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  • Writer's pictureTom Tran

Are McDonald's burgers and sandwiches that unhealthy?

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

Comparison of McDonald's and Starbucks products' nutritional values

McDonald's has a bad reputation for their unhealthy products. In this article, we examine the nutritional values of their sandwiches and burgers and compare them to a more "cool" and health conscious brand like Starbucks.

big mac

These Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) are the most popular chains in the world if we exclude Subway as they mostly sell build-your-own sandwiches.

First, let's take a look at the serving size for each of them.

serving size starbucks mcdonalds

The serving size tends to be a bit higher for McDonald's. However, if we look into the total calories, Starbucks products are higher on average.

calories starbucks mcdonalds

So McDonalds give you more food but fewer calories. Why? The reason is Starbucks products offer higher calories per gram of food.

calories per gram starbucks mcdonalds

In fact the amounts of protein and carb per one gram of food for Starbucks tend to be higher than for McDonald's as seen below with Starbucks products being on the top right corner.

protein per gram starbucks mcdonalds

Overall, McDonald's products are more filling because of their large serving sizes, but if you want to stay full longer, Starbucks might be a better option that gives you more energy.

In conclusion, the answer to our original question on whether McDonald's burgers and sandwiches are unhealthy is probably no, since their calories are not too high overall. So, as long as you stick to the burgers and sandwiches and stay away from the Big Breakfast with Hotcakes (Large Size Biscuit) with 1,150 calories, you will be fine.

Disclaimer: The post includes my personal research and does not reflect Starbucks or McDonald's view.

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