Craving for McDonald’s? Although McDonald’s is delicious and their burger is a perfect snack, it’s not typically the healthiest option, just like any fast food chain. If you want healthier options at McDonald’s, especially when you’re short on time or money but want to maintain your mindful eating plan.
Healthier options like the popular Egg McMuffin, Chicken McNuggets, or a hamburger are far easier for most people to incorporate into their diets.
Surely, you can discover some healthier options at McDonald’s to help you stay on track if you’re watching your calorie intake and need enjoyable meals on the run.
If you are interested to know the healthiest meals at McDonald’s menu items, scroll down and continue reading.
McDonalds Healthy Options
In 1940, Richard and Maurice McDonald started a restaurant in San Bernardino, California, which is where McDonald’s Corporation, an international fast food chain with American origins, was established. With the introduction of the Golden Arches emblem in 1953 at a site in Phoenix, Arizona, they changed the name of their firm to a hamburger stand and then made it into a franchise. Businessman Ray Kroc, joined the corporation in 1955 as a franchise agent before going on to buy the McDonald brothers’ operation. McDonald’s relocated its worldwide headquarters to Chicago in June 2018, from Oak Brook, Illinois.
As of 2021, McDonald’s served over 69 million people every day in more than 100 countries through more more than 40.000 outlets, making it the largest restaurant company in the world by profit. Although they also sell other foods such as chicken, fish, fruit, and salads on their menus, McDonald’s is most noted for their hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and French fries. The Big Mac and their French fries are two of their most recognized licensed menu items. McDonald’s employs more than 1.7 million people worldwide, making it the second-largest private employer in the world, according to two reports released in 2018. The ninth-highest global brand valuation as of 2020 goes to McDonald’s.
McDonald’s Menu Items
Burgers, several varieties of chicken, chicken sandwiches, French fries, soft drinks, breakfast foods, and desserts are what McDonald’s mostly offers for sale. McDonald’s provides salads, vegetarian options, wraps, and other regional dishes in the majority of markets. The McRib sandwich is a seasonal offering from McDonald’s. Some people think the McRib’s seasonality contributes to its appeal. McDonald’s also serves a Shamrock Shake each March to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day.
A few of the fast food chain’s products are also sold in certain regions of the country; for instance, the Hatch Green Chile Double Cheeseburger, which is garnished with New Mexico green chile, is exclusively offered in the southern state of New Mexico.
Products are available for “take-out” or “dine-in”. Meals for “dine-in” customers are delivered on a plastic tray with a paper insert on the bottom. Meals ordered for “take-out” are often delivered with their contents sealed inside a distinctive brown paper bag bearing the McDonald’s logo. In either scenario, the individual items are appropriately wrapped or packed.
McDonald’s has reduced the number of products on its menu, which in the United States was close to 200, since Steve Easterbrook took over as CEO of the business. The company eliminated high-fructose corn syrup from hamburger buns in an effort to offer healthier options. Artificial preservative that was used in Chiccken McNuggets was replaced. The firm has replaced the chicken skin, safflower oil, and citric acid that were previously present in Chicken McNuggets with pea starch, rice starch, and powdered lemon juice.
The hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, McDouble, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and Big Mac are seven iconic burgers that are still sold in the United States today. In September 2018, McDonald’s USA announced that they no longer use artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors in any way. Customers can decide not to order pickles with their burgers, but the pickles will still be cooked with an artificial preservative.
McPlant, a plant-based burger, and McDonald’s intentions to create further meat-alternative menu items, including chicken alternatives and breakfast sandwiches, were proposed in November 2020. Following the positive results of Beyond Meat’s plant-based meat substitutes’ testing, this announcement was made.
If you are looking for a healthier option at McDonald’s menu, check out the food list below.
1. Fruit & Maple Oatmeal
This is a great choice if you want a quick breakfast. Whether you prefer brown sugar, fresh apple slices, a dash of cream, or a combination of dried cranberries, a hot bowl of Fruit & Maple Oatmeal will do the trick.
For almost the same number of calories, McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal offers a healthier fat and salt option than the Egg McMuffin.
And since this maple oatmeal McDonald’s includes some fruit and whole-grains in your diet, this is definitely a healthy choice.
This oatmeal has a complex, sweet, and creamy flavor thanks to the apples, raisins, golden raisins, and cranberries, as well as cream and brown sugar.
This is a terrific meal to start the day with only 310 calories, 4g fat, 63g carbohydrates, and 6 grams of protein.
2. Egg McMuffin
The international fast food restaurant chain, McDonald’s, sells a variety of breakfast sandwiches under the McMuffin brand. Herb Peterson created the iconic sandwich, the Egg McMuffin, in 1972 to imitate eggs Benedict, a classic American breakfast dish made with English muffins, ham, eggs, and hollandaise sauce.
An English muffin that has been toasted and buttered is topped with a slice of Canadian bacon, an egg that has been griddle-fried, and a slice of American cheese in the US and Canada. The egg is cooked in a white plastic ring that is encircled by a metal frame to give it its circular shape.
There are no sauces or toppings on the Egg McMuffin, allowing the fried egg and melted cheese to give a creamy mouthfeel.
You can fill up on a hearty 17 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, 15% of your daily requirement for iron, calcium, and vitamin D, for only 310 calories and 13 grams of fat.
