What Can A Diabetic Eat For Breakfast At McDonald’s?

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For a diabetic person, it’s essential to know the calorie intake and the number of carbs present in a food item before consuming it because it can immediately make their blood sugar level go high. You can choose to have a fruit and yogurt parfait with an english muffin and a small coffee which counts 310 calories. Or you can go for an egg McMuffin with a small coffee with 300 calories. You can ask them to exclude certain ingredients which don’t work well for you. Keep your beverages limited to water, unsweetened ice tea, americano, or hot tea. 

Diabetes is a balance game in which you constantly need to maintain your blood glucose level. With it comes various restrictions regarding what you can eat and what you cannot. 

While diabetic people try to maintain their diet, it can be challenging to keep doing this. Once in a while, even they would love to eat a McDonald’s hamburger. 

It might seem impossible, but even diabetic people can enjoy a McDonald’s meal once in a while only if they keep their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol in check.

Knowing which options are diabetic-friendly can be challenging with a vast menu available. So, let’s look at the famous breakfast menu and which items can be a healthy option for someone with diabetes. 

Managing your diabetes

For someone struggling with diabetes, the only option to live with it is by maintaining their blood sugar level, which remains high.

Those with this health condition need to eat a moderate amount of food which is the source of glucose for our body.

With this condition, the body doesn’t make enough or any insulin needed to help glucose from food get into the cells to be used for energy.

Too much glucose in the body can cause various health issues, so maintaining this level becomes necessary.

While watching what you should eat and what not is one part of maintaining this level, there’re other essential steps to be taken that can help.

Importance of carbohydrates in McDonald’s breakfast menu

A woman is holding her burger and fries that she got from McDonalds

Who doesn’t like a cheeseburger with a side of fries and coke to go with it? As delicious as it looks and sounds for someone with diabetes, everything they eat in a day needs to be carefully calculated and looked at its carbohydrate value before consuming it.

The two things necessary for managing your diet are to keep your portion size small so you don’t consume a lot of calories.

The plate method is a famous method for keeping your portions small.

Another factor is watching that carb intake. Carbohydrate counting is essential because these turn into glucose and affect the blood glucose level even more than other foods do. 

Regarding McDonald’s food choices, even a simple hamburger contains 250 calories with 31 grams of carbs. For those who take insulin, counting their carbohydrates can help them to know how much insulin to take. 

While most food items are high in carbs, a few are diabetic-friendly. These are naturally low in carbs and can be a good option for someone with diabetes to eat once in a while.

Diabetic-friendly breakfast at McDonald’s

The more carbohydrate and calorie intake are allowed by someone with diabetes, the more problems they’re inviting in. 

The main goal is to choose food items that are not only low in carbs but calories too. One thing that can help is if the food item is high in protein because it can keep blood sugars more stable. 

The National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases states that carbs must be maintained between 45 to 60 grams for a meal, though it depends on the person and how well their body can take in the carbs. 

Regarding fat intake, the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes keep unhealthy fats like saturated fats and trans fats to a minimum by eating less than 10 percent of calories from then, or 20 grams per day. 

Some diabetic-friendly breakfast options include:

1. Egg McMuffin 

Eggs are a great way to start your day, and it’s a fulfilling food option on the breakfast menu. 

With 310 calories and 30 grams of carbs, it also contains 17 grams of protein, making it a good breakfast option. Other nutritional value includes 770 grams of sodium, 13 grams of total fat, and 250 mg of cholesterol. 

The great thing is that you can ask them to remove the cheese slice, and the calories drop to 260 per McMuffin.

2. Sausage burrito

Another option to consider is the sausage burrito which is made of scrambled egg, vegetable mix, flour tortilla, and pasteurized processed American cheese. 

The carbs count to 25 grams with 13 grams of protein in it. Other nutritional value includes 17 grams of total fat, 800 mg sodium, and 170 mg cholesterol. 

If you ask them to remove the cheese from your burrito, the calories go down to 260 per burrito with 24 grams of carbs, 10 g protein, 600mg sodium, and 155mg cholesterol. 

3. Fruit and maple oatmeal

The bowl of fruits and oatmeal might look like the healthiest choice out of all the breakfast menu options, but it contains 64 grams of total carbs.

While it only contains 320 calories with 4.5 grams of total fat and 6 grams of protein, the carb count is too high.

This can be maintained if you ask them not to add cranberry raisin blend to the fruit bowl. It significantly reduces to 47 grams of carbohydrates per bowl and brings down calories to 250. 

