There's nothing quite like a McDonald's

You might think we are here to rant and rave about why you should avoid fast food at all costs. Believe it or not, we are here to tell you what you CAN eat at McDonald’s.

Sometimes nothing else will do. Be it after a night out on the town, shopping with the kids or just a need to indulge. We all give in to the temptation and convenience of McDonald’s now and again (yes, even yours truly has been known to do it).

The secret is knowing which burger will do the most damage – and which will do the least - so I’m here with a few facts and figures to help you make that decision a good one.

The best choice under those Golden Arches is…wait for it - a plain hamburger. No surprises there.

A plain burger won’t cost you too many calories – just 3 Totals, or 250 calories with 8 grams of fat. If you get that ‘to go’ and have the burger with a salad from the supermarket next door, that’s a GOOD CHOICE.

The other burger options aren’t so great, however – a Quarter Pounder or Big Mac have more than twice the units and calories (430 cals in a Quarter Pounder, almost 500 cals in a Big Mac) and both have over 20 grams of fat.

If a cheeseburger is your thing, then you usually have two choices – a regular Cheeseburger or a Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

The difference? 220 calories and a staggering 15 grams of fat. Yes indeed, the Quarter Pounder with Cheese packs in a massive 7 units, 515 calories and almost 27 grams of fat (of which 13 grams are saturated) while the regular Cheeseburger is much more acceptable with 4 Totals, 300 calories and 11 grams of fat.

If you’re after the cheese, a regular cheeseburger is, again, a GOOD CHOICE.

But the question is, can you still order ‘fries with that’ without tipping the scales in the wrong direction? Well, I’m afraid that even if you have the smallest portion, you’ll be adding another 3 Totals or over 200 calories and 9 grams of fat, which will bring your meal to a total of 7 Totals or 500 calories and over 20 grams of fat.

The only consolation is that it’s just less than the Quarter Pounder with Cheese alone – and you can work out for yourself how much THAT would add up to with fries.

If it’s chicken you’re after, you’ll be torn between the McChicken Sandwich and Chicken McNuggets. The McChicken Sandwich is pretty hefty at 5 Totals, 375 calories and 17 grams of fat whereas 6 Chicken McNuggets have only 4 Totals or 250 calories and 15 grams of fat – so still no room for fries there.

But this time, there is a solution. If you order a Happy Meal with McChicken Nuggets, you’ll get 4 nuggets, regular fries and a small drink (make it a diet one) AND the free toy (hooray!) – which adds up to a total of 5 Totals or 375 calories and 19 grams of fat.

Pretty acceptable considering this is McDonald’s and you can’t avoid the fact that everything is fried.

At times like these, remember your portion control and don’t be tempted to super-size your order – you could be adding on up to 200 calories and doubling the fat from those few extra fries. And if you’re having a soda, choose a diet drink and ask for the smallest size – or better still, have water.

So you see, I’m not totally against McDonald’s – in fact there’s nothing quite like it. Just remember to choose wisely and don’t blow all your good work by going large on your order – or you could be going large on your hips, too.

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