What You Need To Know About McDonald's Oatmeal

April 15, 2020   47 Comments

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

Is McDonalds Oatmeal Healthy?

When it first came out, I wanted it to be a healthy option for a fast food breakfast. Finally - McDonald's was offering oatmeal instead of deep fried potatoes!

Oatmeal is prized for its nutrition benefits. The fiber in oats may help in the prevention of heart disease and diabetes.

It turns out that you can ruin oatmeal’s healthy qualities with 33 grams of sugar per serving. That is over 2 tablespoons of sugar!

If I have already convinced you to avoid McDonald’s oatmeal check out my DIY instant oatmeal and healthy slow cooker oatmeal for some actual healthy options.

Here is what it looks like when you first order it. Don't try to drive and put this together as you will end up with raisins squished in the driver's seat of your car. Go ahead and pull over to mix it.

Looks good right? oatmeal! apples! raisins and cranberries!

At first glance there seems nothing to fear. Oatmeal should be an easy win and this one could fit in your cup holder.

The ingredients seem okay except for the cream which has some strange stuff in it - probably because it is not fresh cream. Food manufacturers add all kinds of things to keep food shelf stable.

Ingredients for McDonald’s Fruit and Maple Oatmeal:


Water, whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural flavor, barley malt extract, caramel color.

Diced Apples-

Apples, calcium ascorbate (a blend of calcium and vitamin C to maintain freshness and color).

Cranberry Raisin Blend

Dried sweetened cranberries (sugar, cranberries), California raisins, golden raisins, sunflower oil, sulfur dioxide (preservative).

Light Cream

Milk, cream, sodium phosphate, datem, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium citrate, carrageenan.

McDonald’s oatmeal has brown sugar and cream and it isn’t super high in fat. The five grams of fiber - is perfect for a healthy breakfast.

The problem is the added sugar.

Nutritional Information:

310 calories, 4 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 62 g carbohydrates, 33 g sugar, 6 g protein, 5 g fiber, 140 mg sodium, 13 Purple, 13 Blue, 13 Green WW SmartPts

How much added sugar is in this oatmeal? 18 grams - or more than one tablespoon. The rest of the sugar is from the raisins and cranberries (which is natural sugar and not that bad).

How do they make it? It is instant oatmeal with the sugar pre-added and then an employee adds hot water and light cream. You add the cranberries and raisins, and diced apples.

I guess they were in a hurry because mine wasn’t mixed all the way. see here:

You cannot ask for the sugar on the side. I wish you could and then this would be a healthy option. The sugar is already mixed into the oatmeal as a mix. WHY?!

Doesn't McDonald's already have sugar packets? Maybe they don't as I never order a coffee with sugar.

At Starbucks, they give you the sugar on the side (and some nuts) BUT it costs more than twice as much as the McDonald's version.

So the bad news:

  • It has 33 grams of sugar (one tablespoon added sugar)
  • I was hungry about 2 hours after eating it.
  • Should be called FRUIT and BROWN SUGAR oatmeal as there is no maple as far as I can see (lawsuit?).

My advice is to avoid the McDonald’s oatmeal and order the Egg Mcmuffin - check out my review of the Egg McMuffin and the best way to order it.

Another option is to buy your own instant oatmeal and add hot water to it. Please be aware that the prepackaged oatmeal can also be packed with sugar. Look for ones with no sugar added and you will be doing so much better.

What do you think of McDonald's oatmeal?

Other posts you might like:

Do-It-Yourself Instant Oatmeal: Healthy and Insanely Easy

There is an entire ¼ aisle of my grocery store devoted to little packages of oatmeal....

Healthy Slow Cooker Oatmeal

This healthy slow cooker oatmeal is for all the people who want a hot breakfast and don’t have time to make it.....

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 47 )

I too tried their oatmeal on the way home from a road trip last weekend. We wanted a hot breakfast and didn't have any other options in the car besides other fast food places. I thought it was good, and you can apparently order it without the brown sugar.

I think it's a good "fast food" option if you HAVE to eat fast food breakfast. Of course, I'd prefer to make it at home, but that's not always available.

