Looking for something sweet and healthy on the McDonald’s menu?
McDonald's Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait contains just 150 calories.
McDonald’s isn’t exactly well known for its healthy options. There definitely are some – certain snack wraps contain less than 300 calories and the salads (with light dressing) are a smart way to go. But what about the desserts? Nobody is going to argue that the desserts on the McDonald’s menu are good for you (they’re not exactly brimming with fresh vegetables). Here are the five “healthiest” desserts on the McDonald’s menu, from a calorie standpoint. And we’d advise against ordering a milkshake if you’re watching your waistline; a small vanilla shake, the “healthiest” shake offering, contains 530 calories.
#5 Baked Hot Apple Pie
Fat: 13 grams
Sugar: 13 grams
Saturated Fat: 7 grams
#4 Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream Come
Fat: 4.5 grams
Sugar: 20 grams
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
#3 Chocolate Chip Cookie
Fat: 8 grams
Sugar: 15 grams
Saturated Fat: 3.5 grams
#2 Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
Fat: 6 grams
Sugar: 13 grams
Saturated Fat: 2.5 grams
#1 Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait
Fat: 2 grams
Sugar: 23 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
I tried every single dessert at McDonald's and ranked them from worst to best
As a part of an ongoing mission to eat and review every single item at McDonald's, I recently tried all of the sundaes, cones, cookies, and pies currently available at the fast-food chain.
Here's how I ranked them from worst to best.
Note: Prices are based on my local New York City McDonald's location.
These Are The 11 Healthiest Foods You Can Order At McDonald's
Fast food is sort of a touchy topic. We all know it's not great for us, yet we still crave it every once and a while. Or maybe you're a health freak and you're travelling and in a pinch, it happens to the best of us. Sometimes, fast food is the only option we have, and it's really not going to kill us to eat it every once and a while.
There are a ton of fast food restaurants out there that are super tempting, but let's be real, McDonald's is definitely the most popular. Maybe you're not in a pinch, and are just craving some well, greasy food. There are always healthier options, you just have to look for them! Of course, an option that has 3 burger patties and a ton of mayonnaise on it won't be the healthy option. But most fast food restaurants have a grilled chicken option that is your best bet. McDonald's included.
From breakfast sandwiches to last minute dinners, you can definitely find 'healthier' options at McDonald's. Whether that's asking for no mayonnaise and mustard instead, you can 100% alter your order to your needs. However, if you don't feel like doing all of that extra work, then these 11 healthy options are your best bet.
For Food, click 'NEXT'
No one's french fries compare to McDonald's. And whether you prefer Chicken McNuggets to a Big Mac, those aren't the healthiest options on the menu. There are still a ton of tasty items on the menu that are healthy and won't make you feel like you're missing out on the deliciousness that is McDonald's. If your favourite fast food restaurant is McDonald's but you haven't had it in a while because you feel like you're cheating on your diet, these 4 items will make you think otherwise!
Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap
The Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap can be made with either ranch or chipotle. Chipotle is the healthier option, and if you're really watching your calories, you could ask for it without cheese. It comes with grilled chicken wrapped in a tortilla, chipotle BBQ sauce, lettuce, and shredded cheese. This option is delicious and a light meal if that's what you're looking for!
Calories: 240 calories
Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich
This delicious grilled chicken sandwich is probably your healthiest sandwich option. On the sandwich is also tomato, lettuce, and a vinaigrette dressing. If everyone else around you is eating a burger and you want something similar, try the Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich. You won't regret it, and the flavours are amazing. You won't even believe it's the healthiest option!
Egg White Delight McMuffin
If you're somebody who likes to eat foods with the least amount of ingredients, or likes to know all the ingredients in your food, the Egg While Delight McMuffin is your best bet. On an english muffin, you get Canadian bacon, egg white and white cheddar. If you're trying to be healthier, you could ask for no cheese at all. Simple and delicious breakfast!
Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad
If you have a gluten allergy or just prefer to not eat as many carbs, this salad is perfect for you. It's grilled chicken on a bed of greens, black beans, roasted corn, strips of tortilla chips, and carrots. This is definitely the healthiest option at McDonald's, however, the dressing alone can ruin that. If you're calorie conscious, I would skip the dressing all together or just ask if they have oil/vinegar mix.
Calories: 350 (with the dressing)
For Dessert, click 'NEXT'
Let's be real, no dessert is 'healthy' unless your favourite dessert is fruit. And let's be more real, unless you ask for apple slices at McDonald's, you need to be prepared for the selection of desserts they have. Not a ton are necessarily healthy, so these desserts are based off of lower calorie options or the lightest options. If you need dessert after dinner, here are the best options for you!
Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait
McDonald's Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait is a light option, which can either be eaten for breakfast or dessert. It has low-fat yogurt, granola, strawberries and blueberries. Although low-fat yogurt is actually not as good for you as full-fat yogurt, when you're in a pinch or just craving something sweet on the go, this is a good option!
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
You either love raisins or you hate them. If you love raisins, then you'll love this cookie. It's definitely a healthier option compared to the muffins, but it's still a treat. This is also great if you have a sweet tooth but don't want to overdo it.
Baked Hot Apple Pie
If you love baked goods, you'll love this Baked Hot Apple Pie. I've only ever heard good things about it, so it must be delicious. It's a great dessert option as well, with only 12 grams of sugar which isn't too bad. With the cinnamon mixed in with the flaky crust, it tastes just like a homemade pie.
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Who doesn't love chocolate chip cookies? I know I do. This option is probably the most popular besides the ice cream cones, but those machines are always broken anyways. This is definitely a sweet treat and will get rid of all your cravings. There is something about chocolate chip cookies that everyone loves, and McDonald's does them right.
For Drinks, click 'NEXT'
Since McDonald's made itself into McCafé as well, spots like Starbucks and Tim Hortons have been shook. From lattes to smoothies, McDonald's really does have it all now. However, just like with any other coffee shop, the calories can add up. Smoothies that are advertised as healthy aren't exactly, because there is no protein or real fruit inside. But there are other options that are way healthier, and taste just as good!
Skim Milk Latte
This latte is made with espresso and skim milk, which is the healthiest milk option at McDonald's. The milk is steamed and frothed, and you can even add syrup like vanilla or caramel to add to the flavour, but that's extra calories if you do. This option also has 11 grams of protein, which is really good for a cup of coffee!
If you're really trying to cut back on calories, an americano is definitely your best option at McDonald's. Not only is it the healthiest drink option, but it's only mixed with water. There are no creams, milks or sugars added in so you skip the added calories. Plus, if you like your coffee strong, try this one out!
Premium Roast Brewed Iced Coffee
You can either get this with 2% milk or cream, and I'm sure you could also ask for it black to get rid of the calories. There is sugar in the coffee, however, the calories are still good enough that they won't ruin your day. If you love adding flavour to your coffee, you can also add vanilla or caramel as well.
Premium Roast Brewed Coffee
Same, but different. The drink options are Starbucks all have added sugars, milks, or creams and that's definitely not the healthiest. Realistically, a hot or iced coffee will do and you don't need it blended with a bunch of added sugars. McDonald's coffee is actually amazing, and you can then add whatever milks or sugars you want in it!
Courtesy of McDonald's
Did you know that "folded egg" you find in many Mickey D sandwiches isn't made of just egg? In fact, it's a blend of eggs, milk, modified food starch, salt, and citric acid. If that doesn't creep you out, maybe the fact that this sandwich has half your day's worth of fat, saturated fat, and sodium and a third of your recommended intake of added sugars will.
Close your eyes and imagine sitting at a Parisian patisserie. What are you eating? It's a macaron, isn't it? It's a macaron. Don't be ashamed. In fact, according to Eater, "It's a cliché to go to Paris and eat pink- and green- and chocolate-colored macarons, and you should do exactly that without an ounce of shame." And what better way to enjoy macarons in Paris than on the cheap? If you hit up the Champs-Elysées location of McDonald's, you can enjoy this iconic French treat.
