We rated all McDonald’s Menu Items Using The Newest 2023 FDA Guidelines. Here are 10 healthiest meals you can have in McDonalds.

When you’re in a hurry, fast food is super convenient. If you’re health-conscious, there are some meals that are better than others in terms of nutrition.

How We Rated the Meals

The FDA has released some new guidelines in 2023 about what is considered “healthy”. These guidelines are based off of a 2,000 calorie diet, which is a decent number for many adults. After researching, the FDA has found that;

  • 75% of people have dietary patterns low in vegetables, fruits, and dairy
  • 63% exceed the limit of added sugars
  • 77% exceed the limit for saturated fat
  • 90% exceed the Chronic Disease Risk Reduction limits for sodium

A pie chart showing the percentage of fat in foods.

So under the updated guidelines, for a meal to be considered healthy, it must have;

  1. Protein, at least 20% daily value or 32 grams
  2. Dietary fiber, at leasy 20% daily value or 6 grams
  3. Less than 34% of daily calories, or 670 calories
  4. At least 20% daily value of a nutrient
    1. We will look at vitamin A, C, Calcium, and Iron
  5. Limited added sugar, less than 20% of your daily value, or 10 grams
  6. Limited sodium, under 20% of your daily value or 460 milligrams
  7. Limited cholesterol, less than 20% of your daily value or 60 milligrams
  8. Limited saturated fat, less than 20% of your daily value or 20 grams

Gone are the days of demonizing carbs and calories, this approach prioritizes density of nutrients in a meal as well as diversity. Focusing on the overall picture of your diet is the main goal of the FDA’s new guidelines, while reducing elements that carry risk factors like sodium and cholesterol. The diet percentage makeup they suggest is;

  1. Vegetables 27%
  2. Protein 25%
  3. Fruit 19%
  4. Dairy 15%
  5. Grains 13%

Top 10 Healthiest McDonald’s Items

To come up with a list of the top ten healthiest McDonald’s items, we went through the whole menu and rated all the items using the FDA Guidelines from 2023 from above. You can see our scoring file with all the dates and the comprehensive score list and at the bottom of this article.

None of these items check all of the boxes, but let’s see what gets the closest.

Each item is given a score out of eleven, with respect to the daily values above. The higher the score, the better the meal is for your overall diet picture.

1. Premium McWrap with Chicken and Bacon or Ranch. Score: 8/11

Mcdonald's mcwrap, a healthy option from Mcdonald's.

This is our top pick for the healthiest meal, though cholesterol and sodium are above the recommended meal limit, the density of nutrients and protein it provides make it a good option.

Bacon Ranch
Calories 500 470
Saturated Fat (g) 8 7
Cholesterol (mg) 115 100
Sodium (mg) 1570 1370
Fiber (g) 3 3
Sugars (g) 5 5
Protein (g) 41 35
Vitamin A (%DV) 100 100
Vitamin C (%DV) 30 25
Calcium (%DV) 25 25
Iron (%DV) 20 20

2. Premium Asian Salad with Buttermilk Crispy. Score: 8/11

A plate with a salad and bread on it.

The Premium Asian Salad with Buttermilk Chicken is a lower calorie option with the least saturated fat and low cholesterol. It also still provides vitamins and minerals, though it doesn’t have as much protein as other options.

Calories 450
Saturated Fat (g) 3.5
Cholesterol (mg) 60
Sodium (mg) 640
Fiber (g) 6
Sugars (g) 10
Protein (g) 27
Vitamin A (%DV) 180
Vitamin C (%DV) 70
Calcium (%DV) 15
Iron (%DV) 25

3. Premium Southwest Salad with Buttermilk Crispy or Grilled Chicken. Score: 8/11

A bowl of salad with vegetables and dressing.

The Premium Southwest Salad with Buttermilk Crispy or Grilled Chicken provides a huge amount of vitamin A, while still helping you get the proper intake of dietary fiber, which keeps you feeling fuller longer and moves things along in your digestive tract.

Buttermilk Grilled
Calories 510 330
Saturated Fat (g) 6 4
Cholesterol (mg) 75 90
Sodium (mg) 790 920
Fiber (g) 7 6
Sugars (g) 9 9
Protein (g) 28 33
Vitamin A (%DV) 180 180
Vitamin C (%DV) 45 40
Calcium (%DV) 20 25
Iron (%DV) 20 15

4. Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Buttermilk Crispy or Grilled Chicken. Score: 7/11

A bowl of chicken salad on a green background.

This salad can be enjoyed with either type of chicken for the same score and is a low-sugar option while still packing a protein punch. It’s a great source of vitamin A, providing over 180% of your daily value of the vitamin.

Buttermilk Grilled
Calories 490 310
Saturated Fat (g) 8 6
Cholesterol (mg) 100 115
Sodium (mg) 1000 1120
Fiber (g) 4 3
Sugars (g) 4 3
Protein (g) 34 38
Vitamin A (%DV) 180 180
Vitamin C (%DV) 60 60
Calcium (%DV) 15 20
Iron (%DV) 20 10

5. Steak, Egg, & Cheese Bagel. Score: 7/11

A person is holding two bagel sandwiches on a plate.

The Steak, Egg, and Cheese on a Bagel is the most well-rounded breakfast option in this list, with enough protein to get you through the day and a solid vitamin profile. If you have a problem with high cholesterol, steer clear of this item.

