Some items are MUCH healthier than others
The Egg White Delight contains just 250 calories.
The McDonald’s menu is full of items both healthy and unhealthy, and nowhere is that disparity more glaringly obvious than their breakfast menu. Everyone looks for something different for their first meal of the day, and whether it’s a fruit parfait or a big plate of pancakes and eggs, McDonald’s delivers. But don’t think for one minute that just because it’s breakfast doesn’t mean it’s not that bad for you. Thankfully, there are some options that won’t set you off on the wrong foot, nutritionally. Here are the six healthiest breakfast options, calorically, on the McDonald’s menu.
Fat: 9 grams
Sodium: 590 milligrams
#5 Sausage Burrito
Fat: 16 grams
Sodium: 790 milligrams
#4 Egg McMuffin
Fat: 13 grams
Sodium: 750 milligrams
#3 Fruit & Maple Oatmeal
Fat: 4 grams
Sodium: 160 milligrams
#2 Egg White Delight
Fat: 8 grams
Sodium: 770 milligrams
#1 Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait
Fat: 2 grams
Sodium: 70 milligrams
7 Healthiest McDonald's Orders, According to a Dietitian
Is it possible to eat healthy at McDonald's? While there are quite a few meals on the McDonald's menu that pack in enough calories, fat, and carbs for the entire day, there are also some healthy McDonald's orders on the menu to pay attention to. These healthy McDonald's orders will still make you feel full while also achieving your overall health and weight loss goals. It just takes looking at the menu from a different perspective, particularly from a registered dietitian.
We asked Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, and author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook, to choose a few healthy McDonald's orders that you can snag during your next trip to the golden arches. So make sure to bookmark this list for later, and if you're looking for even more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
The 10 Healthiest McDonald's Menu Items, According To A Dietitian
Look, you know McDonald's isn't exactly the destination for quick, nutritious eats. But whether you're craving drive-thru food or stuck hangry on the road with few snack options, sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do.
That said, if you're trying to keep it healthy, certain menu picks are certainly better than others.
Some of the major issues with McDonald's famous fast eats? Loads of saturated fats and added sugars, which are linked to heart disease and inflammation, respectively, says dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It.
In addition to those two undesirable factors, most menu items are also packed with an exorbitant amount of salt. &ldquoThe sodium in some of these menu items is crazy,&rdquo Taub-Dix says.
If consumed in excess (anything more than the American Heart Association's recommended 1,500 milligrams a day), sodium can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and a slew of other serious conditions. Considering the average American consumes twice the recommended amount of sodium daily (according to the AHA), ordering McNuggets, fries, and a McFlurry to keep you from getting cranky on your next road trip suddenly doesn't seem like such a great idea.
Luckily, not all of the McDonald's menu nutrition is quite as ominous. In fact, McD's has quite a few lesser evils you can choose from. Here, Taub-Dix shares the 10 best eats to pick from the next time you find yourself at the drive-thru.
The first thing to meet my teeth and taste buds, naturally, was the bagel. The bagel had some substance but wasn't too thick.
Between the two halves of the plain bagel was a sausage patty, folded egg, two slices of cheese, and something that McDonald's calls "breakfast sauce." The sauce helped add moisture, but I could not isolate the flavors of it from the rest of the sandwich.
I think this would be a good option for someone looking for something more filling than a biscuit or McMuffin.
Courtesy of McDonald's
"If you feel that you're low on energy and McDonald's is your only bet, try getting the fruit and maple oatmeal—just skip the calorie-laden brown sugar, cream, raisins, and Craisins," says Jim White RD, ACSM HFS, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios. "This will most likely curb your appetite until your next meal because the carbohydrates will take longer to digest than your typical high-sugar donut or pastry."
Below are the items available at McDonald’s which a diabetic can eat for breakfast:
Egg McMuffin and Latte:
The old and faithful breakfast option for diabetics at McDonald’s is Egg McMuffin paired with a milky coffee.
This combo is a quenching and energy-boosting meal to start your day with.