I have been wanting to try McDonalds 2$ a cup oatmeal compared to Starbucks 3$ a cup oatmeal. What I wonder is if Starbucks adds all those chemicals too, or if it really is just slow cooked oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins? if you could do a side by side comparison I would love that! Thank you

Your friend the Oatmeal lover

Leslie Haon, Atlanta, Georgia.

I agree with the above comment. When you compare it to some of the sandwiches and combos that McDonalds offers, it's by far the better option. I wouldn't think you could eat this every day, but it's a better choice when your back is to the wall (or, rather, your face is to the counter I suppose.)

Thank you for this post. I may stick to Starbucks control the sweetness. :) :) Good alternative to an Egg McMuffin though if you're on the road...glad they came out with it. Hopefully it survives.

Leslie, this is for you. Here's the info on the Starbucks Oatmeal:…

I had no idea Starbucks served oatmeal! Guess I have to get out from under my rock more often. I will go take a look. Thanks for the suggestion!

I ordered it while on a road trip during the northeast blizzard and welcomed something with less fat from MickyD's. Not bad, but too sweet for me. I like the idea of adding some PB.

I don't frequent McDonald's very often, but am so happy to hear they are serving oatmeal and healthier choices.

I haven't tried it but I have been adding chopped organic Fuji's and cinnamon to my organic low sugar oatmeal and it is delicious!

Being too sweet, is the biggest complaint I have heard from people on this.

I tried the McDonald's oatmeal yesterday morning -- we were on the road very early for my daughter's sports and didn't have many hot and fast options. It was pretty good. Not the oatmeal I would want to eat everyday but not a bad option when you need something quick -- and definitely better than the event's concession stand donuts...

Since the biggest complaint is the sweetness, you can order it without the brown sugar and it takes away 30 calories.

Starbucks oatmeal is Quaker instant oats.

what about the egg mcmuffin? Has 20 more calories but much more protein and actually is satisfying. I ate a similar sandwich for breakfast every day when I was living in a dorm last year (at the age of 43) and actually lost weight over the year. At least the egg mcmuffin stays with you until lunch time.

I agree with Cassie, you can ask for it without the brown sugar and it drops the calories down. Also, at least for me, I never miss the extra sugar. The apples and raisins provide enough sweetness.

I also agree with Snack Girl- sometimes you have absolutely no choice but to eat out for whatever reason. This is a healthy, lower calorie, meal alternative if you pair it with like a black coffee.

Another option for those of you that get caught out occasionally and need to grab something healthy without getting your sleeping toddlers out of a car, you can also get the 'protein plate' at most Starbucks. It has some cheese, some grapes, a couple apple pieces, a hard boiled egg, and a multi-grain little bread slice. If you do not eat the peanut butter/honey spread packet (80 calories) it drops it down to 290. I think the bread is just fine by itself.

I appreciate that places are attempting to offer more items that are healthier and list the calorie counts right on their boards. My local 7 eleven has started selling individual bananas right near the check out. Love that. Pair that with a black coffee and you are good to go. I often stop in mid walk.

I'm pleased to see some acceptable occasional options for busy people on the run. I hope to see more healtheir options than the typical junk.

Thanks for sharing this infor Snack Girl.

I really like the Jamba Juice oatmeal. It is whole grain, and you can control the toppings (I get mine with a fruit topping and no brown sugar.

I am enjoying it on the days when I either don't have anything to take along, or don't have time. Much better for me than a sausage McMuffin, which is what I would have gotten in the past.

They offer this dish without sugar at my local McD's, which is only 260 calories. Not bad for an entire meal! That's the only way I've had it and it is pretty darn good; super-sweet, wihtout the added sugar! I can only imagine what it tastes like with the sugar... McD's is practically outside my office door. Thankfully, I have a lot of self-control when it comes to fast-food. But, this b-fast is my go-to if I run out of time in the morning.

Thanks for posting this kind of information. I love making your snacks at home, but it's good to know I have a few options when out of the house with my 2 year old!

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