Why Is McDonald’s Food Bad for Your Body | Know The Truth

McDonald’s food is very popular worldwide for its crave-able menu and mouthwatering taste. But have you ever wondered how it could deteriorate your body? 


While you can get some good food options available at McDonald’s, most of them can cause long-term damage to your health. 

The food we eat has a direct impact on the quality of our life. We tend to indulge in certain food items that do not add value to our nutritional health and do more harm. One such example is food from the famous fast food chain McDonald’s.

McDonald’s food is bad for the body as it has a higher calorie, fat, sodium, and sugar content than the average requirement of a human being. 

According to Science Alert, McDonald’s most famous burger Big Mac contains so many calories and fats that it can take 3 days for the human body to completely digest it. 

It has also been reported by PETA that the chicken used by McDonald’s is raised in filthy sheds and drugged to grow large in size quickly. 

While these allegations have made headlines regularly, if you look at McDonald’s nutritional servings closely, you will find them to be higher than what our bodies require.

To better understand the impact of McDonald’s food on your health, let’s check out some facts about the fast-food chain which are going to shock you.

 How Bad Is McDonald’s For You?


McDonald’s is an indulgence that most of us find hard to resist. But their food has been under the radar of health experts for the unhealthy and high calorie, fat, and sugar content, which puts us at risk of developing health issues.

Let’s take a look at the health problems associated with excess consumption of McDonald’s food.

1. Contains Animal Fat 

Most food items on the McDonald’s menu contain high calories and cholesterol. Their world-famous french fries also haven’t been able to escape this wrath. Earlier, they were fried in animal fat and now in vegetable oil. 

This factor made the fries less tasty, so McDonald’s decided to add beef flavoring to the fries containing hydrolyzed wheat and milk. These two ingredients are a health hazard for people with milk and gluten allergies.

Nutrition Specialist Sarah Chatfield warns, “Fried fast foods such as French fries are the biggest source of artificial trans fats since the high frying temperature can increase trans-fat content in the cooking oil.”

An unhealthy diet also leads to cholesterol issues. The average cholesterol requirement is 300 mg per day, and taking more than the average can cause heart problems, breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, cognitive decline, and depression. 

Unfortunately, when you eat a couple of menu items together from McDonald’s regularly, you are at risk of high cholesterol. 

Below is the list of famous menu items at McDonald’s and the amount of cholesterol they contain.

Menu Item Cholesterol
French Fries (Kids)0 mg
French Fries (Small)0 mg
French Fries (Medium)0 mg
French Fries (Large)0 mg
Big Mac80 mg
Egg McMuffin250 mg
Baked Apple Pie0 mg
Chicken McNuggets (4 pieces)25 mg
Double Cheeseburger85 mg

(Note- This data has been referenced from McDonald’s nutrition calculator)

2. Body Feels Full

Have you ever noticed how full you feel after eating at McDonald’s? Thanks to the high-calorie levels of McDonald’s meals. McDonald’s burgers certainly taste delicious, but the ingredients used to make them are so greasy that they spike the daily calorie content. 

Higher calories also mean it takes more time to digest. This means you will feel full for longer and maybe even heavy after enjoying a McDonald’s meal.

In research conducted, it was pointed out that the chain’s famous burger Big Mac takes nearly 3 days to completely digest and pass out of the body. Do we need to say anything more?

According to the NHS, the average daily calories intake for men is 2500 and 2000 for women. A single Big Mac contains 550 cal alone. Considering you will also pick a pack of fries and a drink with the Big Mac alongside other meals in the day, obesity may come knocking at the door if McDonald’s is your weekly order. 

High-calorie intake regularly causes high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, gallstones, and cancer. 

Below is the list of famous menu items at McDonald’s and the calories they contain.

Menu ItemCalories 
French Fries (Kids)110 cal
French Fries (Small)220 cal
French Fries (Medium)320 cal
French Fries (Large)490 cal
Big Mac550 cal
Egg McMuffin310 cal
Baked Apple Pie230 cal
Chicken McNuggets (1 piece)42 cal
Double Cheeseburger450 cal

(Note- This data has been referenced from McDonald’s nutrition calculator)

3. Higher Salt Content


If your blood pressure increases after having a tasty meal at McDonald’s, blame the food. McDonald’s serves meals with a higher level of sodium than our body requires. 

An average person requires nearly 2300 mg of sodium per day. But people suffering from high blood pressure require only 1500 mg. If we look at McDonald’s most famous burger Big Mac sodium content, it contains 1010 mg salt.

Now, add to this the other food items you will order, along with the burger and the other meals throughout the day, and think about where your sodium levels will be headed. 

According to Harvard T.H. Chan, higher sodium levels in the body can increase blood pressure. It can also cause bloating, stroke, and calcium loss. 

Below is the list of famous menu items at McDonald’s and the amount of sodium they contain.

