McDonald’s Healthiest Breakfast Items

Looking for breakfast on the go? Trying to keep it on the healthier side? Let’s explore what it really means for something to be “healthy” and what breakfast items check those boxes. Items will get a score 1-11 based on how well they fit the FDA’s new guidelines, detailed below.

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.

To come up with a list of top ten healthiest McDonald’s Breakfast 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 data and the comprehensive score list and at the bottom of this article.

Healthiest McDonald’s Breakfast Options Overview

Each high-protein McDonald’s breakfast option here is chosen to provide a substantial amount of protein without too many calories. Here is a quick overview:

Menu Item Calories Saturated Fat (g) Cholesterol (mg) Sodium (mg) Fiber (g) Sugars (g) Protein (g) Vitamin A (%DV) Vitamin C (%DV) Calcium (%DV) Iron (%DV)
Steak, Egg, & Cheese Bagel 670 13 295 1510 3 7 33 20 4 25 25
Big Breakfast with Hotcakes and Egg Whites with a Regular Biscuit 990 16 55 2070 6 17 35 0 2 25 30
Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, No Brown Sugar 130 1.5 5 115 5 18 5 2 130 6 10
Bacon, Egg, and Cheese on a Bagel. 590 10 265 1340 3 7 27 20 10 20 20
Small Mango Pineapple Smoothie 210 0 5 40 1 46 2 30 20 8 20
Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait 150 1 5 80 1 23 4 2 15 10 4
Steak and Egg Biscuit 540 16 280 1470 2 3 25 10 2 20 25

Top 7 Healthiest McDonald’s Breakfast Items

1. Steak, Egg, & Cheese Bagel. Score 7/11

A mcdonald's bagel sandwich.

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

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

Mcdonald's pancakes and biscuits.

The Big Breakfast is a great option for anyone that 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.

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

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

Mcdonald's breakfast

This is our lowest calorie healthy breakfast 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

4. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese on a Bagel. Score 6/11

Ah, a classic. The bacon, egg, and cheese. High in vitamins, with a reasonable calorie count and levels of saturated fat under the recommended limit for a single meal, this is a good option if you like the classics.

Calories 590
Saturated Fat (g) 10
Cholesterol (mg) 265
Sodium (mg) 1340
Fiber (g) 3
Sugars (g) 7
Protein (g) 27
Vitamin A (%DV) 20
Vitamin C (%DV) 10
Calcium (%DV) 20
Iron (%DV) 20

5. Small Mango Pineapple Smoothie. Score 6/11

A tray of food and drinks on a table.

Great for a hot summer day and easy to take on the go, the Mango Pineapple Smoothie is a delicious and refreshing low-calorie choice. Packed with vitamins and with little to no fats, this is a great option if you’re not into a super hearty breakfast.

Calories 210
Saturated Fat (g) 0
Cholesterol (mg) 5
Sodium (mg) 40
Fiber (g) 1
Sugars (g) 46
Protein (g) 2
Vitamin A (%DV) 30
Vitamin C (%DV) 20
Calcium (%DV) 8
Iron (%DV) 20

6. Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait. Score 5/11

A healthy breakfast option featuring a glass of yogurt topped with blueberries at McDonald's.
This breakfast isn’t rich in any particular vitamin or nutrient but it’s a low calorie option that stays under recommended limits for sodium, cholesterol, fats, and sugar.
Calories 150
Saturated Fat (g) 1
Cholesterol (mg) 5
Sodium (mg) 80
Fiber (g) 1
Sugars (g) 23
Protein (g) 4
Vitamin A (%DV) 2
Vitamin C (%DV) 15
Calcium (%DV) 10
Iron (%DV) 4

7. Steak and Egg Biscuit. Score 5/11

Finally, another breakfast sandwich! A lower calorie option than its Steak, Egg, and Cheese on a Bagel counterpart in the #1 spot, but lacking in other categories. With a medium amount of protein, great calcium and iron content, this is still a good option.

Calories 540
Saturated Fat (g) 16
Cholesterol (mg) 280
Sodium (mg) 1470
Fiber (g) 2
Sugars (g) 3
Protein (g) 25
Vitamin A (%DV) 10
Vitamin C (%DV) 2
Calcium (%DV) 20
Iron (%DV) 25


McDonald’s has a good range of breakfast options, allowing you to choose what you want based on the nutritional values that are important to you. Have high blood pressure? Choose something with low sodium. Looking to pack on muscle? Choose something with high protein. Whatever you choose, the items with higher scores represent more well-rounded meal choices, ensuring that you’re hitting your daily targets of diet components as suggested by the FDA.

Looking for something not on this list? Check out our full scoring spreadsheet here.

McDonald's healthiest breakfast items featuring Raising Cane's secret menu.

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