are jam packed with calories - and not necessarily the kinds of calories your body wants… Just one muffin packs in 430 calories, including 40g of sugars!!! That’s equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar - YIKES! Unfortunately, the other McDonald’s muffins aren’t much better. Although their names sound promising (mentioning healthy fruits and vegetables like carrots, blueberries, and bananas), they are instead filled with calories, fats, and sugars. Next time you're craving a light-n-fluffy muffin, skip the fast-food version and try making your own at home! When you're done cooking a batch, store it in the freezer for a quick and easy on-the-go breakfast or snack!
19 Large Deluxe Hot Chocolate 500 cals (14g fat)
There’s nothing quite better than enjoying a piping cup of hot chocolate on a chilly winter day! But beware, this one might just pack on a little more, um... “insulation” than you’d hoped… At a whopping 500 calories, 14g of fat and 71g of sugar (yes...that’s about 18 teaspoons…), this Deluxe Hot Chocolate is sure to make a mark on your health. Instead, drop by a local tea store (like David’s Tea) and try out one of their wild flavors (like “Candy Cane Crush” or “Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait”)! Or, if you realllyyyy want that cup of hot chocolate (because nothing can quite match up to a cup of warm chocolaty goodness), then save your health (and your wallet) by sizing down to the small Deluxe beverage!
18 Large Fries 560 cals (27g fat)
McDonald's fries are listed under the “sides” category, but at 560 calories per serving, and 42% of your daily fat intake, I’m not sure it qualifies to be considered a “side”. Pairing this bucket ‘o spuds with a hamburger would have your calorie count easily soar past the 1000 mark (50% of the average daily caloric intake), and adding a drink might just make you reach 100% of your daily calorie recommendations in one sitting… If you’re really craving a handful of crispy potato fries, share a medium size with a friend, or order a small size for yourself - you’ll get all the good flavor, without the crazy calorie count!
17 Creme Brûlée McFlurry 580 cals (11g fat)
When I ordered my very first McFlurry, I could barely finish half a serving before the sugar started to make me shake! I don’t even want to know how jittery I’d be after just a couple spoonfuls of this Creme Brûlée McFlurry! Not only is it high in calories (at 580 cals per serving), but it also ranks as one of the sweetest menu items offered at McDonald's. One serving has about 96g of sugar - equivalent to a HALF of a cup of sugar! Talk about a major toothache! The Creme Brûlée may sound intriguing and decadent, but in reality, it’s just a whole lotta sugar with a tiny splash of milk. Maybe it would be wiser to opt for a bowl of vanilla ice-cream from home, paired with some fresh cut fruits and a drizzle of maple syrup!
16 Chicken and Bacon Signature McWrap with Crispy Chicken 600 cals (33g fat)
It’s not too surprising that this sandwich breaks into the top 20 most caloric menu items at McDonald's. This little wrap is packed with crispy chicken, mayonnaise-style sauce and bacon. One wrap alone provides over half of your daily recommended intake of salt AND fat!! It’s probably safest to avoid McDonald's wraps altogether, but if you really gotta have one, go for the Chicken and Bacon Signature McWrap with Grilled Chicken. Swapping the crispy chicken for the grilled chicken eliminates a bunch of calories - without sacrificing the flavor! The grilled chicken version has 500 calories and 24g of fat (quite a bit better than 600 calories and 33g of fat). Although this is still far from a “healthy” option, it’s certainly better than the fat-and-salt-filled crispy chicken!
15 McFlurry with M&M Candies 620 cals (20g fat)
McDonald’s has certainly become creative with its numerous flavours of McFlurrys. From Oreo to Peanut Butter Cup to M&M - the temptation is almost impossible to resist… Although the McFlurrys may sound delicious, they are packed with sugars, calories, and chemicals (darn…). This one in particular has four types of sugars in its ingredient list - sugar, glucose, dextrose, and cellulose gum. All together, this sweet mixture totals a whopping 98 grams of sugar (even MORE than the Creme Brûlée McFlurry)! In household measures, this is equal to just over ½ a cup of sugar - YIKES! Save yourself the toothache and let this one stay on the shelves.
14 Big Breakfast 640 cals (38g fat)
Imagine you just woke up, had a nice cup of coffee, and now you’re on your way to work. On the way, you pass a McDonald’s and BAM they’ve got a “Big Breakfast” on the menu. It looks decently healthy (with a variety of proteins, fats, and carbs), and it sounds delicious! You grab yourself a serving to start your day, and within an hour you feel awful... Surprised? If you take a closer look at the nutrition facts, you'll understand the reason for your inevitable stomach ache. The meal is comprised of hash browns, a sausage patty, an egg, and a whole lotta butter! Most of these ingredients are heavily processed, and extremely high in fat. Altogether, the meal contributes to nearly 60% of your daily fat intake and almost 50% of your daily sodium intake. Instead of rushing to McDonald's for your pre-work fuel, try preparing your own breakfast!