Calories 670
Saturated Fat (g) 13
Cholesterol (mg) 295
Sodium (mg) 1510
Fiber (g) 3
Sugars (g) 7
Protein (g) 33
Vitamin A (%DV) 20
Vitamin C (%DV) 4
Calcium (%DV) 25
Iron (%DV) 25

6. Big Breakfast with Hotcakes and Egg Whites with a Large or Regular Biscuit. Score: 7/11

Mcdonald's pancakes and biscuits.

The Big Breakfast is a great option for anyone who needs a lot of fuel for the day. With high protein, balanced sugars, and high calories, it will keep you going through all of your activities, physical or not. If you have high blood pressure, watch out for this item as it contains significantly more sodium than is recommended.

Large Regular
Calories 1050 990
Saturated Fat (g) 16 16
Cholesterol (mg) 55 55
Sodium (mg) 2290 2170
Fiber (g) 7 6
Sugars (g) 18 17
Protein (g) 35 35
Vitamin A (%DV) 4 0
Vitamin C (%DV) 2 2
Calcium (%DV) 25 25
Iron (%DV) 30 30

7. Side Salad. Score: 7/11

A plate of caesar salad with croutons and croutons.

This isn’t a meal but is a great swap for your fries if you want to cut calories, fats, and sodium out of your traditional meal combo with fries.

Calories 15
Saturated Fat (g) 0
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Sodium (mg) 10
Fiber (g) 2
Sugars (g) 1
Protein (g) 1
Vitamin A (%DV) 110
Vitamin C (%DV) 20
Calcium (%DV) 2
Iron (%DV) 4

8. Bacon Clubhouse Burger. Score: 6/11

A healthy burger with cheese on top of a piece of paper.

If you are usually craving a McDonald’s burger, voila, the first burger on the list! This is not the lowest calorie burger option at this fast food joint, but provides a more rounded profile of vitamins and added protein.

Calories 740
Saturated Fat (g) 16
Cholesterol (mg) 125
Sodium (mg) 1480
Fiber (g) 4
Sugars (g) 14
Protein (g) 40
Vitamin A (%DV) 8
Vitamin C (%DV) 25
Calcium (%DV) 30
Iron (%DV) 25

9. Bacon Clubhouse Chicken Sandwich Grilled or Buttermilk Crispy. Score: 6/11

The grilled chicken option for the Bacon Clubhouse Chicken Sandwich has the highest amount of protein on the list, while still providing nutrients and staying under recommended calories for a single meal.

Grilled Buttermilk
Calories 610 790
Saturated Fat (g) 8 11
Cholesterol (mg) 125 110
Sodium (mg) 1750 1620
Fiber (g) 3 5
Sugars (g) 14 15
Protein (g) 45 40
Vitamin A (%DV) 8 8
Vitamin C (%DV) 30 35
Calcium (%DV) 35 30
Iron (%DV) 15 25

10. Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, No Brown Sugar. Score: 6/11

McDonald's healthy oatmeal.

This is our lowest-calorie breakfast healthy food option that actually stays under recommended sodium limits, which is rare for fast food. With all that extra vitamin C, your immune system will be thanking you for the boost.

Calories 260
Saturated Fat (g) 1.5
Cholesterol (mg) 5
Sodium (mg) 115
Fiber (g) 5
Sugars (g) 18
Protein (g) 5
Vitamin A (%DV) 2
Vitamin C (%DV) 130
Calcium (%DV) 6
Iron (%DV) 10

Healthy McDonald’s Food Nutrition FAQ

What healthy item should I order from McDonald’s if I have Hypertension (high blood pressure)?

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor will typically recommend you lower your salt intake. The most well-rounded item with limited sodium is the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, with no brown sugar. Avoid items with high sodium like the Big Breakfast with Hotcakes.

What healthy item should I order from McDonald’s if I have Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol)?

The lowest cholesterol item is the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, then Asian Salad with Buttermilk Crispy Chicken. Swapping your fries out for the side salad will also help you cut saturated fat and cholesterol if you decide to get a meal combo.

What healthy item should I order from McDonald’s if I’m diabetic or watching my sugar intake?

Most of the meal items from McDonald’s don’t contain high added or total sugars, though the dessert menu is a completely different story.

What healthy item should I order from McDonald’s if I’m dieting?

If you’re dieting, the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal has the lowest calorie count for a healthy breakfast. For lunch and dinner, your best bet is the Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken. If you decide to go for one of the other menu combos, swapping your fries for a side salad will help you knock off calories and still end up feeling full.

What healthy item should I order from McDonald’s if I’m trying to gain muscle?

For a high protein option that still stays under the recommended calories, order a Bacon Clubhouse Grilled Chicken Sandwich. It has 45 grams of protein and a moderate 610 calories.

Score List

Looking for an item that did not make it to our healthy food list? Please find our scoring table with a comprehensive score list in this file.


The biggest takeaway from these new guidelines should be that if “healthy” is your main goal, you need to be looking for something nutritionally complete, rather than the lowest calorie/carb/fat option.

Join the Conversation


  1. Where do you live? McDonalds does not have salads or fancy chicken here in Florida. Wish they did! Only fat hamburgers!!!

    1. Joetta Carles says:

      We live in NW Ohio and have 2 McDonald’s. Neither of them have salads of any kind! They don’t have the oatmeal raisin cookies either! So annoying😡

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