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Eating Healthy at McDonald’s

1 min Read

Learn how to make healthier choices at McDonald’s with our guide. Discover which menu items to enjoy and which ones to avoid for a balanced dining experience.

We know fast food isn’t the greatest but whether it’s convenience, price, or you’re just cravin’ some nuggets, sometimes we can’t avoid the golden arches (or insert-your-favorite-restaurant-here).

Don’t fret because we’ve got you covered. Each week we’ll spotlight one fast food joint and tell you what to eat — and what to avoid.

This week’s choice: McDonald’s.
 
McDonald’s is the reigning fast food king with their (now defunct) supersizing, dollar menu, and extra value meals. It may seem near impossible to eat healthy at this fast food mecca, but fear not because we’re here to show you the healthy way.
 
If you’re still overwhelmed by all of the choices at a fast food restaurant, use your Noom food tracker to help you out.

Every food in our database is labeled green, yellow, or orange.

Orange foods are the most calorie dense, meaning they have the most calories per weight of food.

Green foods are the opposite — you can eat a lot of green foods for a small amount of calories.

And yellow foods fall somewhere in the middle.

If a food is orange, only have one serving, as eating a lot of red foods can cause you to go over-budget. (But keep in mind, orange foods are not off-limits! They should just be eaten in moderation.)

To fill you up, add plenty of green foods to your meal like apple slices, a side salad (with low-calorie dressing), or veggies. 

The healthiest options at McDonald’s

1. Grilled Chicken Sandwich

There are a few loose guidelines that you can follow to always make the healthiest choices in a pinch:

  1. Choose white meat over red
  2. Choose grilled over fried
  3. Skip the oily sides.

A grilled chicken sandwich is always a safe bet and this one is no different.

Calories: 360 calories
Fat: 6 grams
Protein: 32 grams

That should keep your stomach from grumbling before dinnertime.

2. Premium McWrap Sweet Chili Chicken (Grilled)

This wrap features grilled chicken and a sweet chili sauce that should hit the spot if you’re craving some flavor.

Calories: 400 calories
Fat: 10 grams
Protein: 31 grams

This wrap is a safe bet for your lunchtime meal. Pair with apple slices, a side salad, or a Go-Gurt if you’re in the mood for something sweet.

3. Double Cheeseburger

Whether you ended up at McDonald’s as a last resort or you just can’t get a burger out of your head, if you’re going to indulge and go for something more traditional, this is one of your best choices.

This cheeseburger has protein-filled double patties which will keep you fuller than the petite single cheeseburger (although, if you aren’t particularly famished, the single cheeseburger is 290 calories and 11 grams of fat which is a healthier choice).

Calories: 430 calories
Fat: 21 grams
Protein: 31 grams

This burger does have a pretty high 21 grams of fat (the recommended amount normally falls somewhere between 33 and 97 grams for a 1500 and 2500 calorie diet, respectively). Choose a low-fat side like apple slices or side-salad with low-fat dressing.

What to avoid at McDonald’s (if you want to lose weight)

 McDonald’s unfortunately has a rather long avoid list, so below we’ve listed the worst offenders.

In general, watch out for anything:

  • ‘Doubled’ (think extra buns or patties)
  • Fried
  • Supersized

Also beware of McDonald’s wraps. While these might seem like a healthy alternative to burgers and fries, most clock in at over 500 calories.

1. Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese

Calories: 740
Fat: 42 g
Saturated fat: 19 g
Trans fat:2.5 g
Carbs: 43 g

2. Bacon Clubhouse Burger

Calories: 720
Fat: 38 g
Saturated fat: 15 g
Trans fat: 1.5 g
Carbs: 52 g

3. Premium Crispy Chicken Bacon Clubhouse

Calories: 750
Fat: 38 g
Saturated fat: 10 g
Trans fat: 0.5 g
Carbs: 65 g

4. Premium McWrap Chicken and Bacon (crispy)

Calories: 640
Fat: 32 g
Saturated fat: 9 g
Trans fat: 0.5 g
Carbs: 56 g

5. Large Chocolate Shake

Calories: 850
Fat: 23 g
Saturated fat: 15 g
Trans fat: 1 g
Carbs: 141 g