The McDonald’s menu changes more than just about any other chain’s, and the nutritional value of its offerings vary greatly. But at the end of the day, McDonald’s is a fast-food chain, and it’s to be expected that plenty of items on it are unhealthy. We’ve combed through their menu, and the unhealthiest items on it might surprise you.
When McDonald’s got its start back in the 1950s, the menu was quite small: hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries, shakes, soft drinks, and apple pie were available, and that’s it. Those items are still on the menu today, and while they might not carry much nutritional value (save for the lettuce and tomato on the burgers), all things considered, they weren’t that bad for you. A hamburger contains nine grams of fat and 250 calories; a cheeseburger contains 12 grams of fat and 300 calories; a small order of fries contains just five grams of fat and 100 calories; a 12-ounce Coke contains 100 calories; and an apple pie contains 13 grams of fat and 250 calories. A 12-ounce shake is surprisingly the unhealthiest of all the original menu items; it contains 15 grams of fat and 530 calories.
The fat and calories in these original menu items, however, are dwarfed by what’s present in the heaviest items on the McDonald’s menu today. Supercharged burgers break the 700-calorie mark, giant milkshakes contain astronomical levels of dairy fat, and macho-man breakfasts take the prize as the unhealthiest items on the entire menu, tipping the scales at more than 1,000 calories.
When the Big Mac was introduced in 1968, it was a certifiable gutbuster, and for all intents and purposes is still the scale against which we measure how unhealthy something is (for example, a meal at New York’s Per Se equals the caloric equivalent of 4 ½ Big Macs). In reality, the Big Mac isn’t much worse for you than most sandwiches, clocking in at 550 calories and 29 grams of fat. When it comes to what you can order off of the McDonald’s menu, you can do much worse.
So let’s dive in head-first and see what the unhealthiest items on the McDonald’s menu are.
10) Premium McWrap Southwest Crispy Chicken
Fat: 33 grams
Sodium: 1,450 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 8 grams
Cholesterol: 60 milligrams
9) Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich
Fat: 33 grams
Sodium: 1,410 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 9 grams
Cholesterol: 85 milligrams