It's probably common knowledge that McDonald's isn't exactly the healthiest thing to be eating. Even so, it can be hard to give up their food completely, even when we commit to incorporating more healthy foods into our diets.

Instead of trying to quit McDonald's cold turkey, it may be better to start making healthier choices when dining there. Eventually, we might be able to stop going there completely, but until then, here is a list of what to eat at McDonald's that is less horrible (health-wise) for you compared to the rest of their menu.


Egg McMuffin

The classic Egg McMuffin is quite possibly the most popular breakfast item on the menu. What you may not know is that it is also one of the better options compared to the other menu items.

One of these has 290 calories, which is not bad for a fast food item. It also has 9g of fat (5g saturated and 0.2g trans)—it is usually recommended for trans fats to be avoided; however it is rare to see anything on the McDonald's menu that did not contain any at all, so the amount seen here is comparatively better.

The amount of sodium in the breakfast sandwich is 790mg, which is a little on the high side given that we are only supposed to have 2300mg in total for one day, but it still beats out the competition. 

Another thing that the Egg McMuffin has going for it is that it only has 3g of sugar! You may be wondering why this is a big deal given that this is a savoury sandwich, but fast food actually tends to have a lot of sugar even when something isn't sweet, so props to this sandwich for keeping that number low.

#SpoonTip: Ask for the sandwich without the bacon to make it slightly healthier, as you still get protein from the egg.

Fruit and Maple Oatmeal

This sweet breakfast item beats the other options that they have at the restaurant. It contains 290 calories, 2.5g of fat (0.4g saturated and 0g trans fat), 90mg of sodium and 33g of sugar.

As compared to the Egg McMuffin, both of these breakfast items contain the same amount of calories. However, this oatmeal is much better in terms of fat content as it contains 0g!

It is also much better with sodium content in comparison—it has a whopping 700mg less than the Egg McMuffin. The major issue with this breakfast item is the sugar content. 33g of sugar for one cup of oatmeal is extremely high, as the recommended intake for one day is 25g per day.

What to eat at McDonald's for breakfast can be based on whether you are in the mood for something sweet or savoury.

Main Meal

Chipotle Chicken Snack Wrap with Grilled Chicken

vegetable, meat, chicken, lettuce, salad
Hana Baig

This grilled chicken wrap has 230 calories, 6g of fat (2.5g saturated and 0.2g trans), 520mg of sodium, and 8g of sugar.

The amount of calories in this wrap is not bad at all, especially given how substantial it is. This wrap would go well with something else on the side, as on its own it becomes more of a snack (hence the word "snack" in its name).

This wrap contains 0.2g of trans fat, which starts to get slightly concerning, but it is difficult to eat fast food without consuming a small amount of trans fat.

The sodium content of this wrap is leaning towards the higher end but again, is not too bad for fast food. The most surprising thing about the contents of the wrap is the 8g of sugar. The sugar most likely comes from the chipotle sauce. 


sweet, cake, bread, chocolate, candy, pastry, cookie, bun, sandwich
Hana Baig

This burger has 240 calories, 8g of fat (3g saturated and 0.2g trans), 510mg of sodium, and 7g of sugar. This burger definitely would not be mistaken for a Big Mac but it can still curb a burger craving without causing your diet to take a huge hit.

If you request some additional toppings such as lettuce, pickles, or tomatoes, etc., it can bulk up the sandwich a bit more without adding many calories.

The amount of fat, sodium and sugar in this is comparable to the chicken snack wrap and is around the standard minimum amount contained in fast food meals.


Apple Slices

sweet, apple, candy, pear, cookie
Hana Baig

McDonald's apple slices have 40 calories, 0g of any fat, 5mg of sodium and 8g of sugar. However, nobody goes to McDonald's just to eat an apple. 

This suggestion is more of as a side to accompany one of the main courses listed above. You may be wondering if the apples they sell at McD's are really just regular apples or if they have a lot of additives to prevent browning.

The ingredients listed for the apples are just apples and calcium ascorbate. Calcium ascorbate is an antioxidant made from a blend of calcium and vitamin C that they use to prevent the browning reaction from occurring. 

Small French Fries

The small fries at McDonald's has 240 calories, 11g of fat (1.5g saturated and 0g trans), 180mg of sodium, and 0g of sugar.

One of the most popular items at McDonald's are their fries. What may surprise you is that a small portion of their fries are not terrible in their caloric, fat, or sodium contents.

The low numbers can be attributed to the fact that you are given a small portion; the more fries you order, the more sodium and fat you will obviously consume. A small fry is a good treat to have occasionally.


Strawberry Sundae

This dessert has 280 calories, 6g of fat (4g saturated and 0.2g trans), 130mg of sodium, and 44g of sugar. When you saw that I was going to tell you what the best dessert to get from McDonald's would be, I'm sure you weren't expecting it to be a sundae.

This sundae was in fact one of the best options on their dessert menu in terms of calories and fat. Having said that, the amount of sugar in the sundae is enormous—44g is getting close to twice the recommended intake!

When you order a dessert from a fast food restaurant such as McDonald's, you are not expecting the sugar count to be low, so this dessert can be enjoyed occasionally as part of a balanced diet.

The next time you feel like you can't escape a visit to McDonald's, keep the items on this list in mind and you'll be good to go.