New Under 400-Calorie Menu at McDonald's


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  82 comments   :  36,399 Views

McDonald's has a new online promotion to highlight both its sponsorship of the US Olympic team and its under-400 menu options. Win When USA Wins Gold Olympic promotion. This interactive quiz feature lets you learn more about the healthier options at McDonald's.
Do you know how many servings of whole grain are contained in the Fruit & Maple Oatmeal? How about how many grams of protein are in the Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich? You can learn that and more from the new highlighted information. Not everything on the under-400 calorie favorites list are good options -- and most contain a very high amount of sodium. Here are some of the better choices from the new list.  

Egg McMuffin
Calories – 300
Fat – 12 grams
Sodium – 820 mg
Carbohydrate – 30 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 18 grams
Fruit & Maple Oatmeal
Calories – 290
Fat – 4.5 grams
Sodium – 160 mg
Carbohydrate – 57 grams
Fiber – 5 grams
Protein – 5 grams
Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich
Calories – 350
Fat – 9 grams
Sodium – 820 mg
Carbohydrate – 42 grams
Fiber – 3 grams
Protein – 28 grams
Calories – 250
Fat – 9 grams
Sodium – 490 mg
Carbohydrate – 31 grams
Fiber – 1 gram
Protein – 12 grams
Premium Grilled Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich
Calories – 380
Fat – 10 grams
Sodium – 1000 mg
Carbohydrate – 42 grams
Fiber – 3 grams
Protein – 31 grams
Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken with Newman's Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette
Calories – 230
Fat – 8 grams
Sodium – 1000 mg
Carbohydrate – 13 grams
Fiber – 4 grams
Protein – 27 grams
Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken with Newman's Own creamy Southwest Dressing
Calories – 390
Fat – 14 grams
Sodium – 990 mg
Carbohydrate – 39 grams
Fiber – 7 grams
Protein – 28 grams

Medium Iced Latte Nonfat
Calories – 100
Fat – 6 grams
Sodium – 80 mg
Carbohydrate – 8 grams
Fiber – 0 grams
Protein – 6 grams
Small Regular iced Coffee
Calories – 140
Fat – 5 grams
Sodium – 40 mg
Carbohydrate – 22 grams
Fiber – 0 grams
Protein – 1 gram
Medium Nonfat Latte with Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
Calories – 90
Fat – 0 grams
Sodium – 160 mg
Carbohydrate – 22 grams
Fiber – 0 grams
Protein – 9 grams
Small McCafe Strawberry
Calories – 210
Fat - .5 grams
Sodium – 35 mg
Carbohydrate – 49 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 2 grams
Apple Slices
Calories – 15
Fat – 0 grams
Sodium – 0 grams
Carbohydrate – 4 grams
Fiber – 0 grams
Protein – 0 grams
Snack Size Fruit & Walnuts
Calories – 210
Fat – 8 grams
Sodium – 60 mg
Carbohydrate – 31 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 4 grams
Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait
Calories – 150
Fat – 2 grams
Sodium – 70 mg
Carbohydrate – 30 grams
Fiber – 1 gram
Protein – 4 grams
While McDonald's may not be the best choice, it is a restaurant you can count on finding when traveling or away from home. Which of these foods would you reach for if you were on the go and found yourself at a McDonald's?

Are blog posts about healthier fast food options useful to you?