You should be mindful that this sandwich contains roughly one-third of the daily recommended salt intake.
Nevertheless, it’s a healthy option from McDonald’s and one of the top quick breakfast choices out there.
The international fast food business McDonald’s serves the Filet-O-Fish, a fish sandwich or burger. It was developed in 1962 by Lou Groen, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based McDonald’s franchisee, in reaction to declining Friday hamburger sales brought on by the Western Christian tradition of not eating meat, which is highly valued in Roman Catholicism, Methodism, and Anglicanism. With US sales notably increasing around Lent, the Filet-O-Fish, which was originally developed for Western Christians observing the Friday Fast, is still widely recognized as belonging to this community. Other fast food restaurants are now offering fish options during Lent as a result of the tradition.
The basic ingredients of the Filet-O-Fish sandwich is a fried breaded fish fillet, a steamed bun, tartar sauce, and pasteurized American cheese, which haven’t changed over time, even if the fish content has varied to please taste and manage supply shortages.
Generally speaking, the fish patties are fried till golden brown and then placed on a soft bun with tangy tartar sauce, and half a slice of American cheese.
There aren’t many sandwiches that are as simple and delectable as the Filet-O-Fish. This sandwich made with wild-caught fish also happens to be one of McDonald’s long-standing healthy options.
The Filet-O-Fish sandwich, which has only 380 calories, is a healthy option for lunch or supper, especially when accompanied with veggies or a salad. This is a perfect breakfast sandwich.
4. Apple Slices McDonald’s
It’s a smart option to skip your usual order of French fries if you’re attempting to eat healthier. Try substituting apple slices. You’ll save 205 calories and get rid of the 10 grams of fat that a small order of fries includes because a snack-sized pouch has only 15 calories.
Additionally, compared to baked apple pie, the slices are a healthier dessert alternative.
This is one of McDonald’s kid-friendly healthy options is apples, which can be substituted for fries in Happy Meals.
5. Chicken McNuggets
The international fast food restaurant business McDonald’s sells Chicken McNuggets, an unique variety of chicken nugget. They are made up of tiny, battered, and deep-fried chunks of reconstituted boneless chicken meat. In the late 1970s, Keystone Foods came up with the idea for Chicken McNuggets, which were first offered in a few locations in 1981. By 1983, after a supply problem was resolved, the nuggets were made accessible worldwide. In order to remove artificial preservatives and enhance the nutritional content, the formula was modified in 2016.
Basically, a small portion of processed chicken meat known as a “Chicken McNugget” is flash-frozen and fried in batter at a centralized manufacturing plant before being distributed to McDonald’s restaurants for sale. Herb Lotman, the founder of Keystone Foods, came up with the idea.
The pure 100% white meat chicken and the crisp outer crust, which is mildly seasoned and fried to perfection, are the cornerstones to the irresistible flavor of McNuggets. These nuggets are tasty, and eve more yummier because of the assortment of dipping sauces.
You have the option to choose from sauces like creamy ranch, tangy barbecue, sweet ‘n sour, pure honey, spicy buffalo, or honey mustard. The calories in the sauces range from 30 for the buffalo sauce to 110 for the ranch sauce.
250 calories, 15 grams of fat, and 14 grams of protein are all present in one serving of chicken nuggets, whether you eat them for lunch or dinner.
The McChicken is a chicken sandwich offered by the multinational fast food restaurant chain, McDonald’s. In some countries, including Australia, India, New Zealand, and the UK, it is referred to as a chicken burger because it is not a sandwich as that term is used in some of those non-American dialects of English. It has a toasted wheat bun, a cutlet that has been breaded, shredded lettuce, and mayonnaise.
Since 1988, the iconic McChicken sandwich has been available year-round and is still among the best and most affordable McDonald’s healthy options.
There aren’t many ingredients in this sandwich, which lowers the cost and of course, has low calorie count.
The McChicken patty is not all white meat, unlike the artisan chicken sandwiches sold by McDonald’s.
The meat is juicy and tender since it is made with dark beef, and the right quantity of mayo gives the sandwich its creaminess. The lettuce provides a subtle crunch.
The McChicken is a calorie-efficient option for lunch or dinner with only 400 calories.
7. Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich was discontinued, and it still isn’t available. Hoping that it will return soon.
Rather than fried chicken, a seasoned and grilled chicken breast filet was sandwiched between toasted artisan bun halves with tomato, lettuce, and a light but creamy vinaigrette sauce.
People who preferred a chicken sandwich with fewer calories and fat than their deep-fried crispy chicken sandwich might choose this lunch.
This chicken sandwich, which was one of McDonald’s healthy options, had 360 calories and 6 grams of fat.
Another healthy option from McDonald’s, the classic Hamburger has a modest list of ingredients.
The burger has a 100% pure beef patty and is free of any artificial flavorings, colors, or preservatives.
The typical condiments associated with hamburgers are salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, chopped onions, and a pickle, which are placed on top of the burger. All of the ingredients in this sandwich, including the soft bun, are free of artificial preservatives except for the pickle slices.
There are only 250 calories and 9 grams of fat in a McDonald’s hamburger. Even if a little order of fries increases the fat, the overall average remains under 500 calories.