Menu ItemSodium
French Fries (Kids)90 mg
French Fries (Small)180 mg
French Fries (Medium)260 mg
French Fries (Large)400 mg
Big Mac1010 mg
Egg McMuffin770 mg
Baked Apple Pie100 mg
Chicken McNuggets (4 pieces)330 mg
Double Cheeseburger1120 mg

(Note- This data has been referenced from McDonald’s nutrition calculator)

4. Unhealthy Fats

If we look at the statistics of the highest obesity rates, SA, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, and Ireland top the charts. The reason? Thanks to food rich in fat. 

If you go to McDonald’s 4-5 times a month, check out your consumption of fat content. McDonald’s burgers contain a lot of fat, which is unhealthy for the body. The recommended amount of fat per day is about 50-83 g. 

Increased fat levels can cause blood levels of triglycerides to rise. They are a type of lipid with the fattest content in the food and body. 

Normally, they get cleared within a few hours, but in the case of a low-fiber diet, it becomes difficult. This causes the arteries to harden and increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. You may also suffer from constipation due to the lack of dietary fiber. 

Below is the list of famous menu items at McDonald’s and the amount of fats they contain.

Menu ItemTotal Fat
French Fries (Kids)5 g
French Fries (Small)10 g
French Fries (Medium)15 g
French Fries (Large)23 g
Big Mac30 g
Egg McMuffin13 g
Baked Apple Pie11 g
Chicken McNuggets (4 piece)10 g
Double Cheeseburger24 g

(Note- This data has been referenced from McDonald’s nutrition calculator)

5. Higher Sugar


If you think cutting down on sodas and desserts can reduce sugar levels, think again. The average amount of sugar that the body needs per day is:

  • Men: 38 g or 9 tsp
  • Women: 25 g or 6 tsp
  • Children: 25 g or 6 tsp

McDonald’s desserts contain a higher level of sugar than the body needs, but they are not the only items with sugar in them. According to a report, McDonald’s burgers had 2.6 grams of sugar per serving in 1989, but that figure has now risen to 10 grams per serving.

Professor Graham MacGregor, chair of Action on Sugar, said: “These figures truly are shocking.

“At a time when both food manufacturers and the food service industry should be making strides to reformulate and reduce the number of foods high in sugar, salt, saturated fat, and calories, McDonald’s is clearly lagging behind.” 

High sugar content is also found in McDonald’s dressings, cookies, and salads. High blood sugar can cause hyperglycemia and gut microbiomes to get destroyed. 

Below is the list of famous menu items at McDonald’s and the amount of fats they contain.

Menu ItemSugar
McDonald’s beverage: Coca Cola55 g
McDonald’s beverage: Hi-C Orange Drink54 g
McDonald’s beverage: Sprite53 g
McDonald’s condiment: Barbeque Sauce44 g
McDonald’s condiment: Sweet ‘N Sour Sauce40 g
McDonald’s condiment: Honey Mustard Sauce12 g
McDonald’s McFlurry26 g
Hot Fudge Sundae44 g
Baked Apple Pie14 g
Oreo McFlurry60 g
Hot Caramel Sundae41 g

You have got a fair idea of some of the food items at McDonald’s that can be bad for you. To learn more about McDonald’s menu nutrition, click here. 

Does McDonald’s Have Healthy Options? 

You’ve got a fair idea of how excess consumption of McDonald’s food can be bad for your health. But with increasing health consciousness and demand for healthy foods, the food industry is coming up with good food options that are less harmful to health.

Following the trend, McDonald’s has also worked on its menu and introduced healthy options on its menu. You can enjoy some low calories, sodium, and fat options at McDonald’s, like fruit and maple oatmeal, apple slice, salads, fruit and yogurt parfait, hamburger, and egg McMuffin.

Additionally, McDonald’s has also added diet-specific items to its menu for vegan customers. McDonald’s vegan menu includes a vegan burger, apple slices, sodas, juices, slushies, and more. You can order from McDonald’s gluten-free menu if you suffer from gluten allergies.

You can also make the most of McDonald’s low-sodium foods and low-calorie foods. Since we are looking at all the health aspects related to McDonald’s food, don’t forget to check out our special article to find out if diabetic patients can eat at McDonald’s.

How Often Is It Ok To Eat Mcdonald’s?


Indulging in your cravings is not a bad idea, but when done wisely, it can save you from a lot of health issues. So, if you love McDonald’s, we aren’t asking you to give it up. Treat yourself to all the delicious McDonald’s offerings by keeping them in check. 

Eating McDonald’s meals once or twice a month is absolutely okay, alongside a healthy diet. Cheat days should always be a part of your routine to make your routine interesting. So, do indulge in those fries, chicken nuggets, and burgers mindfully.

If you are eager to learn more health-related information about McDonald’s food, you can check out our research on McDonald’s fries, chicken nuggets, and hash browns. 


You must be worried about the bad effects that McDonald’s food has been causing on your body. But it’s never too late! You can order some healthy options at their outlets or stop eating there. If you would like to add or ask something, then you can do so in the comment section below.

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