Diabetic-friendly beverages at McDonald’s

A meal never feels complete without something on the side to sip from. Though it’s a bad habit to consume something while eating your meals, most people can’t help but need something on the side. 

Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages such as carbonated drinks is a crucial factor contributing to being overweight and obese. Something America still struggles with.

The best beverage option for not just diabetic people but also for anyone looking to live a healthy lifestyle is to get bottled water with you.

Nothing can ever be better than consuming water because it’s what your body needs as it contains the necessary minerals and vitamins. But sometimes, people crave something more than water, which is quite alright.

Some safe beverage options to have from McDonald’s breakfast menu are:

  • Unsweetened ice tea
  • An Americano
  • Premium roast coffee
  • Iced latte
  • Hot tea

You can make combos to make it easier to have a fulfilling breakfast from McDonald’s, which is diabetes-friendly. 

Foods for diabetics to avoid from McDonald’s breakfast menu

A tray of drinks and foods ordered from McDonald's

For diabetic people, the following foods and drinks should be limited or completely excluded from their diet:

  • Fried food or foods high in saturated and trans fat
  • Foods high in salt
  • Sweets such as baked goods, candy, and ice cream
  • Beverages with added sugars like sodas, juices, or energy drinks

Eating the right amount of food at a planned interval helps people. That doesn’t mean you must completely cut off things like junk food from your diet

There’re days when you’re craving that hamburger and just want to treat it as a cheat meal.

It’s okay to consume fast food with diabetes, but only in moderation while watching its nutritional intake so you don’t accidentally make your glucose levels go high.

Sometimes, taking a single ingredient out can help lower the calorie intake and make it reasonable to consume. 

Avoid the big breakfast hotcake or big breakfast, which consists of a full platter of hotcakes, scrambled eggs, biscuits, hotcake syrup, hash browns, sausage patty, salted whipped butter, salted butter, clarified butter and amounts to a whopping 1340 calories with 158g of carbs.

There’re various options available, but it can only be helpful when you know the nutritional value of each food item on the menu. 

You can also find out the ingredients used, which is helpful for someone with diabetes to help exclude ingredients they don’t want in their meal. It’s also beneficial for someone with an allergy. 

Ways to monitor calories and carbs at McDonald’s 

An outside look of a Mcdonald's in Europe that has a breakfast sign

Not just for the breakfast menu, but there are other ways to make sure you can even enjoy a lunch or dinner in a McDonald’s once in a while.

You just need to take care of a few things or eliminate a few ingredients to make it a reasonable food item for yourself.

FAQs

Is bacon good for a diabetic person?

The smell and taste of bacon are delicious, but at the same time, it can be awful for the health of a person with diabetes.

It’s high in fat, salt, and carcinogens, making it an unhealthy choice for diabetic people.

Can a diabetic person eat McDonald’s soft serve?

Sugar can seem like a big red flag for diabetic people, but it can be enjoyed if eaten in moderation. If you’ve got a sweet tooth but have diabetes too, you might want to lay off from the deserts such as soft serve.

With added and artificial sugar, it’s also high in carbs which can affect your blood sugar level and make it go high.

Desserts can be tricky since there’s a lot to consider, and even some food with natural sweetness can be harmful to a diabetic person. 

It’s better to have apple slices on the menu with 15 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates. Try to find diabetic-friendly desserts to satisfy your craving for sweets.

Do French fries raise blood sugar levels?

Like most junk food, anything fried or greasy in nature can spike your blood sugar level.

Things such as French fries, doughnuts, and potato chips are high in carbs and starch and can cause the blood sugar level to go up easily. 

Can a diabetic person eat chicken McNuggets?

Four pieces of chicken McNuggets contain 220 calories with 16 grams of total carbs. But that’s without considering the heavy breading they covered in.

When you consider that, the calorie intake and carbs being consumed rise significantly. 

It’s also high in sodium and fat as they’re fried and have lots of preservatives. It’s best for someone with diabetes to avoid eating them.

To summarise

It’s valid to feel the craving to eat junk food, and yes, there’re food items on the McDonald’s breakfast menu that you can eat.

When you carefully watch what you eat, you can enjoy certain food items, and by living an active lifestyle, it can be a bit easier to handle your glucose levels.

Thankfully, McDonald’s does provide a nutrition calculator where you can help find out how many calories or carbs you’re intaking with each food item.

Saumya Malik
I'm an ardent follower of everything good for the health and wellness of body and mind. I am passionate about providing effective solutions to general health and mental well-being issues and wants to help people achieve the same. When I'm not writing, you can find me curled up with a good book in a corner or cooking as a form of good mental therapy.
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