The Egg McMuffin is made from a freshly cracked egg on a toasted English muffin. Topping is done with real butter, lean Canadian bacon, and melted American cheese.
Options are available for you to go for non-fat or whole milk latte. The American Diabetes Association recommends low or non-fat for people with diabetes while some research supports the idea that full-fat dairy intake lowers the risk of diabetes and healthier blood lipid levels.
According to the official website of McDonald’s this healthy breakfast provides you with 300 calories, 17 g protein, 12 g fats, and only 30 g carbohydrates.
The latte accounts for 160 calories and only 13 g carbs. Whichever option among two (non-fat or whole milk) you choose, the latte satisfies 25% of your daily calcium need.
The Egg McMuffin and Latte Combo for breakfast provide you with all the energy you need to fuel up your day. Besides, it keeps your carbohydrate level at a bay.
Fruit n’ Yogurt Parfait with English Muffin and Latte:
If you want to order something even lighter, McDonald’s has got options for diabetics. It’s a Fruit n’ Yogurt Parfait with English muffin and latte.
Fruit n’ yogurt parfait is low-fat vanilla yogurt, with layers of plump blueberries and sweet strawberries with crunchy granola topping.
You can add an English muffin and a small coffee to boost your energy levels. The options for whole milk or non-fat coffee holds the same.
This mouth-watering, nutritious and diabetic friendly breakfast accounts for only 210 calories with 3 g fats, 6 g proteins, and only 40 g carbohydrates.
You cannot have any better option than this if you want to stop at a fast-food restaurant to get your diabetic friendly breakfast.
Fruit and Brown Sugar Oatmeal:
Another hit option available for diabetics to order at McDonald’s for breakfast is their fruit and brown sugar oatmeal.
It is relatively rich carb food than the previously listed items but the effect of high carb count can overcome by following an active daily routine.
The fruit and maple oatmeal is a delicious start to the day with two full servings of whole-grain oats and a touch of cream.
It’s laden with red and green apples, cranberries and two varieties of raisins for an energetic, wholesome breakfast of whole-grain oatmeal and fruit.
You can have your oatmeal just how you like it, with or without brown sugar.
This hearty breakfast adds up to 310 calories with 4 g fats, 6 g proteins and, 62 g carbohydrates.
The carb intake slightly overcome the recommended daily average but it can be adjusted by skipping out on calorie adding additives like brown sugar, cream or raisins.
Another effective way to adjust the carb numbers is to follow a vigorous day routine.
A diabetic can eat these healthy low carb food for breakfast at McDonald’s. In addition, some easy transformations to the McDonald’s food can help you to avoid glucose spike and limit your carb count.
Some of them are listed below:
- Take unsweetened tea or black coffee
- Replace the soft drinks with plain water
- Hold the mayonnaise dressing
- Hold on the cheese
- Order fruit n’ yogurt parfait instead of Sundae
- Enjoy apple dippers as a snack rather than ordering fries
The 7 Best Foods To Order At Denny's, According To Nutritionists
Denny&rsquos is celebrated for two things: Its endless selection of breakfast comfort food and its iconic Twitter account (seriously&mdashtheir social media manager is due for a raise, like, yesterday).
The famous Denny's Grand Slam, which allows diners to pick four items off a list that includes everything from pancakes to bacon to grits, can be a real gut bomb. But the chain recently branched out to offer healthier menu options, too.
These Denny's menu items are all R.D.-approved&mdashand yes, there's even a health-ified version of the Slam, in case you were concerned.
"As a dietitian who does not track calories, and eats food that honors my taste buds and what my body really wants, I typically have a larger appetite during the morning. For me, this breakfast of two whole fried eggs, two pieces of wheat toast, yogurt, and seasonal fruit offers some staying power thanks to its combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. I like that it&rsquos savory and sweet." &mdashJill Clodfelter-Mason, R.D.N.
Per serving: 585 cal, 23.5 g fat (5.5 g sat), 75 g carbs, 39 g sugar, 623 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 20 g protein
"It&rsquos loaded with protein, healthy monounsaturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a good dose of fiber. When eating out, your sodium intake will be higher, so compensate at home with lower-sodium foods like fresh fruit and salads." &mdashRosanne Rust, R.D.N.
