Order This, Not That: McDonald’s

by in Dining Out, February 26, 2009

Mickey D’s has been talking up their healthier menu items, but what do the nutrition facts have to say? Here’s what to order — and what to avoid — next time you have to stop at the “golden arches.” (And, no, fries don’t make the good list.)

ORDER: 300 calories or less
For breakfast, a good old Egg McMuffin will keep the meal at 300 calories — a better choice than many other breakfast offerings. When it comes to burgers, keep it small. Order a cheeseburger (300 calories and 12 grams of fat) and add a side salad instead of fries.

For entrée salads, go for the Premium Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken (300 calories and 10 grams of fat). Top it with one of the low-fat salad dressing options but only use half of the packer — the low- fat dressings have 50% more sodium than the regular ones.

You might also try a Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap as a meal — at 260 calories and 9 grams of fat, it’s too much for a “snack.” Mini burgers are popping up on menus in some parts of the country -– we’ll have to wait and see what the nutrition info is on those little guys when they debut closer to home.

For something sweet, choose a small portion of reduced-fat vanilla ice cream (don’t be shy, ask for a kiddie size) or a fruit and yogurt parfait.

NOT: Nothing “DELUXE,” “LARGE,” “DOUBLE” or that ends in “FLURRY”
Deluxe Breakfast entrees have more than 1000 calories, 60 grams of fat and a days worth of sodium. The McSkillet Burrito weighs in at 600 calories and over 30 grams of fat — not an ideal way to start your day!

A large fries has almost half a day’s allowance of fat. Have those fries with a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese and you’ll be adding 740 calories — that’s 200 more calories than a Big Mac.

McFlurry ice cream desserts fall in the 500 to 600 calorie range. Guess how many calories are in the Triple Thick Shakes? A lot.

To look up those shakes and all the other McDonald’s menu items, visit their website.

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Comments (25)

  1. Lily L. says:

    That is pretty awesome. I always have a tough time with fast food. I try to avoid them but then sometimes I give in and end up over indulging. Thx for the tips will keep them in mind next time a craving comes.

  2. Lee D. says:

    Yesterday, I had 2 Sausage/Cheese McMuffins with mustard for breakfast. Nothing for lunch. 2 McDouble Cheeseburgers for snack on my way home. And for supper I had a Big Mac with no lettuce and a 10 piece McNugget with BBQ sauce and Hot Mustard. I must admit… yesterday was a McReffic Day!!!

  3. Carol Lyn says:

    A great meal for me at McDonalds is a side salad with Newman’s low fat Italian (it’s delicious) and a yogurt parfait. I splurge with a large sweet iced tea. All of this for $3.00.

  4. Jen says:

    I can never understand the "salad and large (diet) drink" order…. doesn't that defeat the purpose?

    I have had my fair share of fast food, but have since learned to stay away from it all. No matter how enticing or fast or cheap it may be… there is always a better alternative.

  5. Ron Stone says:

    Gosh Lee D., I’m a guessin’ your a big ole boy! Enjoy what time you have left!

  6. Mary B says:

    You can have a side salad with a low-cal dressing and a small hamburger and a parfait and a small diet coke. That is a good meal.

  7. Karen says:

    I have not eaten at a McDonald’s in years. Just the smell of the food makes me ill. Wonder why American’s are obese? Too much Mickey D’s and other fast food crap.

  8. Kathy F says:

    I love the iced coffee. How many calories are in a large iced coffee using the sugar free syrup? How many fat grams? Why can’t this be made with 1% milk instead of the cream?

  9. Alisa says:

    The large “diet” drink has to do with the fact that many of us can only drink diet– it’s not an option for many to have all that sugar. And although I no longer “have” to watch my diet– I simply can’t stand the flavor of regular soda. Drinking diet lets me have the soda I want, and let’s me put otherwise wasted calories to good use!!!

  10. Linda says:

    You people who think it’s wise to have a diet anything esp. coke are sadly mistaken. All soda has phosphoric acid and it takes calcium from your bones. Did you know that? They say diet coke is the worst so go for the OJ or milk, but OJ is better as milk if not organic has growth hormones at fast food restaurants. IN CA an exception is Trader Joe’s brand and Alta Dena.

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