If you're thinking this sounds too good to be true, well, you might be surprised. In June 2018, Delishably decided to do a blind taste test between the macarons offered at the Paris McDonald's and at Ladurée — the reputed best maker of macarons in the City of Light. So, what was the verdict after the Delishably team compared chocolate, pistachio and caramel macarons from each vendor?
It was technically a tie. But if push came to shove, Delishably said they'd "splurge at Ladurée for the delicate texture and their selection of flavors" — but for a "quick and dirty macaron fix," Mickey D's it is!
The Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwich
After trying the regular Crispy Chicken, I wasn’t too excited to try the deluxe version of it. But I’d already bought it, so what was the harm, right?
It looked a bit messy and falling apart. Granted, that probably happened on the car ride home, but still.
I peeled the top off to see that it had the pickles that the regular one had, a smattering of lettuce, two tomato slices, and that mayo that’s on the McChicken Sandwich.
All in all, it didn’t look like the most appetizing thing.
Yeah, surprisingly, it was. I’d even go so far as to say it was marginally better than the regular.
The sauce did add back some of that missing moisture that was lacking from the regular sandwich, but honestly, it kinda made it taste like a McChicken.
Maybe that’s why I liked it, I don’t really know. But my final verdict is if you’re going to get any of the new sandwiches, this one’s your best bet.
High in calories
Total calories amount to an average of 1,670 in a regular McDonald’s menu meal, which includes a burger, large fries, coke, and a dessert. According to the USDA’s (US Department of Agriculture) dietary guidelines, a female aged 14 with a sedentary lifestyle requires a daily minimum of 1,800 calories, and a female with an active lifestyle requires a minimum of 2,400 calories daily. A male aged 14 with a sedentary lifestyle requires a daily minimum of 2,000𠄲,400 calories. A male with an active lifestyle requires a minimum of 2,800𠄳,200 calories daily. Just one McDonald’s meal provides 92% of the calorie requirement for a female aged 14 with a sedentary lifestyle.
Due to increasing pressure, McDonald’s has been focusing on introducing healthier items, such as salads and wraps, to its menus. It’s also dedicated a page to menu items with less than 400 calories. A healthy option consisting of a salad, medium fries, diet coke, and a dessert adds up to 860 calories.
As it stands, McDonald’s hasn’t been very successful at attracting customers with these healthier items. Its reputation as a purveyor of fare that’s synonymous with junk food is proving hard to shake.
This post is an update of posts by Samantha Nielson and Adam Jones for Market Realist.
9. Healthy Apple Crumb Bars
Sometimes you want a good ol’ piece of apple crumble, but sometimes you’re also lazy and don’t want to eat a crumble by yourself. Enter, healthy apple crumble bars: a cross between oatmeal bars and apple crumb. As a bonus they’re made with almond butter and maple syrup instead of butter and sugar!
How to Eat Healthy at: McDonald’s
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 red. Red 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 red, only have one serving, as eating a lot of red foods can cause you to go over-budget. (But keep in mind, red 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.
What to eat:
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
There are a few loose guidelines that you can follow to always make the healthiest choices in a pinch. Choose white meat over red, grilled over fried, and skip the oily sides. A grilled chicken sandwich is always a safe bet and this one is no different. It has 360 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 32 grams of protein, which should keep your stomach from grumbling before dinnertime.
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. With 400 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 31 grams of protein, 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.
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). Clocking in at 430 calories, 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:
McDonald’s unfortunately has a rather long avoid list, so below we’ve listed the worst offenders. In general, watch out for anything that’s ‘doubled’ (think extra buns or patties), has lots of additives (like bacon, cheese, or dressing), is fried, or is in someway 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.
Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese
Fat: 42 g
Saturated fat: 19 g
Trans fat:2.5 g
Carbs: 43 g
Bacon Clubhouse Burger
Fat: 38 g
Saturated fat: 15 g
Trans fat: 1.5 g
Carbs: 52 g
Premium Crispy Chicken Bacon Clubhouse
Fat: 38 g
Saturated fat: 10 g
Trans fat: 0.5 g
Carbs: 65 g
Premium McWrap Chicken and Bacon (crispy)
Fat: 32 g
Saturated fat: 9 g
Trans fat: 0.5 g
Carbs: 56 g
Large Chocolate Shake
Fat: 23 g
Saturated fat: 15 g
Trans fat: 1 g
Carbs: 141 g
The Weirdest Food on the Chinese McDonald’s Menu
In 1990, China’s first McDonald’s opened its doors. Almost two decades later, McDonald’s is a household name and a Chinese fast food favorite. In every airport, mall, and city block, you can find the iconic golden arches. In fact, outside the United States, China is McDonald’s largest market.
While the golden arches are a nod to the familiar, eating at a Chinese McDonald’s is a unique experience.
The interior, for one, is nothing short of an overwhelming, sensory stimulation experience. Despite the location and time of day, I have never been to a quiet Chinese McDonald’s.
People use McDonald’s to study, grab a snack/meal, and occasionally a location for a quick date.
But it’s the menu that makes it memorable.
Yes, you can grab the McDonald’s classics: a big mac, coke, and fries. But since I’m in China, I’d rather give you my take on the weirdest menu items (that you can only get here).
My China McDonald’s Dinner
1. Pineapple Pie
The pineapple pie is one of my favorite items on the menu by far. The pie has a deep-fried, flaky crust with a gooey fruit filling. Admittedly, there are very few bits of ‘pineapple’ in the filling but the flavor is still on point.
Unlike its baked American counterpart, its fried crispy crust makes it stand apart and super delish (who doesn’t like fried food).
My Score: Delish
2. Taro Pie
I have been ordering this purple goo-filled pie since I first came to China five years ago. It’s the perfect combination of Taro chunks and filling- giving you both the flavor you want and the sugary goodness you deserve.
Taro can be pretty heavy in a dessert considering its a starchy root vegetable. However, the pie crust balances out the starch in this pie perfectly.
I would definitely recommend this pie to anyone passing through a McDonalds in China.
My Score: YUM!
3. Red Bean Bubble Tea
I was pleasantly surprised by this drink. I was expecting the same nauseating sweetness of drinks at the typical bubble tea shop (zero balance in the sugar level, ice amount, etc).
Instead, McDonald’s Red Bean Bubble Tea was not as sweet as I expected. I ordered it warm, per Chinese standard, and received a drink with a decent balance of milk and tea.
The tapioca pearls (bubbles) were cooked perfectly and so were the red beans at the bottom of the drink.
I didn’t like the combination of both red beans and bubbles. The constant surprise of which one would fly up my straw was disconcerting.
My Score: Meh!
4. Sichuan Double Chicken Burger
My favorite new addition to the McDonald’s China menu, the Sichuan burger tops my list of must-eats. The infamous Szechuan sauce is the feature of this burger.
The sandwich has two breaded chicken patties, lettuce, and sauce on what appears to be a brioche bun. It is simple enough to be a go-to order but packs enough flavor that I haven’t tired of it yet.
My Score: YUM!
5. Corn Cup
This item is exactly what it sounds like – a cup of corn. It tastes no different from a drained can of corn fresh out of the microwave.
It still retains some crunch surprisingly, but I would never order it again.
My Score: Hard Pass.
6. Chicken Patty with Rice
What better way to make McDonald’s Chinese than to put rice on the menu.
This dish is reminiscent of the to-go meals you would get during a Chinese travel tour. I expected the chicken to be on a bed of cabbage for a heartier meal, but it was on a bed of shredded lettuce. Little bits of pickled vegetables were between the chicken and lettuce adding to the ready-to-eat meal flavor palate. I’m also certain it is the same fillet that is in the grilled chicken sandwich.
I don’t dislike it, but it’s too expensive for such a common meal.
My Score: Delish