Calories in a McDonalds Sausage Egg McMuffin

Whether you're in a rush or you simply love the taste of McDonald's fast food, you've likely eaten a sausage egg McMuffin at some point in your life (so long as you're not a vegetarian, of course). But, apart from marveling at the flavor, have you ever wondered about sausage McMuffin nutrition?

According to McDonalds’ nutrition calculator, a sausage egg McMuffin charts in at 480 calories. (Image: amberleeknight/iStock/Getty Images)

Calories in a Sausage McMuffin

According to McDonalds' nutrition calculator, a sausage egg McMuffin charts in at 480 calories. What's more, its macronutrient count ranks in at 30 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbohydrates and 21 grams of protein. While those numbers alone may not seem like that big of a deal, understanding the nutritional science behind them might change your mind.

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, children between the ages of 4 and 13 should be consuming roughly 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day for girls and 1,400 to 1,800 calories per day for boys. Of those calories, 5 to 30 percent should come from protein, 45 to 65 percent should come from carbs and 30 to 35 percent should come from fat.

Females aged 19 and over should be consuming 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day (unless weight loss is a goal) and males 19 and over should be consuming between 2,000 and 3,000 calories a day (again, unless losing weight is top-of-mind). While calorie consumption increases with age, macronutrient recommendations remain largely unchanged.

These numbers make it clear that consuming a sausage egg McMuffin, which contains nearly one third of a daily calorie allotment, might be delicious, but is not nutritious. This is especially true, since few people opt for the sandwich alone, and instead order the full meal, tacking on another 150 calories and 1.5 grams of trans fat per hash brown, as well as about 220 calories for a medium Coke.

Overall Sausage McMuffin Nutrition

Now that you have a better understanding of sausage McMuffin calories and macronutrients, let's take a deeper dive into the nutrition of the sandwich as a whole. Namely, how this fan-favorite breakfast item measures up for cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fats, three of the most controversial nutrients in food.

With 275 milligrams of cholesterol, 12 grams of saturated fat and 0.5 grams of trans fat per sausage egg McMuffin, it's again clear that these frequently ordered treats do more harm than good. They are packed with things your body doesn't want.

While the 2015-2020 edition of Dietary Guidelines doesn't offer a limit on cholesterol, it does make it clear that it's best to hold true to the 2010 guideline of no more than 300 milligrams per day. Given that one sausage egg McMuffin has a whopping 275 milligrams by itself, it's clear to see why many people have questioned this menu staple.

Then there are the saturated fats, which, according to MedLinePlus, should make up no more than 7 percent of your daily calories for optimal health. This means eating 16 to 22 grams, or less, of saturated fats each day. Wiping out 12 of your 16 daily grams with one sandwich mean that you would need to really evaluate the rest of your meals for the day to ensure staying within the healthy consumption range.

Lastly, according to MedLinePlus, trans fats should account for no more than 1 percent of your daily calories, which equates to about 20 calories (or 2 grams) of the dietary fat. Overeating the unhealthy fat can increase your risk for heart disease and other illnesses. Since many foods have hidden trans fats, wiping out two-thirds of your daily allotment in one food item, which is not even one full meal, isn't the best idea.

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