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. suzie says:

    If you want to promote good eating at Mickey D’s why in the world didn’t you put a picture of the salad or the breakfast sandwich, 99% of the obese people on earth eat with their eyes before their tastebuds and showing the fries compounds and emphasises what we really want to eat the McDonalds…..

  2. liz says:

    anyone who chooses to eat at McDonalds or any other fast food restaurant should not be worried about what anyone else chooses to drink. Maybe the phosphoric acid will claen some of the plaque out of your arteries. Diabetics and others with health issues can eat McDonalds and maybe they want to avoid sugar in mass quantity. MYOB and let people eat as they please. Monitor your child's food intake not mine! P.S. I eat there all the time and weigh 112 lbs.

  3. Terry says:

    It's even better at McD's if you have the egg mcmuffin or the cheeseburger, WITHOUT cheese. Also, any sandwich that has mayo, tell them to hold it, makes a big difference. Thanks.

  4. Beccy says:

    You havent eaten there in years but, you did eat there, now that you know better no one should eat there ? are you the only one who should have had the experience ?

  5. Beccy says:

    Eat anywhere you want, just be aware of what you are eating and how much of it. Enjoy !

  6. Cat Johnston says:

    When I find myself ordering fast-food I usually hold the mayo and the cheese. But I know most burgers are quite dry without them, so I order extra veggies (tomatoes, pickles, whatever). I was delighted to find that this makes my burgers quite nice! Just a thought!

  7. harriet says:

    I love the asian and the southwest salad but I like the dressings they regularly serve with them. How good or bad are they? The fillet of fish, how bad is that one?

  8. Bev says:

    These tips are very helpful. As far as the diet colas, there are people such as myself that need to watch their sugar intake. Obviously, people with negative comments about this are speaking out of turn as they haven’t been faced with such an issue. Sometimes it is better to take care of yourself and not comment on others as you never know their reasons for doing what they do. As for milk,I have never liked milk.

  9. Frances says:

    The best question regarding drinks is, "what's wrong with water?". No calories, no money, really good for you. Drinking water instead of soft drinks is like everything else good for you… takes getting used to. Once you get past the cola addiction, water tastes great.

  10. joinme says:

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