When you really think about it, it is quite astonishing that McDonald’s continues to be as popular as it is. Think of the last time you were headed home from work and spotted a McDonald’s location, chances are the drive-thru area was packed with vehicles. The reason why we say it’s astonishing is due to the fact that our society today is more health conscious, at least than ever before. In truth, fast food has taken a hit because of this – nonetheless, the likes of McDonald’s continues on as a giant.
In true McDonald’s fashion, the company is doing their best to conform with the times. One way is by reducing the calorie content in the Happy Meal. This took place in February and because of it, Disney rejoined the company – so expect some great Happy Meal toys in the future. Truthfully, McDonald’s does have decent options despite its reputation. In this article, we’ll feature those menu items along with glancing at other food options that really aren’t that bad.
On the flip side, we’ll feature the bad, taking a look at some of the most fattening menu items. In most cases, foodies knew they were bad but perhaps, not this bad. What if we told you that a particular salad or chicken burger has more calories than a Big Mac? That’s a reality in this article. Scroll down to find out which menu items aren’t as bad as we thought and which might be heavier than expected. Let’s get started!
20 Not That Bad - Chicken Nuggets
Like anything else in life, portion control is the key for nuggets. Getting a 20 pack isn’t the best idea, especially in terms of calories. However, opting for a classic trio of six really isn’t the worst idea.
Compared to other menu items, the calories for six nuggets appears to be quite tame at just under 300 calories, 287 to be exact according to the McDonald’s website. The near 20 grams of fat is a little high and so is the sodium level. But on the plus side, you get 15 grams of protein, at the very least.
19 Too Heavy - Big Breakfast With Hot Cakes
As children, this was one of our favorite McDonald’s menu items. However, as we grew older and hopefully wiser, we started to stray away from this filling breakfast meal. Looking at the calories, it might be even more filling than you anticipated. According to Eating Rules, the big breakfast contains over 1,000 calories! It includes hot cakes, eggs and sausage.
That’s a mixture of some heavy fats and carbohydrates. In total, you’ll get 56 grams of fat! Ouch, that matched with 111 grams of carbohydrates. A little too much if you ask us.
18 Not That Bad - Filet-O-Fish
Invented way back in the 1960s, this sandwich became a monster hit for McDonald’s, so much so that the menu item is still in existence today. Once again, we’re not suggesting a diet of Filet-O-Fish. However, what we will point out is compared to the other menu items - the overall calorie intake for this sandwich really isn’t too bad.
The sandwich contains 379 calories, an amount that’s a lot lower than the average McDonald’s burger. A lot of the calories come from the fat it contains, with 20 grams per sandwich.
17 Too Heavy - Large Fries
When we think of our favorite McDonald’s items, fries quickly come to mind. McDonald’s mastered the formula a long time ago. This item is so delicious and in fact, it isn’t even a side order. Some go to McDonald’s for the fries alone.
If you’re planning on avoiding the extra calories from a burger and opting for the fries instead, that might not be the wisest idea. In fact, a large fry contains more calories than an entire Filet-O-Fisher burger. The fries in a large format contain 510 calories! For those trying to watch their carbohydrates, 66 grams will definitely set you back.
16 Not That Bad – Hash Browns
When we think of McDonald’s breakfast, those yummy hash browns quickly come to mind. We can’t order a breakfast combo without it! Like a serving of fries, some might opt for just the hash brown. In truth, it is that tasty.
Some might be skeptical when it comes to the hash brown, especially given that it does taste a little greasy, that’s due to the vegetable oil used. Nonetheless, it isn’t necessarily a must avoid menu item with only 150 calories per hash brown. That really isn’t too bad.
15 Too Heavy - Chocolate Chip Frappé
This one might be a gut punch. McDonald’s continues to modernize with the times. What that means is new menu items such as the frappe collection - to conform with those millennials!
If you want to try a frappe, we advise that you do so blindly. Don’t check out the calorie content cause you might regret it instantly, no matter how good that chocolate chip flavor might taste. According to Guys and Good Health, the drink contains 530 calories! But wait, there’s more. That’s for a small format! Who would have thought that a cold drink would have more calories than an actual burger?
14 Not That Bad - Cheeseburger
One of the most classic yet basic McDonald’s menu item, the cheese burger is not only cost friendly but also calorie friendly. You won’t feel stuffed once your done and a lot of that has to do with the simplicity of the burger. For that reason, some hungry fast food goers might go for two instead of one.
For those that opt for a single cheese burger, the calorie content really isn’t too damaging. It contains 313 calories, that’s half as much compared to other filling menu options. The 14 grams of fat is quite tame as well.
13 Too Heavy - Southwest Crispy Chicken Salad
Your intention might be good selecting a salad from McDonald’s. However, just because it’s a salad doesn’t mean the meal is calorie friendly. The Southwest salad is a perfect example containing more calories than an actual Big Mac, according to Live Strong.
The chicken itself is loaded with fat, the dressing also pumps the overall calorie intake a couple of notches higher. Just to give you an idea, according to My Fitness Pal, the salad contains 450 calories without the inclusion of the sauce, yikes!
12 Not That Bad - Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich
For those looking to stay relatively healthy while getting in some protein, never mind the salad but instead, the grilled chicken sandwich might be the way to go. Not only is it calorie friendly with 360 calories but it also contains 32 grams of protein. Per the McDonald’s menu, it is hard to find a meal with such protein numbers.
If you want to minimize the guilt while upping the protein, according to Fooducate this is one of the best options that really isn’t too bad at all.
