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The Unhealthiest McDonald’s Menu Items

The Unhealthiest McDonald’s Menu Items


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Read if you want to ruin the joy of eating at McDonald’s

Pavel Sytsko/Dreamstime.com

Find out the most calorie-heavy options you can order.

McDonald’s, the largest fast food chain in the world, is no health food store. It serves greasy French fries, cheeseburgers, and mayo-slathered sandwiches at its many locations worldwide. Although its food isn’t known for being nutritious, it’s expected to be quick, cheap, and fun.

The Unhealthiest McDonald’s Menu Items Gallery

Yet McDonald’s has gotten all kinds of criticism from experts for selling what’s thought of as unhealthy food. With good reason — foods like hamburgers, chicken nuggets, and ice cream are delicious, but if you eat them in excess and don’t supplement your diet with other foods, you’re bound to have some health problems. Fried and sugary foods can have adverse effects on your blood pressure, your heart health, and even your risk of diabetes or cancer.

To McDonald’s credit, it has taken a number of initiatives to try to improve the healthfulness of its menu options. Recently, cheeseburgers were taken off the displayed Happy Meal menu, replaced by grilled chicken. The portion size of Happy Meal fries was reduced, and the chain’s chocolate milk now has less added sugar. But some of its menu items are still heavy with fat, calories, and sodium.

We looked through McDonald’s posted nutritional info and selected some of the unhealthiest items. We figure you’re probably going into the fast food restaurant with some vague idea of what you want to eat — and when you compare a salad with a Quarter Pounder, you probably already know which is the more nutritious choice. So we broke it down by category and found the unhealthiest options in each. Here are the unhealthiest McDonald’s menu items.


The 10 Least Healthy Items You Can Get At McDonald's

The website FindTheBest.com has a comprehensive list of the most caloric menu items at the fast food chain.

These 10 items will pack the biggest caloric punch.

1. Big Breakfast With Hotcakes (1,150 calories).

This breakfast item will cost you about half the day's recommended calories. It includes eggs, a biscuit, a hashbrown, hotcakes, biscuits, and sausage. Add syrup to the hotcakes and the calories climb even higher.

2. McFlurry With M&M's, 16 oz cup (930 calories).

This sweet treat has nearly as many calories as the huge breakfast platter. Next time you go to McDonald's, try sharing with a friend.

3. McCafe Shakes, 22 oz cup (830-850 calories).

The classic strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate shakes have more calories than a meal. They also contain about half the recommended daily value of fat.

4. Cheeseburger Happy Meal (840 calories).

This Happy Meal, which contains a cheeseburger, small fries, and a 12-oz Sprite, is defintely not kid-sized. Swap out the drink for water to save 140 calories.

5. Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese (750 calories).

It's not surprising that this sandwich is unhealthy. Add large fries and a drink, and the calorie count nearly doubles.

6. Frappe Mocha, Large (680 calories).

This coffee drink will give you more than an afternoon pick-me-up. Try getting unsweetened iced coffee with milk instead.

7. Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich (670 calories).

The fried patty, cheese, and bacon pad the calories on this sandwich. For a healthier option, try the grilled version and skip the cheese or bacon.

8. Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Bagel (630 calories).

This breakfast sandwich has more than double the calories of an Egg McMuffin, thanks to the supersized bagel.

9. Premium McWrap, Crispy Chicken and Bacon (620 calories).

The McWraps were designed to compete with Subway. But the crispy chicken will cost you some extra calories. Try the grilled version at 420 calories.

10. McDonald's Sausage Biscuit With Egg (570 calories).

You could eat two Egg McMuffins and still have fewer calories than the sausage biscuit.


9. Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Checkingfax

You&rsquod think that a chicken sandwich would be a healthier option. The Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich would be if it weren&rsquot for the fact that it&rsquos made with fattening buttermilk and topped with a big scoop of mayonnaise.

This sandwich has 620 calories, 29 grams of fat (5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,030 milligrams of sodium, and 63 grams of carbs.

FUN FACT: McDonald&rsquos Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich has more fat than three slices of Domino&rsquos cheese pizza and more sugar than a glazed Krispy Kreme donut.


How Unhealthy Is McDonald's, Really?

