The Worst McDonald's Menu Items for Sodium

© McDonald's, reprinted with permission from AboutMcdonalds.com

Due to consumer demand (along with government mandates) McDonald's, as well as many of the largest restaurant chains in the U.S. restaurant industry are focused on the nutritional value of their food offerings as much as the taste and price. Although the number of McDonald's restaurant location closings that occurred in 2016 was 500, the chain opened 1,000 more stores, in more profitable neighborhoods.

Unfortunately, consumer health, and preferences) take a back seat to profits.  

Below is a list of the top worst McDonald's menu food items for sodium content. The list is arranged according to the salt content they contained in 2017, with the saltiest food items listed first.  When available, the comparison to the 2012 salt content for the same menu item in 2012 is included.

This list of McDonald's foods high in sodium (i.e., salt) content, is based on guidelines provided by The American Heart Association. The Recommended Daily Allowance (or RDA) for the average adult is 2,300 mg per day. The RDA of salt intake for children is 1,500 mg per day.

In June 2012, there were eight menu items listed on the McDonald's website nutrition page that contained 50% (or more) of the recommended sodium intake per day as deemed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In 2017 that number jumped to 24.

 

The reason McDonald's diners and McDonald's leaders should be concerned about the salt content levels is that, according to the American Heart Association, a high sodium diet puts children and adults at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and contributes to obesity. The FDA adds kidney, brain, and eye damage to the list of consequences of consuming too much salt.

Worst McDonald's Menu Food Items for Salt Content

Bacon & Cheese Sirloin Third Pound Burger

  • 2017 - 2,070 mg salt content
  • 90% of the sodium recommended daily allowance for the average adult

Big Breakfast with Hotcakes and Egg Whites

  • 2017 - 2,000 mg salt content
  • 87% of the sodium recommended daily allowance for the average adult

Big Breakfast with Hotcakes (Regular Size)

  • 2017 - 1,960 mg salt content
  • 2012 - 2,150 mg salt content 90% of the recommended daily allowance
  • 85% of the sodium recommended daily allowance for the average adult

Chicken McNuggets (20 pieces)

  • 2017 - 1,800 mg salt content

Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit (Large Size Biscuit)

  • 2017 - 1,630 mg. sodium​

Lettuce & Tomato Sirloin Third Pound Burger

  • 2017- 1,600 mg. sodium

Steakhouse Sirloin Third Pound Burger

  • 1,550 mg sodium

Big Breakfast (Large Size Biscuit)

  • 2017 - 1,630 mg. sodium

Premium McWrap Chicken & Bacon (Grilled)

  • 2017 - 1,490 mg sodium

Big Breakfast with Egg White (Regular Size Biscuit)

  • 2017 - 1,470 mg sodium

Bacon Clubhouse Burger

  • 2017 - 1,470 mg sodium

Premium McWrap Chicken & Bacon (Buttermilk Crispy)

  • 2017 - 1,440 mg sodium

Steak, Egg & Cheese Biscuit (Regular Biscuit)

  • 2017 - 1,440 mg sodium

Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese

  • 2017 - 1,330 mg sodium
  • 2012 - 1,360 mg salt content
  • 57% of the recommended daily salt intake for the average adult

Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles

  • 2017 - 1,280 mg sodium
  • 2012 - 1,360 mg salt content
  • 57% of the recommended daily salt intake for the average adult

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Bagel (With Egg Whites)

  • 2017 - 1,270 mg sodium
  • 2012 - 1,300 mg salt content
  • 54% of the recommended daily salt intake for the average adult​

Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit (Regular Size)

  • 2017 - 1,270 mg sodium

Bacon Egg & Cheese McGriddles

  • 2016 - 1,260 mg sodium

Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles with Egg Whites

  • 2017 - 1,260 mg sodium

Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit (With Egg Whites)

  • 2017 - 1,250 mg sodium

Bacon Egg & Cheese McGriddles (With Egg Whites)

  • 2017 - 1,230 mg sodium

Premium McWrap Chicken & Ranch (Buttermilk Crispy)

  • 2017 - 1,240 mg sodium


Premium McWrap Chicken Sweet Chili (Grilled)

  • 2017 - 1,200 mg sodium

Quarter Pounder with Cheese

  • 2017 - 1,140 mg sodium (no longer more than 50% of the sodium RDA)
  • 49% of the recommended daily salt intake for the average adult

The average adult consumers 3,400 mg of sodium per day according to the Mayo Clinic.  The primary cause of the excessive daily intake of sodium is processed and preserved foods. These are the menu offerings in America's fast-food restaurants like McDonald's. 

It's doubtful that McDonald's founder, Ray Kroc, had sodium content in mind when he was establishing one of the world's largest restaurant chains. However, times have changed, food supply chains have changed, the Standard American Diet (SAD) has changed, and public awareness about the benefits of a healthy diet has changed.

NEXT:  Worst McDonald's Menu Items for Fat Calories