Are Mcdoubles good for you?

Quick answer

Mcdoubles can be part of a healthy diet in moderation but should not be a dietary staple due to high levels of fat, sodium, and calories. Mcdoubles provide protein, vitamins and minerals but lack fiber and contain high amounts of saturated fat.

What is a Mcdouble?

A Mcdouble is a burger sold at McDonald’s consisting of two 100% beef patties, one slice of cheese, onions, mustard, ketchup, and pickles on a regular bun.[1] It contains 380 calories, 19 grams of fat, 18 grams of protein and 500 mg of sodium.[2]

Nutritional profile

Here is the full nutritional profile of a standard Mcdouble according to the McDonald’s website[2]:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 380
Total Fat 19g
Saturated Fat 8g
Trans Fat 1.5g
Cholesterol 55mg
Sodium 500mg
Total Carbohydrate 33g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 9g
Protein 18g

As you can see, Mcdoubles are high in calories, fat, sodium and cholesterol while being low in fiber.

Pros of Mcdoubles

Cheap source of protein

Mcdoubles provide 18g of protein for only $1-2, making them one of the cheapest sources of protein available from any fast food restaurant.[3] The protein comes from the two beef patties and helps support muscle growth and satisfies hunger.


With over 36,000 locations in the United States, McDonald’s offers easy access to quick and inexpensive meals like the Mcdouble. Busy people can grab a Mcdouble on the go without having to cook or prepare anything.

Familiar and consistently tasty

The consistent taste of Mcdoubles makes them a go-to for people who enjoy that signature McDonald’s flavor. When you order a Mcdouble, you know exactly what you are getting.

Provides some vitamins and minerals

Mcdoubles contain modest amounts of various vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, zinc, phosphorus and niacin.[2] While not a significant source, they can help contribute to your daily recommended intake of these nutrients.

Cons of Mcdoubles

High in calories and fat

With 380 calories and 19g of fat, mainly from unhealthy saturated and trans fats, Mcdoubles are very high in calories and fat compared to recommendations. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting calories from saturated fats to less than 10% daily.[4] Just one Mcdouble provides close to this entire recommended daily limit.

High amount of sodium

The 500mg of sodium in a Mcdouble is over 20% of the American Heart Association’s recommended daily limit of 2300mg.[5] Too much sodium can increase risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

Lack nutritional variety

Mcdoubles are mostly just refined grains and protein sources like beef and cheese. They lack diverse fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that are vital for health. Relying on Mcdoubles for meals would lead to nutrient deficiencies over time.

May increase risk of some cancers

Some large cohort studies have found positive associations between eating processed and red meat and risk of certain cancers like colon cancer.[6] While not conclusive, reducing red and processed meat intake, like that found in Mcdoubles, may lower cancer risk.

Lack fiber

With only 1g of fiber, Mcdoubles lack the fiber found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains that is important for digestive health, cholesterol reduction, and feeding beneficial gut bacteria. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 25g of fiber daily for adults.[4]

Healthier Mcdouble alternatives

If you enjoy Mcdoubles but want a healthier option, try these modifications:

– Ask for only one beef patty instead of two to cut calories, fat and sodium in half

– Order your Mcdouble “fresco style” to replace mayo-based sauce with pico de gallo, reducing fat and calories

– Top your Mcdouble with lettuce, tomato, onion and other veggies for added nutrition

– Opt for a side salad instead of fries for a boost of vitamins, minerals and fiber

– Choose water or low-fat milk over soda to limit added sugars

– Ask for whole wheat bun to add fiber

– Get apple slices instead of fries for fiber, vitamins and minerals

How often can you eat Mcdoubles and stay healthy?

As part of an overall balanced diet, occasional Mcdoubles in moderation are fine for most healthy individuals but they should not become dietary staples. Here are some healthy guidelines for McDouble consumption:

– Limit to 1 Mcdouble per week to keep saturated fat, sodium and calories in check

– Choose lower calorie/fat modifications like fresco style or one patty

– Increase intake slightly to 2-3 per week if very active or trying to gain weight

– Pregnant women and those with heart disease risk factors keep intake to less than 1 per week

– Always pair with healthier sides like salads, fruits and vegetables instead of fries

– Mcdoubles are not suitable as everyday meals for children due to high sodium and calories


Mcdoubles can be an inexpensive and tasty food option when consumed in moderation but they should be paired with healthier sides and not become a diet staple. Limit intake to 1-3 per week as part of a balanced diet for most healthy adults. Opt for healthier modifications to reduce fat, sodium and calories when possible.

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