Healthy and Low Calorie Options at McDonald’s

As much as I love Big Macs and Quarter Pounders sans the cheese, I’ve been staying away from McDonald’s for the past several years because, well, I love Big Macs and Quarter Pounders sans the cheese.  It was far easier to just avoid McDonalds than to go in on a regular basis.  I have gone there on occasion, but was fairly laser focused on my order.  I didn’t think to check the menu since I knew what I wanted.

What I didn’t know is that McDonald’s has added several healthy and low calorie (and quite frankly delicious) menu items.  I was lucky enough to find this out at an event hosted by the McDonald’s Owner/Operators of Chicagoland andNorthwest Indiana.

Quality Ingredients
A nutritionist shared information about McDonald’s healthy items and an overall commitment to quality.  I had previously visited McDonald’s corporate kitchen in the burbs where I learned that only grade A eggs (real ones, not powered or processed liquid eggs) were used for egg McMuffins and other breakfast items featuring eggs.  I was impressed to learn that McDonald’s uses only major, quality brands and local providers for all of their ingredients including Kraft, Tyosn, Dannon, Minute Maid, Quaker, Sargento and Newman’s Own.

Yummy Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal
We were all able to try McDonald’s new Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal, made with fresh blueberries.  The nuts were on the side so I skipped those. The oatmeal was SOOO delicious.  It had a hit of banana flavor.  At only 290 calories per serving, it’s a good breakfast choice because the fiber is filling, BUT I would add more protein, like eggs on the side since I’m trying to eat more protein in the AM.


Have it Your Way
Did you know that you can order your burger/sandwich on a whole wheat bun? Neither did I! I also didn’t know that you could order a side of non candied walnuts with apple slices (at no charge) or a small container of blueberries (there is a charge for these.)


You Know What Would be Really Cool?
Since knowledge is power, it would be really fantastic if McDonald’s offered healthy options as people are ordering.  Remember how McDonald’s cashiers used to ask asked if you wanted to “super size it?”  Well, we know the training mechanism is there to put a suggestive order in place.  I would imagine that some regions would take to this more than others, but how cool would it be if Mcdonald’s was actually turning people on to healthy items! Truth be told, I had never tried blueberries – I know, nuts!! And I’m a pretty healthy gal.  I tried them at the event and now have a huge container in my fridge I liked them so much!


Hope’s Picks
Here are a few of my favorite low calorie and healthy options at McDonald’s Breakfast.  There are MANY more healthy and low calorie options; these are just a list of my favorites.  Check out the full list at McDonald’s website

(please excuse formatting.  wordpress is not my friend this am.)

Egg McMuffin

Calories                300
Total Fat              12g
Carbs                    30g
Protein                 18g
Sodium                 820mg  ( this is a lot of sodium, for those of you watching sodium)

NOTE:  I’m a bigger fan of the Sausage McMuffin with egg, but it’s all about choices.  Add the sausage and there are 150 more calories, 13 more grams of fat and 100 more mg of sodium.


Sausage Burritto

Calories                300
Total Fat              16g
Carbs                    26g
Protein                 12g
Sodium                 830mg

NOTE:  The sausage burrito is a great alternative to the Sausage McMuffin with egg. You still get the combo of eggs and sausage, but there are less calories and grams of fat.


Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal

Calories                290
Total Fat              8g
Carbs                     49g
Protein                 6g
Sodium                 180mg (MUCH better with the sodium)


Fruit and Walnut Salad

Calories                210
Total Fat              8g
Carbs                     31g
Protein                 4g
Sodium                 60mg

NOTE:   Save calories and sugar by replacing the candied walnuts with regular ones (you need to request this when ordering)


Lunch / Dinner



Calories                300
Total Fat              12g
Carbs                     33g
Protein                 15g
Sodium                 720mg


Grilled Chicken

Calories                 380
Total Fat               10g
Carbs                      42g
Protein                  31g
Sodium                 1000mg



Calories                 380
Total Fat               18g
Carbs                     39g
Protein                 16g
Sodium                 610mg


Honey Mustard Snack Wrap

Calories                330
Total Fat               15g
Carbs                     33g
Protein                 14g
Sodium                 700mg


Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken

Calories                 190
Total Fat               5g
Carbs                      10
Protein                  27g
Sodium                  580mg

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One Response to “Healthy and Low Calorie Options at McDonald’s”

  1. I LOVE the bacon and ranch salad with grilled chicken!And the oatmeal is YUMMY! My oldest loves the fruit and walnut salad as well.