Skip to content

11 Healthiest McDonald's Orders, According to Dietitians

Believe it or not, there are a few ways you can enjoy a healthier meal at McDonald's.
FACT CHECKED BY Samantha Boesch

When you think of McDonald's, healthy may not be the first word that comes to mind. With documentaries showing how bad fast food can be for your health, and plenty of articles reinforcing the same, you may in fact avoid eating at McDonald's if healthy eating is your goal. However, the McDonald's menu is vast and contains several reasonable options in most food categories, making it one of the few fast-food restaurants with more than a couple of healthier choices.

Although McDonald's, and all fast-food restaurants, for that matter, make it easy to get a filling meal, this convenience can come with a price. Most fast-food meals are packed with calories and sodium and contain minimal fiber, making them far from a healthy meal. While you may make a healthier meal for yourself at home, if you are trying to eat healthy at McDonald's, there are options with more reasonable amounts of calories, fat, and sodium. Here's how we narrowed down the healthiest items on the McDonald's menu.

How We Chose the Healthiest McDonald's Orders

The general goal of a fast-food restaurant is to provide a convenient, delicious meal with less emphasis on nutrition. Luckily, McDonald's has some options that meet your needs while keeping nutrition at the forefront. Here's how we narrowed down the healthiest items on the McDonald's menu.

  • Calories: Orders with excessive calories didn't make the cut. Most people don't need a meal over 500 calories. So, orders over this amount were kept off of the list. Meals with more than 500 calories that can easily be modified to meet the 500-calorie limit may also be healthy options at McDonald's.
  • Saturated fat: This nutrient is not a necessary component of a healthy diet, and too much may be bad for your heart health. McDonald's order with excessive saturated fat didn't make the cut. Ideally, this number is as close to zero as possible, although this is tough when eating red meat and eggs. We chose items that limited saturated fat to fewer than 10 grams per order, with some coming in at only a couple of grams.
  • Sodium: Although sodium is an essential nutrient, too much may negatively impact your health. Most adults don't need more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily, so for an item to make our list, it could not provide more than half this amount.

Read on to learn the 11 healthiest McDonald's orders, divided by main menu categories. Then, check out 25 Healthy Fast-Food Orders, According to Dietitians.


Egg McMuffin

mcdonalds egg mcmuffin
Nutrition (Per sandwich):
Calories: 310
Fat: 13 g (Saturated fat: 6 g)
Sodium: 770 mg
Carbs: 30 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g)
Protein: 17 g

Perhaps one of their most popular breakfast items, the Egg McMuffin packs 17 grams of filling protein and even provides 2 grams of fiber. Skip the butter to save a few calories and some saturated fat, and add a side of fruit from home to make this a balanced, filling meal.

 10 Best McDonald's Breakfast Orders for Weight Loss

Sausage Burrito

mcdonalds sausage burrito
Nutrition (Per burrito):
Calories: 310
Fat: 17 g (Saturated fat: 7 g)
Sodium: 800 mg
Carbs: 25 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g)
Protein: 13 g

Sausage is generally a high-fat meat, but the portions of meat and egg in this Sausage Burrito make for a reasonable meal with only 310 calories and 7 grams of saturated fat. Protein is slightly low for a meal, so add a container of sugar-free Greek yogurt from home to make this option more filling.

 McDonald's Entire Breakfast Menu—Ranked by Nutrition



mcdonalds hamburger
Nutrition (Per burger):
Calories: 250
Fat: 9 g (Saturated fat: 3.5 g)
Sodium: 510 mg
Carbs: 31 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 6 g)
Protein: 12 g

The classic Hamburger hits all of our nutrient marks and leaves plenty of calories for a side item. You could even have two burgers while staying at our 500-calorie target. The ketchup on this burger adds a few grams of sugar, so skip the condiment in favor of mustard for a flavor-packed meal with fewer grams of sugar.

