Healthiest Foods At McDonald’s And The Worst

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Healthy food swaps at McDonald’s

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing the healthiest foods at McDonald’s, and the worst high calorie meals, that make you fat.

All right, so here’s the million dollar question.

When you’re hungry, and you’re on the road, can you actually find healthy food from McDonald’s?

That’s what we’re going find out on today’s fast food edition of Food Wars.

Today was the first time, in a long time, that I stepped foot in a McDonald’s restaurant.

Why did I go to McDonald’s?

Healthiest Foods At McDonald's

Because it’s Food Wars time, the fast food edition.

Even though I’ve found a new stylish place to live, I’m currently in-between homes right now, which means I’m eating on the go.

I know this is a common occurrence for most people as well, so it makes a great Food Wars episode.

A lot of people always ask me:

  • can you eat healthy on the road?
  • what are the healthiest foods at fast food restaurants?

Since I’m on the road traveling, I decided to challenge myself to find the healthiest meals at McDonald’s.

But before pulling ordering my food, I did some homework, by reviewing McDonald’s nutrition information guide.

Healthiest Foods At McDonald's

McDonalds nutrition: high calorie vs low calorie food options

That’s right, I’m analyzing the nutrition facts of the McDonald’s menu.

In other words, I’m comparing the unhealthy, high calorie foods, with the healthier lower calorie foods.

If you’re trying to dial in your nutrition, I always recommend you check out the restaurants website to review the nutrition facts of each meal.

What about the food?

Are there healthy options available at McDonald’s?

Before sharing the healthiest foods at McDonald’s, let me first share the worst foods that you should not be eating.

Healthiest Foods At McDonald's

The worst of the worst foods at McDonald’s

Update: in the video, I mentioned the Angus Bacon Cheese Sandwich was one of the most unhealthy McDonald’s items. Thankfully, this option is no longer offered at McDonald’s.

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Today’s most unhealthy McDonald’s burger and sandwich is the Double Bacon Smokehouse Burger.

One of the big issues with foods at McDonald’s is the high amounts of sodium.

Yes, most of the food also contains a lot of unhealthy processed fat and refined carbohydrates, but the amount of sodium is a big concern.

Nutrition facts: Angus Deluxe or Angus Bacon Cheese Sandwich

Angus Bacon Cheese Sandwich

Here are the nutrition facts for just one angus deluxe angus bacon cheese sandwich:

  • Calories: 780
  • Protein: 47g*
  • Carbohydrates: 53g
  • Fat: 47g (1.5g trans fat**)
  • Sodium: 2,000 mg (this doesn’t include the sodium in the fries)

* Even though 47g of protein may seem like a lot, it’s not the highest quality of protein, so that shouldn’t be considered a positive check mark.

** Trans fats are man-made fats that basically eat away at the cells of your body.

Nutrition facts: large fries

mcdonalds large fries

Since nobody goes to McDonald’s and just orders a burger, here are the nutrition facts of an order of large fries:

  • Calories: 560
  • Protein: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 74g
  • Fat: 27g
  • Sodium: 430mg

Nutrition facts: large coke

large coke

To drink, a lot of people will add soda, so here are the nutrition facts of a large coke:

  • Calories: 280
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 80g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 85mg

Note: if you think it will be healthier to drink iced sweet tea or Fruitopia, think again. There is more sugar in Fruitopia then Coke.

Total meal: calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat

If you order this common meal from McDonald’s:

  • Angus deluxe or Angus bacon cheese sandwich
  • Large fries
  • Large coke

Here are the nutrition facts and macronutrient % breakdown:

  • Calories: 1,660
  • Protein: 53g (12% of calories from protein)*
  • Carbohydrates: 209g (50% of calories from carbohydrates)**
  • Fat: 71g (38% of the calories from fat)
  • Sodium: 2430mg

* this is the low quality type of protein

** this is more carbohydrates than most people should eat in a day.

The Healthiest Foods At McDonald’s

So what about the healthiest foods at McDonald’s?

Try the Grilled Chicken Southwest Salad with raspberry vinaigrette, and a bottle of water.

Also the Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad is a healthier option.