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  • 32
    I occasionally stop for a hamburger and yogurt parfait if I am in town shopping and want something quick for lunch. It is filling and not too bad calorie-wise. It would be difficult to find something at a local restaurant that would be much better. I don't eat there every day and, if you turn over the place mat on the try and study the options there are a few things that are not all that bad. McD's gets a bad rap, but we are the people making the bad choices. - 7/31/2012   8:16:57 AM
  • 31
    Thanks for the timely info! I only eat out when traveling, and am about to leave on a long road trip. I like to know ahead of time what nutritional values are going to be. Am leery of stopping at non-chain places because the guilt and uncertainty regarding what I am eating makes me anxious. - 7/31/2012   8:15:09 AM
  • 30
    When we travel "through the backwoods" to visit our daughter many of the little towns we pass through contain only a small local restaurant (which often means "homestyle, read high-fat, high-sodium) and a McDonald's. I appreciate the info because we do sometimes have to stop for "fast food" which we would never do when we're at home. - 7/31/2012   7:45:57 AM
  • JMB369
    Helpful for those rare times when we stop for 'fast food." I'm glad Mc D is trying to respond to the need for serving a different kind of food, but I, too, am appalled by the sodium content. Like others, I often look for a local restaurant or diner, or will stop at a super market and pick up sliced deli turkey, sliced swiss cheese, and some fruit or baby carrots-- maybe even a deli roll. There are lots of healthy options at Applebee's, Wendy's or Chili's, BTW. - 7/31/2012   7:32:23 AM
  • 28
    I haven't been to McD in a very long time, but we were away this past weekend and it was convenient, so we stopped for breakfast. I thought I'd get the parfait, but didn't see it on the menu. They did have the new lo-cal options posted and I was pleasantly surprised by the fruit and oatmeal. I didn't check the sugar content and it was sweet but it was lo-cal and filling. - 7/31/2012   7:10:59 AM
  • MRE1956
    "Valiant effort", Micky D - but I'm still a skeptic......guess it's just my aversion to their "burger" - haven't had one of them in literally decades cos' it was just *gross*..... - 7/31/2012   6:07:00 AM
  • FREEIN2013
    NOT healthy eating, any way you look at it! Sodium and sugar content way too high! - 7/31/2012   5:05:34 AM
  • 25
    I didn't vote because although they are INTERESTING, I won't eat fast food, so they aren't 'useful.'

    It's interesting that they'll make little changes, but the basic premise stays the same. Ugly. - 7/30/2012   11:19:04 PM
    "Are blog posts about healthier fast food options useful to you?"

    They are useful because while I would only consider this as a last ditch effort (which is extremely rare and far between), it's good to know what restaurants are doing what. More are trying to offer healthier options and if I'm stuck somewhere, I can get an idea of what I can settle for. But I would question what you would consider as "fast food". Would you mean only those with a drive-thru or also consider sit down restaurants like Applebee's or other chains? - 7/30/2012   4:22:32 PM
  • 23
    That oatmeal is really good. - 7/30/2012   4:00:14 PM
  • 22
    it's good to know this info but for me I'm staying out of Fat food places....and I did mean fat food, it's fast but most is loaded with fat.....and sodium too - 7/30/2012   2:03:51 PM
  • 21
    I always appreciate a way to eat on the go better. I've gotten pretty decent at picking out the best on my own, but it's always nice to have the confirmation that I'm making better choices than I used to. - 7/30/2012   1:50:32 PM
  • 20
    When I go to McDonald's (it's close to school & gives me a break when I'm spending the day in the library studying) I get the Southwest salad with grilled chicken and the Fruit & Yogurt parfait. I save 100 calories on the salad because I don't eat the dressing - I find it doesn't need it. I just squirt the lime wedge over the salad. Yum! - 7/30/2012   1:26:27 PM
  • 19
    I have small children so McDonald's is a must sometimes. I want them to know how to eat fast food responsibly rather than not at all. When we eat at any fast food restaurant, I make sure they have healthier choices for me and my children. Also, fast food is easier in many of them can be the measured portion and the known nutrition content. Everything in moderation. - 7/30/2012   1:13:58 PM
  • 18
    If McDonald's is my only option then I will choose one of these. I appreciate the info and the effort from McDonald's. - 7/30/2012   1:00:03 PM
  • 17
    I have been a fast food addict all of my life and now after some time with SP I've changed my eating (and cooking) habits so much that when I see articles promoting 'healthy' fast food I really get a bad feeling in my stomach.
    I'd avoid it. When talking about travelling abroad... I LIVE abroad, so a little exploration on the local cuisine might surprise you with the fruit & vegetables yummy and low-calorie choices.
    I really really hope I'll never get a single bite of deep-fried caloric bomb ever again! - 7/30/2012   12:54:55 PM
  • 16
    I agree with the others: way too much sodium. For people on a sodium-restricted regimen of 1500 mg per day, a 1000 mg salad is one third of the days total. Just that salad by its self without dressing or other meals. - 7/30/2012   12:49:04 PM
  • 15
    could not help but notice they didn't list the sugar content
    why worry about the sodium and not the sugar
    not on my list of "go tos" - 7/30/2012   12:46:22 PM
  • 14
    I love the oatmeal with fruits and nuts that McDonalds has now! (And I have found packets of pre-measured oats at grocery stores & health food stores to be very similar in quality and convenience, no added sugars, so I can control how much sweetener I use.). I even have the oats for lunch or dinner at times! - 7/30/2012   12:43:31 PM
  • 13
    O_o The sodium content on quite a few of those is scary.

