Is the Grilled Chicken at McDonald’s Healthy?

May 14, 2017   11 Comments

I have looked at a bunch of food at McDonald’s and today I will determine if the grilled chicken sandwich at McDonald’s is healthy.

Is the Grilled Chicken at McDonald’s Healthy?

Why do I do it? I don’t know if you have noticed, but there is one in almost every town. I could tell you not to eat there but instead I think it is wise to admit that many of us DO eat there. How do you determine the best choices?

I have written - Is McDonald’s Oatmeal Healthy? and done a McDonald’s salad review. Both posts are pretty popular.

Today we look a the grilled chicken sandwich. Here is the box:

The definition of “artisan” - (of food or drink) made in a traditional or non-mechanized way using high-quality ingredients.

Umm, isn’t the whole point of McDonald’s is that it is fast food and therefore must be mechanized? I thought that was how McDonald's became so big - they created an assembly line for food. Not sure this word, artisan, is going to truly represent this sandwich.

What about the ingredients? There is a fluffy bun, a patty of chicken breast, tomato, lettuce, and a vinaigrette (no mayo!).

It is one piece of chicken breast meat – not like some of their other products (nuggets) and it is not DEEP FRIED. This, of course, makes it one of their lighter offerings.

This is the nutrition info for the Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich:

380 calories, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 44 g carbohydrates, 11 g sugar, 37 g protein, 3 g fiber, 1110 mg sodium, 10 SmartPts

1110 mg of sodium! That is 46% of your daily value (if you are under 55 years old) in one sandwich. Whoa!!

I am not going to reprint all of the ingredients here – you can see them on McDonald’s website but there seems to be more sugar and salt than you need in a chicken sandwich.

There is sugar on the chicken (why?), in the roll, and in the dressing. I’m not sure what is going on there.

I paid $6 for this sandwich and I wish I had enjoyed it.

The taste was simply off. The bun was sweet, the chicken was salty and had a strange texture, and the vinaigrette was poured all over the place.

I actually exchanged the first sandwich that I received because the lettuce was so wilted that it was slimy (yuck) and they gave me a new one.

I’m not sure McDonald’s should attempt a sandwich like this because it isn’t a place that makes “hand made” food. You have to have time to evaluate the lettuce for freshness and not pour the sauce so that it drowns the chicken.

I don’t think this sandwich is healthy because of the ridiculous amount of sodium and the two teaspoons of sugar. It is much lower in fat than all the burgers and has fewer calorie than most of the menu BUT it simply misses the healthy mark by a mile.

Stick with the salad if you are trying to grab a healthier lunch or dinner (and put on your own dressing!).

Other posts you might like:

What You Need To Know About McDonald's Oatmeal

McDonald’s oatmeal has been around since 2011 and it has barely changed since its debut....


A Healthy Choice at McDonald's

Snack Girl is probably the last person on the planet to discover that McDonald's has yummy salads. I don't get out much....

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So sad! Real chicken??? ! Why not! I just read that subway chicken is 30% soy by DNA testing! Could you get McDonald's DNA tested? So proud of you!!

if you looked at the sodium levels even in restaurants, not chains, you wouldn't be eating there either.

Dang it. Seems wherever I turn for a quick meal, there's sneaky sugar and salt or soy pushed into it. Not right. Poop. Pardon my language. But this is disappointing.

Thanks for reviewing this, Lisa. I was surprised at the price - $6 seems like a lot for the quality.

I like McDonald's grilled chicken salad, but it takes me a long time to eat it. Sometimes you need to grab something quick, and I think the grilled chicken sandwich is still a good choice.

I'm surprised you didn't mention some of the new topping they are offering like pico guacamole.

@Nancy - I didn't mention the pico guacamole for a couple of reasons. First, I never know how long McD's is going to offer something like that so I wasn't sure it would be relevant for the future. Second, I would have had to order another sandwich and try it. Two sandwiches? :)

thanks for your great comment!

If you are looking for "healthy" from Mcdonalds, their grilled chicken snack wraps are your best bet -- if your mcdonalds stil offers them off the menu. 18g of protein and less than 300 calories. almost 1/2 of that comes from the shell, so double chicken snack wraps become very good for post workouts if you cant wait for a meal less than 500 calories and ~35g of protein; however, one of those are going to cost you 4$. It is high in salt, but you can mitigate that by drinking extra water.

I order the grilled chicken sandwich with the classic bun (the smaller one that is used for hamburgers) and with no sauce/mayo. I substitute mustard - I like mustard and I try to save some calories that way. I like the chicken sandwich. Didn't know that it had so much sodium and sugar though.

I held the vinaigrette AND the added salt -which you can do by the way! Although- I'm going to be honest, it made me feel super tired. Not energized like chicken normally makes me feel from the protein boost. However, the Macros are pretty ON point. So, if you're Macro counting it's a decent lunch. I also got it for $1 today on special, so MORE than worth it for me.

I've been getting one almost everyday for a buck with the MCapp and I gotta say its pretty dern good but I also order it plain and ditch the I guess I am just getting a piece of grilled chicken but its still good and for only a buck I don't feel ripped off.

Didn't know about the sodium content of the sandwich so thank you for mentioning it. On the other hand, I looked at a couple of other fast food items I like, 6" Subway Spicy Italian, and Costco Combo pizza slice, and they have way more sodium. The Costco pizza slice contains 1940mg which is amazing. :(

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