What’s the Healthiest Thing to Eat at McDonald’s?

With 14,155 restaurants in the United States alone, and 22,744 additional locations outside of the U.S., McDonald’s is arguably the most well-known fast-food chain in the world. And, if you’re taking a road trip, this summer it can be difficult to resist the siren call of fast-food convenience.

While known for its burgers, fries and shakes, you don’t need to blow your calorie budget on a Big Mac Extra Value Meal. These five options, at 420 calories or less, complete with ordering tips from a dietitian, can help you eat healthier the next time you find yourself under those golden arches.



Nutrition stats: 300 calories, 12g fat, 30g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 3g sugar, 18g protein

Why it made the cut: Coming in right at 300 calories, this breakfast sandwich contains 18 grams of satiating protein and 2 grams of fiber.

Dietitian’s tip: Opting out of the processed cheese slashes 50 calories and 190 milligrams of sodium. Skipping the Canadian bacon spares you another 200 milligrams of sodium but you also lose 4 grams of protein.


Nutrition stats: 190 calories, 4g fat, 33g carbs, 4g fiber, 3g sugar, 6g protein

Why it made the cut: Topped with fresh apples and a splash of cream, this unsweetened oatmeal provides 4 grams of fiber and only 3 grams of sugar. At 190 calories it makes a great light breakfast or snack option.

Dietitian’s tip: Make sure you ask for oatmeal without brown sugar (it exists) and skip the dried fruit to slash 120 calories and a whopping 30 grams of unnecessary sugar. Add a little more staying power to this breakfast by asking for a side of scrambled eggs. You won’t find them on the menu but rumor has it they are offered. One side of scrambled eggs adds 140 calories, 9g fat, 1g carbs and 13g of quality protein.




Nutrition stats: 420 calories, 22g fat, 14g carbs, 4g fiber, 6g sugar, 43g protein

Why it made the cut: At just over 400 calories, this salad offers 4 grams fiber and 43 grams of protein, not to mention a whole lot of nutrient-rich veggies.

Dietitian’s tip: Each packet of McDonald’s Newman’s Own Ranch Dressing contains 200 calories so it’s best to use less if you can. Rather than drizzling ranch all over your salad, load up your fork with greens and dip them into the dressing instead. Half packet should be plenty if you use this technique — and you won’t miss the rest.


Nutrition stats: 360 calories, 13g fat, 24g carbs, 5g fiber, 7g sugar, 38g protein

Why it made the cut: With 25% of your daily intake for fiber, this veggie-filled salad is the highest in fiber of all McDonald’s salads and provides plenty of satiating protein, too.

Dietitian’s tip: As is, this salad is fairly high in sugar, but simply asking to hold the cilantro-lime glaze will cut 8g carbs and more than one teaspoon (5g) of added sugar. Use the fork-dip trick mentioned above and you can enjoy the creamy southwest salad dressing for half of the calories, or ask for the lighter balsamic vinaigrette which has just 35 calories per packet in contrast to 120 calories in the southwest dressing.


Nutrition Stats: 420 calories, 14g fat, 38g carbs, 3g fiber, 7g sugar, 36g protein

Why it made the cut: At 420 calories this is a hearty, protein-packed sandwich that also brings some healthy fats to the table thanks to the guacamole topping. The lettuce and pico de gallo add a few extra veggies.

Dietitian’s tip: You’ll get all of the goodness for 100 fewer calories simply by ordering this sandwich with a sesame seed bun instead of the artisan roll it’s typically served on and asking to hold the processed cheese. To get it under 400 calories, skip the buttermilk ranch sauce to shave off another 50 calories and 5 grams of fat.

Of course it’s not the healthiest thing to eat at McDonalds but, if a burger and fries is really what you’re craving, you can always get the cheeseburger kids meal with fries and apple slices for just 430 calories instead of the 1,000 calorie Big Mac Extra Value Meal.

Nutrition note: Most fast foods, even the healthier options, are very high in sodium. To balance things out, try choosing lower-sodium foods at other meals and snacks throughout the rest of the day.

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Can Avocado Toast Help You Lose Weight? | This Week in Fitness

We’ve got the secret to help you live longer. Or at least we’ve rounded up some solid research on how to get there. Every other week, the Under Armour Connected Fitness editorial team hand-curates the biggest stories, trends and goings-on around the world to help you live healthier. This time around, we’ve got a bunch of tips for longevity.

We Propose a Toast

Embrace it — millennial food trends aren’t going away. If you’re tired of avocado toasts and smoothie bowls, we present this evidence to (perhaps) sway your opinion: There’s evidence they help with weight loss, according to a new study. Need more convincing? Scientific evidence suggests eating avocados may help you live longer.

How to Live to 100

Want to make it to the century mark? The Daily Meal has published a massive feature on the quest for longevity, all centered around food. There’s lot of good stuff there, but our favorite might be its list of 25 foods that help your centenarian quest. Spoiler alert: Chocolate made the cut.

Healthy Eating, Brought to You by Ikea

OK, make your Swedish meatball jokes and get them out of the way. The home furnishings mega-chain wants to help you eat better. Check out this video, which details its new “Cook This Page” product — sheets of parchment paper with images stenciled on them. All you have to do is add the ingredients, roll it up and bake.


Eyeing More Than You Can Chew

When it comes to portion control, are your own eyes working against you? A study by the British Medical Journal reveals that we misjudge how much food we’re eating by sight — which can result in an extra 300 calories (or more) per day. You’ll be stunned by this series of images that shows a trio of portion sizes of the same meal. And check out our 7 tricks to nail portion control.

