Possibly the most well-known fast food establishment around the globe, McDonald's has been known for it's less than healthy fare. New changes to the menu are bringing about healthier options for those watching their health, but a little knowledge about the menu will also help you make the smartest decision when it comes to creating a meal that fits within the overall structure of your diet plan.
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McDonald's Is Possibly The Most Well-Known
Fast Food Establishment Around The Globe.
Let's dig a little deeper through the menu to make your selection easier.
Breakfast At McDonald's
If you're in need of a fast meal to start your day, McDonald's will cater. Some of the items on their breakfast menu can easily put you over your calorie budget for the day (their Deluxe Breakfast without syrup and margarine contains 1150 calories—hate to factor in what it would be with butter and syrup), so it's vital you're choosing wisely.
If you make a smart decision, you can get away with a lighter breakfast that won't have you sleeping your way through your mid-morning meeting.
Your best choice in terms of overall calorie intake, number of fat grams, and protein content will be the Egg McMuffin. It contains 300 calories, 12 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbs, and 18 grams of protein, making it actually a pretty decent meal choice.
If you really want to try and lighten it further, order a plain English Muffin (160 calories, 3 grams of fat) and then add on scrambled eggs but ask if they can make it using only egg whites. They may or may not do this depending on the location. If they won't, then this will be about the same total calories as the classic Egg McMuffin, so you might as well just go with that choice.
The Sausage Burrito is another lighter option on the menu, which contains 300 calories, 16 grams of fat, 26 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of protein. It's not quite as well balanced as the Egg McMuffin, but won't completely destroy your diet.
Less wise decisions for the breakfast meal at McDonald's include any of their Sausage Biscuit meals with all of them ranking in at over 450 calories and 27 grams of fat or more.
A plain biscuit or a regular order of hotcakes are not bad options calorie wise, but they are very low in protein so don't really make for a complete meal.
The items that you will definitely want to stay away from at all costs include the 'Big or Deluxe' breakfast meals. These will cost you 750 or more calories each and over 50 grams of fat per meal. Stay away unless you have a job where you can wear stretchy pants to work.
Next we move onto their sandwiches. Almost all of us have craved a cheeseburger at one point or another, but how much will these set you back?
Your best bet here will be a plain hamburger, which offers up 250 calories, 9 grams of fat, 31 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of protein. Not a winner lunch, but you could do worse.
If you can accommodate a higher calorie intake and are looking for more protein, your next best bet will be a Quarter Pounder without cheese (with cheese increases calories by 100 and adds 7 grams of fat). It will contain 410 calories, 19 grams of fat, 37 grams of carbs, and 24 grams of protein.
|Quarter Pounder Without Cheese||410||19||37||24|
On the ugly side of things, even worse than the 'Big Mac', is the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese. It has 740 calories, a whopping 42 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, and 48 grams of protein. Even the hungriest person doesn't need that much fat in a single meal.
|Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese||740||42||40||48|
With everyone growing more health conscious, more fast food chains are introducing salads to their menu and McDonald's is no different. Choosing a light salad dressing or forgoing the dressing altogether will make the greatest difference with the calorie intakes so that's the first thing to keep in mind at all times.
After that, generally the salads will be created fairly equally, the main thing to remember is you're better off choosing one that's made with grilled chicken rather than crispy chicken or one that has no protein sources at all (since this will be a very lacking meal nutritionally speaking).
Most of the grilled chicken salads on the menu range from 220 to 320 calories, 9 grams of fat, 12-30 grams of carbohydrates, and contain around 30 grams of protein (values given without dressing).
|Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken||320||9||30||30|
|Premium Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken||430||20||38||26|
|Premium Caesar With Grilled Chicken||220||6||12||30|
|Premium Caesar With Crispy Chicken||330||17||20||26|
Finally we come to desserts—everyone's favourite. If you do venture over to this side of the menu, you can make some smarter choices than others, but realize that typically speaking, if you're looking for maximum fat loss none of these will be an ideal option.
The choice on the menu that most people will likely look at and think is healthiest is the Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait. While this menu item definitely won't tally up the same calorie count as their McFlurry (which comes in at 550 calories, 17 grams of fat, 88 grams of carbs, and 13 grams of protein), it still does contain 21 grams of sugar, which can cause issues. You'll only take in 160 calories (130 if you forgo the granola), but from an optimal health standpoint, it's still too high in sugar to really be considered a good choice.
In fact, if you choose to order their vanilla cone, you'd take in fewer calories and sugar grams than you will with the parfait. If it's just a small ice cream craving you're fighting, order a kiddie cone for maximum portion size control. This will only contain 45 calories and one gram of fat—hardly a dent in any fat loss diet.
|Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait||160||2||31||4|
So, next time you're in a hurry and are making a trip to McDonald's, keep these points in mind. Choosing wisely will definitely make a difference in the results you get, so it's worth your time and effort.