Big Mac Nutrition Information

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McDonald's nutrition facts can vary, so if you're in a pinch, there are better choices than a Big Mac.
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You're probably already aware that a Big Mac doesn't top the list of healthy foods, but how bad is it, and what about the other items at McDonald's? McDonald's nutrition facts can vary, so if you're in a pinch, there are better choices than a Big Mac.

For example, a regular hamburger provides half as many calories and less than a third of the fat. But it's not only the calories and fat that are important, as fast food is linked to health problems for other reasons too. While an occasional indulgence is OK, try not to make it a regular part of your routine.

Big Mac Nutrition

Like the name implies, a Big Mac is a big burger. It has two burger patties sandwiched between three pieces of bun and several toppings, including the proprietary Big Mac Sauce. For one Big Mac, calories come in at 540, which is just for the burger and no sides. The remaining Big Mac nutrition looks like this:

  • 28 grams total fat
  • 10 grams saturated fat
  • 1 gram trans fat
  • 46 grams of carbohydrates
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 9 grams of sugar
  • 25 grams of protein
  • 940 milligrams of sodium
  • 80 milligrams of cholesterol

Read more: The Shocking Amount of Calories in a Big Mac Meal

Other McDonald's Nutrition

While a Big Mac may be McDonald's signature item, it's a bit excessive for one burger. If you're stuck and McDonald's is your only option, but you're looking for something a little better, reach for a regular hamburger instead. With one regular hamburger, you'll get:

  • 250 calories
  • 8 grams of total fat
  • 3 grams of saturated fat
  • 31 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 gram of fiber
  • 6 grams of sugar
  • 13 grams of protein
  • 480 milligrams of sodium
  • 30 milligrams of cholesterol

Although it's not exactly a "healthy" option, the nutrition facts for a regular hamburger look a little better than the Big Mac nutrition. It's nearly half the calories and sodium, no trans fat and significantly less cholesterol.

Read more: Calories in a McDonald's Veggie Burger

The Downsides of Fast Food

The health of Americans has gotten increasingly worse over the last 50 years, and according to an October 2018 report in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, lifestyle factors, including eating fast food, are largely to blame.

The overweight and obesity rate has risen to a shocking 71 percent of Americans and because of this, the report boldly claims that eating fast foods and processed foods may prematurely kill more people than smoking cigarettes. That's because fast food is high in calories, trans fat and sodium, which as the Center for Young Women's Health points out, can increase the risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight gain/obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes

The report in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine also notes that if the fast food is fried, it's even worse because of the oil. Typically, food that's fried in a fast food restaurant is cooked in oil that's been heated and reheated many times. This creates compounds called aldehydes, which are carcinogenic (or cancer-causing) and mutagenic (or able to change your DNA structure).

According to the report, fried fast food contains 100 times more aldehydes than the World Health Organization classifies as safe. A study that was published in Public Health Nutrition in March 2012 also linked regular consumption of fast food to an increased risk of depression.

Of course, if you have a Big Mac every once in a while as part of an otherwise healthy diet, it's unlikely that it will cause serious health issues. However, if Big Macs and other fast and processed foods make up the bulk of your diet, it's a good idea to start making some changes to phase them out and keep yourself healthy.

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