Per serving: 520 cal, 15 g fat (4 g sat), 52 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 330 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 39 g protein.
"This dish is almost half of the calories of their less-than-light loaded omelettes and you can cut calories even further by ditching the cheese since the eggs provide a more than adequate source of protein. As ordered, without any modifications, this dish weighs in at 480 calories, which makes a hearty breakfast or a well-rounded lunch or dinner." &mdashBonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read it Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table.
Per serving: 480 cal, 14 g fat (9 g sat), 58 g carbs, 24 g sugar, 650 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 33 g protein.
"My go-to? The Fit Slam, adjusting for whole eggs over egg whites (Mother Nature cries when we throw out the yolk it&rsquos loaded with crucial vitamins and minerals) and I ask for their gluten-free English muffin. This meal is high in protein so it helps reduce cravings later in the day and supports steady blood sugar control." &mdashKelly Schmidt, R.D
Per serving: 420 cal, 11 g fat (2.5 g sat), 56 g carbs, 21 g sugar, 850 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 27 g protein.
"I enjoy its taste and nutrition. Eggs are a great high-quality protein source and full of important nutrients and have excellent satiety value." &mdashJanice Baker, R.D.N.
Per serving: 370 cal, 16 g fat (3 g sat), 40 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 1230 mg sodium, 7 g fiber, 21 g protein
"Practice menu creativity by picking and choosing from soups and sides. As an example, order a bowl of vegetable soup, a side salad with dressing on the side, and seasonal fresh fruit. That makes for a healthy lunch or light dinner." &mdashHope Warshaw, R.D., author of Eat Out, Eat Well: The Guide to Eating Healthy at Any Restaurant
Per soup cup: 200 cal, 11 g fat (2 g sat), 27 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 2280 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 11 g protein.
Per seasonal fruit serving: 110 cal, 11 g fat (2 g sat), 27 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 5 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein.
Per garden salad serving: 170 cal, 9 g fat (4.5 g sat), 16 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 330 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 8 g protein.
"I like the salad range. The main thing is to educate customers about portion sizes, so get a half. This salad contains fats from a good source of avocado as well as fiber." &mdashAstrid Naranjo, R.D.N.
Per 1/2 serving: 430 cal, 31.5 g fat (7.5 g sat), 17 g carbs, 13 g sugar, 950 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 21.5 g protein
Egg White Delight McMuffin, $3, McDonald’s
While the original Egg McMuffin has 300 calories, this version has 250 calories thanks to the substitution of egg whites, extra lean Canadian Bacon and a whole grain English muffin. The white cheddar cheese (instead of American cheese) makes this option feel a bit more indulgent, too. Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, told TODAY that if you plan on eating this every day, skip the Canadian bacon. But in general, she noted it has a good balance of protein and carbs. Since most McDonald's locations are no longer offering all-day breakfast, you'll have to head out early to pick up one of these tasty delights.
Little golden tablets that follow the most important fast-food commandment: If It Be Potato, Thou Shall Fry It. The hash brown is essentially perfection — but don't make a meal out of them, as tempting as it may be. The only reason they're filling is that they consist entirely of starch and grease. Order them as a side, not a meal unto themselves.
Somehow … delicious. To be fair, these scream of nostalgia for me — a McDonald's pancake breakfast was my mom's blatant attempt of bribing me to risk drowning every morning for summer swimming lessons. Yes, McDonald's may or may not have been the reason I learned how to swim.
Regardless, these are surprisingly fluffier than I remember, and they soak up the fake syrup remarkably well (which is a travesty, but necessary, because who carries around single servings of real maple syrup). Gone are the squealing Styrofoam boxes of '90s yore, replaced with a more recycling conscious paper, but they don't seem to have changed much. A forkful of syrup-logged hotcake and sausage patty is basically the closest one can get to the McGriddle. Still, it's an egregious amount of sugar.