Many people believe that McDonald’s isn’t typically associated with the healthiest fare.
Catherine Karnatz, a Rhode Island-based registered dietitian and owner of Nutrition Education RD, said many McDonald’s food items are high in saturated fat, cholesterol, added sugar and salt.
But by ordering carefully from the menu and not making the fast food chain a regular part of your routine, you can opt for better-for-you alternatives.
To make more nutritious choices when you visit at the Golden Arches, Karnatz as well as Lara Clevenger, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Edgewater, Florida, weighed in on what’s considered “OK” to order.
Fox News Digital reached out to McDonald’s for comment.
“If you’re looking for a low-calorie snack that provides a crunch, McDonald’s apple slices are a great choice,” said Clevenger.
She added that with just 15 calories and four grams of carbs, the snack can fit into most diets.
McDonald’s apple slices contain only 3 grams of total sugars and can be enjoyed as a snack or side, according to the chain’s nutritional information webpage.
Clevenger said this sandwich made with egg, cheese and Canadian bacon is around 310 calories with 17 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat and 30 grams of carbs.
“This is a much healthier choice for breakfast than, say, the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, which has 320 calories, but only has six grams of protein and 4.5 grams of fat with a whopping 64 grams of carbs,” she said.
“If you’re trying to watch your blood sugar or stay fuller longer, the protein and fat from the Egg McMuffin is the better option,” Clevenger said.
You may not want to reach for a fried chicken sandwich regularly.
Still, when eaten on occasion, this is a good option, said Clevenger, if you’re concerned about getting enough protein.
“With just 470 calories, this chicken sandwich provides 26 grams of protein,” she noted.
Karnatz called the McDonald’s Hamburger a classic choice with a pretty impressive nutritional makeup, compared to the other burger options available on the menu.
Again, the operative words here are “compared to.”
“With 12 grams of protein, it’s a sure bet that you’ll be feeling full and satisfied for hours while out and about,” she said.
Again, you don’t want to make this menu item a daily part of your diet, she indicated.
Everything should be in moderation.
Fifty calories is the difference, by the way, between the hamburger and the cheeseburger.
Both the hamburger and cheeseburger have ketchup, mustard, chopped onions and a pickle.
“Our pickle contains an artificial preservative, so skip it if you like,” McDonald’s states on its website.
“Looking for a quick caffeine fix without the sugar crash? A McCafé Americano at any size contains zero grams of sugar,” said Karnatz.
“Remember that coffee isn’t a meal and is best paired with food,” she also said.
Her suggestion for that?
The “fan-favorite” Egg McMuffin.
If you’re craving a dessert from the fast food menu, opt for McDonald’s Vanilla Cone, suggested Karnatz.
“This soft serve ice cream contains five grams of protein and 15% of the daily recommended value for calcium,” she added.
McDonald’s Vanilla Soft Serve Cone clocks in at 200 calories per serving. It contains 33 grams of carbs and 17 grams of sugar.
By comparison, the Baked Apple Pie contains 230 calories, 33 grams of carbs and 13 grams of added sugar.
The cone has 180 milligrams of calcium — while the pie contains 6 milligrams.