Grilled Chicken Southwest Salad Nutrition facts:

Grilled Chicken Southwest Salad

  • Grilled Chicken Southwest Salad
  • Raspberry vinaigrette
  • Bottle of water

This grilled chicken southwest salad primarily includes vegetables and grilled chicken for protein.

Here are the nutrition facts and macronutrient % breakdown:

  • Calories: 400 (including the raspberry vinaigrette dressing)
  • Protein: 33g (33% of calories from protein)
  • Carbohydrates: 34g (34% of calories from carbohydrates)
  • Fat: 15.5g (35% of the calories from fat)
  • Sodium: 880mg*

* this is a lot of sodium for a salad, as it’s probably from the grilled chicken, since they have to preserve it.

Just looking at the macronutrient % breakdown of the calories, it’s clear that this is a very balanced meal.

Does McDonald’s offer healthy food?

So let me recap the answer to the question, can you eat healthy and McDonald’s?

Well, this Grilled Chicken Southwest Salad is a healthier option, however there is still quite a bit of sodium in it.

Healthiest Foods At McDonald's

I wouldn’t recommend you eat this every single day, but when you’re in a crunch, such as on the road traveling, this Grilled Chicken Southwest Salad, with a bottle of water, is a decent healthy option.

Remember this

If there is one thing to take away from this post, it is the compound effect.

You will not become obese or die of a heart attack after eating ONE high calorie burger, fries, and soda meal.

The cause of these health issues is due to continuously eating this unhealthy foods, over and over again.

In other words, if you eat just one angus bacon cheese sandwich at McDonald’s, you’re not going to wake up the next day fat.

You’re also not going to roll over from a heart attack by eating just one unhealthy meal.

This is the compound effect.

This becomes an issue, when you continue to consume this unhealthy food, over and over again.

That’s when you put yourself at a high risk of obesity, clogging your arteries, and having a heart attack.

What did I think of the McDonald’s environment?

Since it’s been a long time since I stepped foot in McDonald’s, was it what I remembered?

Sort of.

On the downside, it had the same sub-par customer service.

But on the positive, the restaurant had a pleasant, stylish new design.

Here’s one other thing I noticed when I was waiting for my order at McDonald’s.

The order for the Grilled Chicken Southwest Salad took about three times as long as the order for the burgers.

Another observation was the majority of the people ordering the burgers and the extra McChicken sauce, were obese.

Lastly, the Grilled Chicken Southwest Salad cost approximately 25-30% more than the burgers.

So is there something wrong with our society when a salad cost more than a burger, fries, and soda?

What is the healthiest McDonald’s breakfast?

Egg McMuffin

If you wondering about the healthiest breakfast at McDonald’s, the Egg McMuffin is your best lower calorie option.

Or if you’re looking to add a little more calories, go with the sausage McMuffin with egg.

What is the healthiest McDonald’s sandwich?

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

If you have a craving for a sandwich, get the artisan grilled chicken classic.

It still contains a lot of sodium in it, but it is your healthier option.

So hopefully you enjoyed this fast food edition of Food Wars, where I shared the healthiest foods at McDonald’s, when you’re in a crunch.

If you did, you can support our Live Lean Transformation 1,000,000 mission by clicking the social media buttons to share this with your friends.

Also subscribe to our Live Lean TV YouTube channel so you never miss another Food Wars episode.

Lastly, leave a comment to let me know what other Fast Food restaurants you want to see me cover on future episodes of the fast edition of Food Wars.

I’ll be back again tomorrow with another workout that’s going to get you sweaty.

See you then.

Questions For You:

  • What are your go-to fast food restaurants when traveling?
  • Do you have a favorite healthier food option from McDonald’s?

Be sure to share your answers in the comment section below.

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13 responses to “Healthiest Foods At McDonald’s And The Worst

  1. Pollo Tropical here in florida has Tropi Chop bowls that you can design.

    Usually if I’m stopping there it’s because I’m staving. So I’ll get the small TropiChop bowl with brown rice, black beans, roast pork, tomatoes, onions, and fresh salsa. Not perfect but some what healthier than other options.

  2. McDonald’s is getting pretty styling with their new makeovers <—can't believe I said that lol

    If I'm on the road and stuck, subway is usually a good place to land on. A salad with grilled chicken and veggies 🙂

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