 8 Best & Worst McDonald's Burgers


mcdonalds cheeseburger
Nutrition (Per burger):
Calories: 300
Fat: 13 g (Saturated fat: 6 g)
Sodium: 720 mg
Carbs: 32 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 7 g)
Protein: 15 g

Add cheese to the classic burger, and you have a delicious Cheeseburger for only 300 calories. Pair with some fruit or veggie from home to incorporate more fiber into this meal, and skip half the bun for a lower-carb option without sacrificing protein.


mcdonalds McDouble
Nutrition (Per burger):
Calories: 400
Fat: 20 g (Saturated fat: 9 g)
Sodium: 920 mg
Carbs: 33 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 7 g)
Protein: 22 g

The McDouble has two beef patties with one slice of cheese, allowing it to pack over 20 grams of filling protein. Although saturated fat is near our limit, the nutrient composition of this meal is still reasonable. Make it even better by skipping the slice of cheese to save yourself 50 calories.

 12 Unhealthiest McDonald's Burgers of All Time

Chicken & Fish Sandwiches


mcdonald's filet-o-fish
Nutrition (Per sandwich):
Calories: 390
Fat: 19 g (Saturated fat: 4 g)
Sodium: 580 mg
Carbs: 39 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 5 g)
Protein: 16 g

Another classic, the Fish Sandwich, is one of the healthier options on this menu. The sodium provides only a quarter of your daily needs, allowing you plenty of room to consume sodium the rest of the day. Make this option even better by skipping the tartar sauce to save yourself 10 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of saturated fat.


mcdonalds mcchicken sandwich
Nutrition (Per sandwich):
Calories: 400
Fat: 21 g (Saturated fat: 3.5 g)
Sodium: 560 mg
Carbs: 39 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 5 g)
Protein: 14 g

A simple fried chicken patty topped with shredded lettuce and mayo makes this McChicken Sandwich a healthier option. Mayo adds flavor but can be skipped to save 100 calories and 11 grams of fat. Go with mustard instead for a flavor punch for a few calories and no fat.

 All of McDonald's Burgers & Sandwiches


McDonald's McCrispy Chicken Sandwich
Nutrition (Per sandwich):
Calories: 470
Fat: 20 g (Saturated fat: 5 g)
Sodium: 1140 mg
Carbs: 46 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 9 g)
Protein: 26 g

The pickles on this McCrispy Sandwich make it the highest-sodium option on our list, but it still makes for a healthier McDonald's order. With 26 grams of protein, this order will undoubtedly be filling for under 470 calories. You can even skip the butter to save 5 grams of fat, likely without noticing a difference in flavor.


6 Piece Chicken McNuggets

mcdonalds mcnuggets
Nutrition (Per 6-count nuggets):
Calories: 250
Fat: 15 g (Saturated fat: 2.5 g)
Sodium: 500 mg
Carbs: 15 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 0 g)
Protein: 14 g

Nuggets are a popular order, and the six-nugget order is a good balance of calories, fat, and protein. For only 250 calories, you'll fill up and have room to add a side of your choice. Just be mindful of your dipping sauce. These can add over 100 calories per serving! Dip with mustard or Spicy Buffalo sauce for low-calorie flavor boosts.

 The 20 Best High-Protein Fast Food Meals

Fries & Sides

Apple Slices

McDonald's Apple Slices
Nutrition (Per order):
Calories: 15
Fat: 0 g (Saturated fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 0 mg
Carbs: 4g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 3 g)
Protein: 0 g

Although you may want those crispy fries as your side, the apples are a much better option. For only 15 calories you get a nice crispy crunch on the side of your meal. Unfortunately, the small portion won't provide any fiber, but it will only set you back 4 grams of carbs. Grab a whole apple from home for an even heartier side option.

Sweets & Treats

Chocolate Chip Cookie

mcdonalds chocolate chip cookie
Nutrition (Per order):
Calories: 170
Fat: 8 g (Saturated fat: 4 g)
Sodium: 95 mg
Carbs: 22 g (Fiber: 11 g, Sugar: 15 g)
Protein: 2 g

Although a Chocolate Chip Cookie isn't inherently healthy, it is the healthiest option on the McDonald's Sweets & Treats menu. Even though it contains 15 grams of sugar, this is much lower than the ice cream options on the menu. Just enjoy one to keep your portion and nutrient numbers reasonable.

Melissa Rifkin, MS, RDN, CDN
Melissa is a Connecticut-based registered dietitian with over 15 years of experience, including clinical and outpatient settings, and runs the popular nutrition education Instagram account, Confessionofadietitian. Read more about Melissa
Sources referenced in this article
  1. Source:
  2. Source: