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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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!

Thanks So much for checking this,i was wondering about it and you answered all my Questions Tim Hortons has Oatmeal i foind it very mushy like it had been over cooked or sitting too long not a fan of it

are you freakin kidding me? 57gms carbs? one serving of carbs is 15gms! That means you are having 4 servings... EEK! I'll stay home, make my quinoa hot cereal, add some sugar free maple syrup or agave and my own FRESH fruit for <50 cents a serving. Wake up AMERICA!!!!

@Nicole- Not trying to be inflammatory here, but your post made me laugh. You are yelling 'wake up America!' however, in the same post you mention 'sugar free' maple syrup (chemicals) and 'agave'. Agave does technically have a low glycemic index, and may end up being being lower in calorie than regular sugar (same calories as regular sugar actually, but you can usually use about 1/4 as much since so much sweeter tasting). However, agave is not a panacea. It is high in fructose (which is the reason high fructose corn syrup is bad- HFCS has 10% more fructose than regular sugar and although that doesn't seem like much, your liver would disagree. So, I sincerely hope you do not have any liver issues or are pregnant/trying to get pregnant if you are using the agave (most varieties of it have been shown to contain anordin and dinordin which are steroids with contraceptive effects that could lead to miscarriage.) So, those could easily be argued much worse than some extra carbs.

Also, my organic quinoa is 37 gms of carbs in a serving. Less, but still way above the 15 gms you quoted.

I feel like you kind of missed the point here. I don't think anyone is trying to call this 'health food' or a reason to leave the house specifically for it. Also of course it is way cheaper and healthier to make almost anything yourself at home. However, it is nice to see companies at least trying to make some sort of effort.

By the way did you hear the thing on NPR about how the Bolivians are able to be more than 5th generation sheep herders now that the US has hooked into quinoa? Glad to hear I'm not the only one helping to pay for that one herder's daughter's med school tuition :)

I like that McDs & Starbucks have some better options. There are times when I travel and if the hotel does not have breakfast included, I need something fast and want something at least relatively healthy that will hold me over until lunch. It's hard to eat three meals out a day, even occasionally. Sometimes, I get lucky and have a mini fridge and a breakfast. When I don't, this oatmeal sounds like a plan!

My local McD's had a coupon on the side of a coffee cup to try a free oatmeal. Thanks to your info, Snack Girl, I can't wait to give it a try...minus the too-sweet brown sugar!

Thanks for all the info! Next time I'm out and about and need something to snack on, I plan to give it a try! I'm curious to compare how this stacks up to Starbucks' oatmeal.

I very rarely eat at McDonald's, but I like to have healthier options, especially during road trips. I had been wondering about their oatmeal. It's going in my "healthier breakfast option" "brain folder!" :)

Thanks for testing it for us and for all the info!

Here's a question; how does it's price compare to the less healthy options?

@fiveKaday - Well it was $3 for 2 egg mcmuffins. I think it is a bit pricier than the sandwiches.

Remember, this is MacDonald's, and they are the KINGS of customer service, despite how bad it is for us. If we buy crap they will keep making crap, and if we demand better, they will give us better, and this is a small step that way.

While I would love to try the oatmeal at McDs I will have to say no and stick with homemade. I'm sure theya re trying but beyond the "normal" chemicals I see the real chemicals - All of these items/ingrediants are GMOs. Nothing about this product is Organic or natural. Whole grains mean nothing when all the the products seperatly came from seeds that were produced in a lab (By Monsanto) So now you have fake food with added extra chemicals. Bummer. I will be really really impressed when a fast food place can make all of their same product with Certified Organic product. How yummy a real hamburger or chicken sandwich would be if it were real - like the old days.

I sampled the oatmeal at one of the McDonald's preview events. I'm a huge fan of oatmeal, as long as it's not sugary sweet. I thought it was quite delicious and satisfying, but it does taste like instant oatmeal. It's not the type of oatmeal I would enjoy regularly for two main reasons. One, it's made with milk. Two, I prefer natural whole grain oats. I like Jamba Juice oatmeal. I don't mind paying for someone to prepare my steel cut oats, but paying for instant rolled oats seems like a rip. Plus, at Jamba Juice, it's cooked in soy milk. However, with Jamba Juice, you really have to watch them add the toppings b/c sometimes they overdo it.

Here's a link to the post about the McDonald's preview event I attend and also my interview with the Senior Director of Nutrition at McD's USA:…

I too would like to hear your thoughts on Starbucks' oatmeal. I really like it and with no added sugar (in the fruit variety) it seems like a very healthy option.

Eeeek! Breaks my heart to take something so healthy and destroy it w additives, preservatives and sugar. I'd literally have to be starving to death to consume that amount of calories w little to no nutritional value. The same goes for the packets of 'flavored oatmeals. Your better off having a soy latte or keifer if you're in a hurry.

haven't tried it. McDonald's irritates me. I loved the McGriddles until I found out their evil secret.


I actually tried this oatmeal at McDonalds and was disappointed. I have a lapband, so my amount of food is limited so portion size was great. However, it wasn't sweet like the blogger posted. Mine was very blah. I needed a little more butter and brown sugar to tolerate the taste. Starbucks on the other hand has a great oatmeal, and I'm not even that big of a fan but I want a hot breakfast every now and then too. I much prefer their oatmeal and method of preparing it.

This would be better tasting and more nutritionally balanced with the addition of nuts such as chopped walnuts or pecans, or sliced almonds. Why should all the crunch come from fruit? There is enough sugar in the oatmeal itself without adding fruit to the top. JMHO!

The oatmeal is great! I don't think it's too sweet. The apples give it a tart taste. And for the chick who said the egg McMuffin wasn't healthy...I beg to differ. You need to check your facts.

Hi ... I've been trying to track down exactly WHAT type of oatmeal McDonald's uses. I've tried several "instant" oatmeals to make my own version of Mickey D's oatmeal at home, but so far I haven't found any that have the same consistency of the McDonald's brand. I like that it isn't as rough (it's a little more mushy I guess) as some of the other store-bought instant brands. Thanks!

I've got a small tote full of homemade pre-mixed things that I carry in the car (quick oats & cinnamon). All I have to do is get a cup of hot water from the fast food place...much healthier. I like adding a tub of unsweetened apple sauce to mine and cut the water in half. Shuddering as I write this as I think about walking into McD's.

I love it. And I get it without brown sugar, so it's not to sweet for me. I am on the road a lot, so I was so thankful for this.

I tried all three, Starbucks, McD's and Jamba Juice and hands down Jamba wins. Compaired to the pasty rolled oats Jamba's was hearty and delicious. Slow cooked steel cut oatmeal to perfection. I love the berry cherry pecan or the fresh banana. When I want less sugar I just leave off the brown sugar crumble. I also get a fresh brewed coffee, hot coffee blend or fresh squeezed OJ for an excellent healthier than the others breakfast.

I'm sitting at my desk, eating McDonald's 'Scrumptious Fruit & Maple Oatmeal' (as it says on the container. now... my question is, did I get it with or without brown sugar? was I supposed to ask FOR brown sugar, or for brown sugar to be left out?? which was is it served when you don't ask, or aren't offered a choice? I am under the impression that mine does NOT have brown sugar in it. this is the second day in a row I got this, and didn't bother to ask either time regarding the brown sugar. to me, it's not all that sweet. the fruit gives it a nice balance. I actually like it. I was researching on line as to how they make it, because I'd like to re-create it at home, hopefully cheaper, and I found this blog. for me, it kept me full way longer than I had anticipated. all morning long. even at lunch I was just like, 'oh, it's time for lunch'. not my usual, "geeze I'm starving!!"

I loved the McDonald's fruit and oatmeal. It is nice to have a healthier choice when pulling up to the drive-thru window.

Here's some info for everyone:

You CAN order the oatmeal with out brown sugar or fruit.

You can ask the employees to adjust the amount of water or cream they put in. Or ask them to give you cream and sugar packs so you can make it yourself. Or in other words "Have it your way."

And for a healthier alternative to sugar, most McDonald's carry packs of honey, which tastes great in oatmeal without being too sweet.

My source? I work there part time while attending medical school.

Here's a FANTASTIC infographic on McD's oatmeal:…

As much sugar as 1.1 Snickers bars?! Clearly, this is not a healthy breakfast option

does anyone know what type of instant oatmeal McD uses?

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