Dining Out Guide

Eating Healthy at McDonald's

From SparkPeople’s Editors

The "Golden Arches" have come a long way. Beyond burgers, fries and shakes, Ronald and friends now serve up chicken sandwiches, salads and a variety of sides. A bit of research and patience can make your meal here a happy one.

  • When selecting a sandwich, think small. A regular hamburger is your best choice, with 250 calories, 9 g of fat and 520 mg of sodium. Avoid larger signature sandwiches such as the Big Mac (540 calories, 29 g fat, 1,040 mg of sodium) and the Double Quarter Pounder with cheese (740 calories, 42 g fat, 1,190 mg of sodium).

  • Many of the chicken sandwiches--even if they are grilled--are higher in calories and/or fat than we prefer. Your best options are a Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich without mayonnaise (370 calories, 4.5 g fat, 1,110 mg sodium) or the Grilled Honey Mustard Snack Wrap (260 calories, 9 g fat, 800 mg sodium).

  • A Happy Meal is a well-balanced meal for anyone--not just kids. Try one of these two combinations:

    • Hamburger with Apple Dippers, low fat caramel dip and 1% low fat milk (460 calories, 12 g fat, 680 mg sodium, 20 g protein)
    • Hamburger with Apple Dippers, low fat caramel dip and Apple Juice Box (440 calories, 9 g fat, 570 mg sodium, 13 g fat)


  • Salads are another good choice. A premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken (220 calories, 6 g fat, 890 mg sodium) with Newman's Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette (40 calories, 3 g fat, 730 mg sodium) paired with a Snack Size Fruit & Walnut Salad (210 calories, 8 g fat, 60 mg sodium) can provide a very filling and nutritious meal for a total of 470 calories, 17 g of fat and 1,680 mg of sodium.

  • McDonald's provides nutrition info on its website.

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