Phelps Debunks the 12K Myth

He won 23 Olympic gold medals — that’s a fact. But his fabled 12,000-calorie diet? Overstated, Michael Phelps told Men’s Health. “It’s impossible — you can’t eat that much,” he said. Here is Under Armour’s look at his legendary training regimen.

Keep Your Cool in the Pool

Speaking of the pool, if you’re looking to switch your workout routine — but keep the benefits of your cardio — Experience Life has four simple suggestions on how to make swimming your go-to this summer. Here’s a half-hour pool workout focused on calorie burn.


Give the Gym an Hour

Just 60 minutes per week of resistance training and you’ll give yourself a better chance of avoiding heart disease and diabetes. And that’s just the start of it, according to a new study of some 7,500 participants — you can avoid a whole host of cardiovascular risk factors.

See the Light for Better Sleep

Are we subjecting ourselves to too much artificial light before bedtime? That’s the argument in this WebMD piece, which suggests “blue light” is affecting our sleep, as well as larger health issues.

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Baked Falafel Lettuce Wraps | Recipe

Baked Falafel Lettuce Wraps

Baked falafels are a crispy way to get your lean protein and fiber in! Courtesy of The Wheatless Kitchen, these delicious falafels are made by baking ground chickpeas for a healthy alternative to the traditional deep-fried version. Serve them up with tangy lemon-dill yogurt sauce and watch them disappear.

Baked Falafel Lettuce Wraps


For the Falafel

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)

For the Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the Lettuce Wrap 

  • 18 butter lettuce or romaine leaves (about 2 heads)
  • 3 medium tomatos, chopped
  • 3 small (200 g) avocados, sliced in half


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a food processor, add the chickpeas, onion, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, olive oil, baking soda and sesame seeds. Pulse until you have a thick paste, without almost no chunks.

In a large mixing bowl, add the chickpea mixture, quinoa and parsley. Stir together until evenly combined.

Form the falafels with your hands by taking about 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time. Gently roll it in the palm of your hand to form a ball, and place it on the baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the batter.

Bake for 30 minutes in the oven, until lightly browned and slightly crispy on the outside.

While the falafels bake, make your sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the yogurt sauce ingredients and let it sit in the fridge until ready to use.

Build your lettuce wraps by layering the falafels, veg components and sauce into a lettuce leaf.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 6 |  Serving Size: 3 falafels + 1 tablespoon yogurt sauce + 3 lettuce leaves + 1/2 tomato + 1/2 avocado

Per serving: Calories: 285; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 3mg; Sodium: 331mg; Carbohydrate: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 9g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 9g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 464mg; Iron: 24%; Vitamin A: 11%; Vitamin C: 51%; Calcium: 8% 

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Is It Bad If I Don’t Feel Sore After a Workout?

It’s the morning after a tough workout and, as you step out of bed — %#*&! Everything hurts … So. Freaking. Good.

For a lot of exercisers, it’s hard to feel like you really got in a good workout if you don’t feel sore. We get it, but can you have a great workout without being sore? What does the soreness really mean?


The muscle soreness you feel 24–72 hours after a tough workout, called delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS), is a sign your muscles are changing at a cellular level. “In order for muscles to get larger, a process called hypertrophy, there needs to be muscular damage, mechanical tension and metabolic stress placed on the body, explains Rain Burkeen, a personal trainer with the Trainerize online training app. “It’s as a result of our bodies recovering from this muscular damage — adapting to prevent further injury when you perform the same movement again — that hypertrophy occurs.”

But while DOMS is often associated with muscle growth, that doesn’t mean DOMS always equals muscle growth, according to one research review published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal. Researchers note that DOMS is influenced not just by how hard you push your body, but also your hormonal state, individual nervous system, the exact muscles worked (some are more prone to soreness than others) and pain perceptions.

What’s more, there’s way more to get out of your workouts than hypertrophy alone. For instance, a steady-state cardio workout might not stimulate a lot of muscular damage and, thus, DOMS, but it will improve your cardiovascular health and burn fat. Meanwhile, lifting near your 1RM (the max amount of weight for one rep), will cause less DOMS compared to hypertrophy workouts (which generally involve performing sets of 6–12 reps), but they can lead to crazy strength gains.


Perhaps even more important to remember is that, sometimes, DOMS can actually be counterproductive. After all, if you try to run five miles on already super-sore legs, it’s not going to be pretty. The run is going to be painful, and, since your exercise performance is guaranteed to be sub-par when you’re sore, you also stand to get fewer fitness gains from that run, Burkeen says.

Meanwhile, if you work out five or six days a week, and you experience DOMS after every single sweat session, you could be pushing yourself too hard. According to research published in Sports Health, extreme muscle soreness can be a sign of overreaching and overtraining syndrome — especially if coupled with other symptoms including reduced exercise performances, fatigue and depressed moods. While there’s no one rule for how often you should or shouldn’t feel DOMS, by listening to your body and watching out for those other signs, you can make sure that any DOMS works in your favor.


Remember, DOMS is a sign of muscle damage and, to see real results, you have to allow your body time to recover from that damage, Burkeen says. That’s where recovery workouts, which help to relieve rather than cause DOMS, such as low-intensity cardio and yoga, come in.

The Bottom Line: DOMS is one of many signs you had a good workout, especially if your goals include muscle growth. But it’s not the only one. So, if you experience DOMS from time to time, that’s great. If you don’t, don’t sweat it.


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