    While I find it generally useful to have more information about fast food nutrition numbers than just a calorie range (what they put on their order board), I still buy as much for flavor and often find these focus too much on "this food wins because it has 2 grams less fat" to really do anything for me.

    My "go to" foods when I eat at McDonald's happen to be a cheeseburger, a side salad (I don't bother with the dressing - love the veggies), and an apple pie. The dieter camp can squawk all they want about the sugar I get in the pie. For me, it's a whole meal that satisfies all my needs. (I drink water with it.) - 7/30/2012   12:18:51 PM
    I am having a hard time finding 400 calories for some of these foods as a healthy option. I saw this on the news this morning here, but I just shook my head. 400 calories is 1/3 of my allottment for a day! I guess it is better than 1000! I will continue to plan ahead, but it is good to know in a jiffy or if I forget lunch sometime. - 7/30/2012   12:17:22 PM
  • 11
    I appreciate hearing about healthier food options when fast food is called for. Yes, I agree with others who have said that they try to avoid fast food at all cost, but sometimes you have to eat, and other options are not available. Is McDonald's healthy? No, I don't think so, but I do appreciate that they are trying to offer a variety of foods, and some of those are healthier. - 7/30/2012   12:11:42 PM
  • 10
    Parfait, hands down,, and Unsweetened Iced tea!! They brew it there and it expires after eight hours, very fresh. - 7/30/2012   12:05:03 PM
  • 9
    I tend to look for McDonald's when I'm traveling. They are consistent - you know what you are going to get from them no matter where you are. You simply have to make the healthier choices. It also helps to carry a nutrition book that lists the nutrition values of the most common foods. - 7/30/2012   12:00:23 PM
    McDonald's is not the number one choice for eating healthy. I think we can all agree on that. BUT I do commend the restaurant for helping people to make a healthier choice. I was there yesterday in fact and noticed a very large display at the counter that listed foods in several calorie categories. I can see it making a difference in what people are ordering. - 7/30/2012   11:46:18 AM
  • 7
    I try not to eat fast food, but sometimes it is very convenient. I sometimes get the fruit and walnut salad with the fruit and yogurt parfait. BTW, Wendy's has a few really good salads. I love the berry almond chicken salad. :) - 7/30/2012   11:31:45 AM
    Before praising McDonald's as providing "healthy" food options perhaps people should check on the sugar content of all of these items, which I noted is suspiciously omitted. (And furthermore, most of these items are NOT healthy. How can Spark actually be propounding as healthy SINGLE items of food that contain almost daily doses of sodium? A person should be eating only 1500mg of sodium a day.)
    And Subway is no healthier. That stuff is PACKED with sodium-- much of the time even to a greater extent than McD's. That's why they don't provide the sodium information at the restaurant.
    If a person wants to eat healthy on the road, pack food, or stop at grocery stores. It's pretty easy to buy premade salad greens and fruits/veggies to throw on top. Problem solved.

    Edit: I decided to save people the trouble. Of the healthiest items, Fruit + Yog. Parfait contains 23g of sugar, which is over 5 teaspoons of sugar-- over half the daily recommendation of sugar. Likewise the healthier coffee is 21g of sugar. Fruit + maple oatmeal is a whopping 32g-- that's 8 teaspoons of sugar.
    People eat way too much sugar, and this is why. Do your research! Link after the jump.
    - 7/30/2012   11:27:22 AM
    Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait, Fruit & Maple Oatmeal without brown sugar, Vanilla Ice Cream Cone, are good, and low sodium. - 7/30/2012   11:01:28 AM
  • 4
    Healthy eating is more than just calories in and calories out - the quality of the calories count too, as does the the psychology of eating on the run and other factors. Wondering how often truly healthy people eat at these types of fast food places regularly, or even occasionally. - 7/30/2012   10:54:16 AM
  • 3
    Too bad they can't do something about the sodium content. - 7/30/2012   10:53:41 AM
  • 2
    Thanks for sharing this. I do agree that these options are better, but due to the way they price the dollar menu, I find it TOO easy to add another item, which then puts me way over on calories.

    Personally, I will still steer my family to Subway or even Starbuck's for food when we're on the road. In California, they're typically clustered on the freeway anyway.

    Thanks again! - 7/30/2012   10:28:04 AM

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