11 Too Heavy - Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich
It is easy to get fooled by the chicken portion of a sandwich. Healthy consumers might think that the meal is a lot healthier compared to a thick meat patty. Although that was the case with the Artisan Chicken Sandwich, it is not with this mammoth Premium Crispy Chicken menu item.
According to Fast Food Nutrition, the burger itself contains 620 calories. Not only is that almost double the amount of the prior chicken burger but that makes it one of the most fattening burgers on the entire McDonald’s menu. Don’t be fooled by the chicken alternative!
10 Not That Bad - Egg White Delight McMuffin
Ideally, when starting the day, we want a healthy dose of protein while keeping the calories relatively low. The more we eat early in the morning, the more sluggish we appear to be, at least in most cases.
The Egg White Delight option might be the ideal choice for those looking to fuel up on protein while keeping the calories steady. According to the McDonald’s website, the McMuffin contains 280 calories which is really peanuts compared to other breakfast burgers. It also has a healthy dose of protein, not to mention that it costs $2.99!
9 Too Heavy - Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle
Coming in with double the calories of the Egg White Delight is the sausage McGriddle. Granted, it might be the tastier option, however it comes with quite the cost in terms of calories.
The McGriddle is a lot more carbohydrate concentrated thanks to thickness of the bread base. The sausage also plays a part in upping the fat content way too high. Combing all these elements, it contains a near 600 calories, 560 to be exact! For a breakfast burger, that’s an insane amount.
8 Not That Bad - Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
McDonald’s has a great variety. That’s what makes this fast food chain so popular. Delicious cookies is another menu item customers love to snack on after a meal. If keeping the calories low is the goal, then the oatmeal raisin cookie is by far the optimal choice.
Not only is it calorically friendly but it is also so darn tasty. Per one cookie, it contains 140 calories along with a mere five grams of fat, according to Calorie King. Finding a dessert with five grams of fat isn’t easy – for those that have a sweet craving you can’t go wrong with this option.
7 Too Heavy - Premium McWrap, Crispy Chicken and Bacon
Yet again we feature a menu item that seems to be healthy but really isn’t and it is not even close. Get ready for this one, according to My Fitness Pal, the wrap contains 620 calories! So much for the healthy lettuce on the cover the wrap’s box huh?
This is another example on how easy it is to get fooled. This particular wrap contains more calories than a Big Mac! The Big Mac itself contains 563 calories. How a wrap can surpass that is truly beyond us.
6 Not That Bad - Breakfast Sausage Burrito
If a wrap is what you crave and McDonald’s is the destination picked, then it might be best to take a burrito instead of the wrap. According to Fast Food Nutrition, the burrito has less than 300 calories at 290. That’s a burrito we can all get on board with!
The fat content might be high because of the sausage, nonetheless it is a far greater option than any of the other wraps, especially the previous one that contains over 600 calories. To sum up, avoid the wrap and go for the burrito. Otherwise, water is your friend...
5 Too Heavy - Steak, Egg & Cheese Biscuit
Depending on the person, when hearing or seeing a biscuit, you might get instantly full without even biting into it – others might salivate just thinking about that buttery base.
Nonetheless, it makes for a high caloric meal, even if the biscuits appear to be mini sized. Mixing a heavy carb and fat content leads to over 530 calories. That’s way too much for a breakfast biscuit sandwich. With 30 grams of fat and 40 grams of carbohydrates, you’ll be asleep at your work desk given its nutritional density.
4 Not That Bad - Bacon Roll
Whenever we hear anything bacon related, the mind instantly thinks of lots of fat and calories, well, at least for those that are somewhat health conscious. The McDonald’s Bacon Roll is surprisingly quite tame when it comes to overall calories.
When accompanied by ketchup, according to My Fitness Pal, the roll has slightly above 300 calories, that isn’t too bad and most would assume that it was a lot more calorie dense especially in terms of that fat content. It only contains 8 grams of fat which is quite low, that’s only 23% of the overall calories.
3 Too Heavy - Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese
Portion control. That can easily cut down calories. However, with the Double Quarter Pounder, that appears to be a lost art. This meal contains double the meat and double the cheese. It is one of the most fattening burgers on the entire menu with a whopping 770 calories!
Thanks to the double meat patties, you’ll be biting into 45 grams of fat. Clearly, a single meat patty might be the better option when it comes to this heavy burger. For those that want to stay away from the calories, avoid this burger.
2 Not That Bad - Happy Meal Hamburger
Be honest, you’ve seen a younger fellow munching on a Happy Meal burger and suddenly the craving hits. We’re here to tell you that it isn’t too late to devour a Happy Meal burger and even better, it is one of the best calorie friendly items on the menu.
Now in truth, it does contain a heavy amount of fat. However overall, according to Live Strong, the burger has 250 calories. That’s a dream calorie burger for fast food enthusiasts. In addition, McDonald’s made the Happy Meal choice even more calorie friendly earlier in the year in February.
1 Too Heavy - McFlurry (M&M)
Back in the mid-90s, the McFlurry was first sold in Canada. Not long after that, it became a booming item and one of the biggest favorites from the fast food giant.
The true hero is the taste of the McFlurry, especially with unique flavoring such as M&M. The only problem, it isn’t calorie friendly, not in the slightest. A big time gut punch to all fans of the McFlurry, a large format contains a near 1,000 calories! According to Calorie King the large format contains 893 calories when mixed with the M&M flavoring. Ouch.