For all the criticisms lobbed against it, McDonald's is certainly good for some things. (Oatmeal, maybe. Fries, definitely. Cheap coffee, sure.) And yet it's hard to picture any of its proponents describing McDonald's as healthy. That is, until just recently, when the "senior director of culinary innovation" for the chain said, "I don't see anything on the menu that's unhealthy." Look, chef Daniel Coudreaut, I had one of those McFlurry things just the other day, but I think we can all agree there are some items at the Golden Arches that are not necessarily in our bodies' best interest. So as a sort of public service, Eat Like a Man has rounded up the ten highest-calorie offerings among popular McDonald's orders, for your perusal below. Not because you shouldn't necessarily eat them from time to time, but because you might want to know about them. You might be surprised to find that the leader of the pack is actually a drink. Mayor Bloomberg, maybe not so much.

1. Chocolate Triple Thick Shake, 32 oz. (1160 cals)

2. Big Breakfast with Hotcakes* (regular-size biscuit: 1090 cals, large-size biscuit: 1150 cals)

3. Strawberry Triple Thick Shake, 32 oz. (1110 cals)

4. Angus Chipotle BBQ Bacon (800 cals)

5. Big Breakfast, large-size biscuit (800 cals)

6. Angus Bacon & Cheese (790 cals)

7. Angus Mushroom & Swiss (770 cals)

8. Angus Deluxe (750 cals)

9. Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese (740 cals)

10. Steak, Egg & Cheese Bagel (710 cals)

*For those who aren't familiar, the "Big Breakfast with Hotcakes" includes a biscuit, sausage, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and, of course, hotcakes.


Large Fries

McDonald’s fries have to be the most favorite item on their menu. After all, they are world-famous and delightful. But, as you know, most food that tastes that delicious is unlikely to be wholesome.

A large order of fries is 510 calories and 24 grams of fat. It’s not terrible until you realize that people order french fries as a SIDE item. If you want to do a deep dive on McDonald’s french fries, read this fascinating article by Mashed. You might reconsider that addition of fries after you read about the cooking process.


Five Unhealthiest Foods at McDonald's

It's tough to find a healthy meal at McDonald's, but if you go down this road, you're enjoying some of the unhealthiest fast food fare out there.

Triple Thick Chocolate Shake - 1160 Calories - 27g of fat (16g sat) - 168g of sugar - 510mg of sodium

Not only is the Triple Thick Shake the only drink bad enough for you that it merited inclusion in the top five worst foods at McDonald's, but it's worse for you than just about anything else they offer. If you wanted to recreate the artery and waistline pounding excess of a large Triple Thick Shake, youɽ pretty much have to take a stick of butter, pour 80 Pixie Stix on it, and hit it with a salt shaker before eating the mountain in front of you with a spoon. The small fry is included for a sense of scale both on the physical and caloric level—the fry has 1/5th the calories. Return to Best and Worst Fast Food: McDonald's Edition


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5. Large McCafé® Chocolate Chip Frappé: 750 Calories

Alex Frank

Oh boy. Next time I need my kick of caffeine, I'll be steering far away from any Frappé. I always knew they were a close relative to a tasty milkshake, however 750 calories, all for a drink?! I'd rather use those elsewhere (large fry, looking at you). No shame though if this is the drink that gets you up in the morning.


1 SHAMROCK SHAKE

If there is one specialty McDonald’s item that people talk about and want around more often, it’s the shamrock shake. This limited release dessert is loved by many people, but it’s only available for March around St. Patrick’s Day.

The pretty green color makes it appealing to look at, and the mint flavor is one that many people enjoy. This shake could definitely taste good almost any time of year, so it’s a shame that it’s only available for such a short time.


The Shrimp Beef Burger can be seen as McDonalds’ version of a surf ‘n’ turf. In the burger, you will find lettuce, tomato, special sauce, a beef patty, and a deep-fried shrimp patty. McDonald’s Korea has set the standard for a fast food surf ‘n’ turf meal, and the whole world should take notes. Who cares about the salt content, no one eats fast food to be healthy, so long as it tastes good and goes down a treat.

McDonald’s Japan has come up with a great way to customize your chicken flavor to your preference. You have the option of topping your box of chicken with chili flakes, BBQ seasoning or powdered cheese. All you have to do is sprinkle the seasoning on your chicken, shake, and eat. Be wary though, even though there has been some talk in this article regarding not worrying about dietary content, each piece of chicken, once topped with the seasonings, will contain 10 grams of fat, so tread lightly.