13 Tomato and Mozzarella with Crispy Chicken 640 cals (33g fat)
This sandwich has one of my all-time favourite flavor combinations: tomato and mozzarella! Who doesn’t love the classic cheese and tomato combo?? It’s too bad the “Creamy Tomato and Herb Sauce” adds 11 extra grams of fat (along with about five ingredients I cannot pronounce). Next time, ask for the sauce on the side - and add just enough to give a little bit of flavor! Even better, go for the grilled chicken version without sauce! This option has almost half of the calories (390cals) and a third of the fat (11g) in comparison to the Tomato and Mozzarella with Crispy Chicken!
12 I’m Greeking Out Salad with Crispy Chicken With Pure Kraft Asiago Caesar Dressing 650 cals (43g fat)
Salads are healthy, right? Uhmmmm… Better think again. This salad-and-dressing combo totals to 650 calories and 43g of fat!! Don’t fret, there are a few ways to slim down your order! By simply reducing the amount of dressing, and switching up the type of chicken, you can save yourself up to 340 calories (most of which are from fats)! Choosing the “I’m Greek-ing-Out Salad with Grilled Chicken” salad rather than the crispy chicken version chops off 130 calories and 11 grams of fat! Don’t worry - you’ll still get a nice crunchy texture from the herb and garlic pita chips! Eliminating the dressing reduces the total calories to 310 and the total fat to 10g (MUCH better!) If you don't want to eliminate the dressing entirely, try using just half. You'll be able to enjoy the flavours while avoiding the high amounts of fat and calories! All in all, this salad ain’t so bad (so long as you watch the dressing and back away from the crispy chicken).
11 Sausage and Hash Brown More-Ning McWrap 710 cals (42g fat)
Who doesn’t love indulging in a nice and crispy pile of hash browns? Or, what about devouring a juicy, succulent sausage roll? So, if you threw them both together in a wrap, it seems like there's not much that could go wrong. Unfortunately, the More-Ning wraps at McDonald's are made with slightly questionable ingredients that spike the calorie count and fat content. The hashbrowns have 4 types of oils in the ingredient list, and the cheese they use is labelled as a “processed cheese slice” (not exactly sure what that means…). Altogether, the wrap contributes to 65% of your daily fat intake, and 55% of your daily sodium intake. If you’re looking to make this wrap a little healthier, ask to reduce (or, even better, eliminate) the hash browns. Without hash browns, the wrap contains significantly less fat and sodium - 48% of your daily fat, and 41% of your daily sodium.
10 Strawberry Triple Thick Milkshake 720 cals (18g fat)
Yum! Strawberries! Those are fresh and healthy right? Yes, they certainly are! Too bad there’s no real strawberries in this milkshake… Instead of using fresh strawberries, McDonalds uses a Strawberry syrup. The syrup is mostly comprised of sugar, glucose-fructose, and water. Then, they finish it off with some artificial colors and flavors to trick you into thinking you’re having a healthy serving of fruit. In reality, one serving of this milkshake has over a half a cup of sugar! You’re much better off trying out one of these homemade milkshakes instead. Made with real milk and various different types of fresh fruit, these milkshakes are sure to make your tummy smile!
9 Keep Calm, Caesar On Salad with Crispy Chicken (With Asiago Caesar Dressing) 730 cals (51g fat)
I can hardly “keep calm” after seeing the nutrition facts with this salad. Don’t let the “salad” idea fool you - this Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad really isn’t any better than most of the heavy burger items on the menu. My advice? If you’re going to indulge - then do it right and get what you really want. Settling for this caesar salad will only deprive you of flavor - and you won’t even being saving calories! If you really want your fix of vegetables, then go for the Garden Fresh Side Salad. Pair it with your favourite McDonald's dressing (make sure to order it on the side), and fuel up!
8 Asiago and Bacon with Crispy Chicken 730 cals (38g fat)
This sandwich consists of melted cheese spread on top of bacon, and stacked on top of a piece of crispy fried chicken. Not surprisingly, this sandwich easily cracks the top 10 in this list of menu items that are bound to make you regretful. The worst part is, the high calorie count and fat content aren’t even the most concerning parts of the meal - it’s the sodium. You'll definitely need a hefty glass of water to wash down the 2610mg of sodium that is packed into this sandwich. That’s equivalent to 109% of your daily recommended intake of sodium!!! I think it’s safe to say that we’re all better off leaving this one on the shelves…
7 Mighty Angus Original 790 cals (43g fat)
People seem to believe that the original is always best - I beg to differ. Even though the Mighty Angus Original has fresh lettuce, tomato, and onion, the healthy ingredients pretty much end there. With a smoky angus sauce, processed cheese, bacon bits, and two seasonings, this original needs some major updating!! The worst part is, there’s really nothing so special about the ingredients. It’s essentially a classic patty with cheese and bacon - BORING! At least if you’re going to indulge, order something extravagant (and share it with a friend)! Settling for a boring ‘ol bacon and cheddar burger AND packing on a ton of calories while eating it is simply a waste of money, flavor, and health...
6 20 pc. Chicken McNuggets 830 cals (46g fat)
Ever heard of the 100 nugget challenge?? Let’s do the math here… 100 chicken nuggets would be equivalent to 4,150 calories, 230g of fat, and 7,450mg of sodium - YIKES! Even if you just order the 20 piece meal, expect to consume 71% of your daily fat, 62% of your daily sodium, and 830 calories. Adding a sauce to the mix? A serving of Chicken McNuggets Barbeque Sauce cranks up the sodium content to 75% of your daily recommended intake. It’s too bad these calorie-filled bite-sized delights are so darn tasty. In fact, Time magazine claims that after just a few months of being released, the nuggets were the 2nd most popular fast-food chicken item in the world (just falling behind KFC)! Although they're tempting, try avoiding the large 20-piece portion. Instead, mix a few nuggets in with a fresh homemade salad. It’s a great way to treat yourself after a stressful day at work - without sacrificing your health!
5 Triple Breakfast Stacks McGriddles 850 cals (59g fat)
The early morning rush is one of the biggest contributors to McDonald's overall profits. According to CBC, In early 2017, 1,100 restaurants across Canada began to offer all-day breakfast service. Unfortunately, serving breakfast past 11:30 am only prolonged the time that consumers could be tempted by all the delicious looking breakfast sweets and treats. The Triple Breakfast Stacks McGriddle features two sausage patties, an egg, processed cheese, bacon, and clarified butter, all sandwiched between two griddle cakes. Instead of opting for this breakfast sandwich catastrophe, try whipping up your own at home!
4 Bacon Smokehouse Buttermilk Crispy Chicken 920 cals (45g fat)
This chicken sandwich isn’t shy when it comes to the calories. At 920 calories (and 45g of fat), this sandwich proves that chicken isn’t always the healthiest option… The funny thing is, according to Time magazine, McDonald's originally started increasing their production of chicken in a desperate attempt to offer a “healthier” option to customers. In the late 1960s, America's Health Association warned against the dangerous levels of cholesterol found in red meat products (not so good for the McDonalds burger franchise…). So, they decided to focus on developing their chicken products, and the world went wild! Today, McDonald's serves up many different flavors of sandwiches and wraps - all featuring the “healthy protein”. Unfortunately, many of these items still pack in similar amounts of fats and calories as the so-called “dangerous” red meat burgers. It seems like whatever protein you pick, eating a meal at McDonald's probably isn’t going to provide your body with nutritional benefits. My advice? If you want a burger - go for the burger. Just share half of it with a friend, and enjoy an indulgent meal together!
3 Double Bacon Smokehouse Burger 1130 cals (67g fat)
As if one patty wasn’t quite enough, this Double Bacon Smokehouse Burger decided to double things up! I think it’s safe to say that this burger certainly isn’t afraid of a generous serving of meat (and calories… and fat… and salt…). The burger is stuffed with layers of bacon, cheese, deep-fried onion strings, and beef patties - leaving NO room for fresh vegetables. Not only are there two portions of bacon and beef patties, but McDonald's also decided to double up on the sauces. All these ingredients together contribute to 102% of your daily fat intake, and 80% of your daily sodium. Not to mention, at over 1000 calories, you’re likely surpassing 50% of your total caloric intake in just one sitting! Maybe it’s best to double up and eat this Double Bacon Smokehouse Burger with a partner (or two!). Otherwise, let it be, and stick with the single-patty burger!
2 Large Chocolate Triple Thick Milkshake 1150 cals (29g fat)
For all you chocolate lovers out there, this milkshake might just be your achilles heel. But, before you go and slurp up a large serving of chocolaty goodness, consider the concerning nutrition facts… Not only does this milkshake contain 0.85 cups of sugar, but the chocolate flavor that you taste is actually just a “Chocolate Syrup”. Looking at the ingredient list, the first two items are sugar (glucose-fructose) and water - NOT chocolate (what a rip off, right?). Instead of wasting your money on a “barely-chocolate” beverage, go to your local grocery store and pick up a rich bar of dark chocolate.
1 Big Breakfast with Hotcakes 1350 cals (65g fat)
Just because breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it doesn’t mean it should be the only meal of the day… I think McDonald's forgot about this when they developed this crazy breakfast that contains 1350 calories (over half of your daily recommended intake) and 100% of your daily fat intake. Save your heart health (and bank account), and make up your own decadent breakfast in the comfort of your own kitchen! Check out our post “10 Restaurant-Level Breakfast Recipes Anyone Can Make At Home (And 10 More To Leave To The Pros)”! Whether you’re a chef or a beginner, there are plenty of delightful dishes that are far more exciting in flavors, and will leave you feeling satisfied and energetic (instead of full and deflated).