Worst McDonald's Menu Items for Sodium, Health Risks

Kids and Adults Risk Heart Disease and Obesity from McDonald's Foods

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

Question: 

What are the Worst McDonald's Menu Food Items for Sodium Content?

Because of consumer demands and sometimes government mandates, McDonald's, along with many of the largest restaurant chains in the U.S. restaurant industry are focused on nutrition of their food as much as the taste and price of the food they serve.  Considering the number of McDonald's restaurant location closings that occurred in the 2015 calendar year, it's easy to see that healthy consumer preferences precede profits.

 

RELATED: Restaurant Chain Menus Are About More Than Just Food >>

Answer: 

There is a long list of McDonald's Menu food items that are high in sodium/salt content, according to guidelines provided by The American Heart Association  (The Recommended Daily Allowance/RDA for the average adult is 2,300 mg. per day and for children the RDA for salt intake is 1500 mg. ) 

In June 2012, there were eight menu items listed on the McDonald's website nutrition page that contained more 50% or more of the sodium intake that's recommended for an entire day by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  in 2016 that number of high sodium menu items has bloated to 24.

SEE ALSO:  International Countries With McDonald's Restaurants >>
 
Since the recommended daily allowance of sodium is less for children than for adults, the number of menu items that contain more than 50% of a child's RDA for sodium is a staggering 75 salt-filled choices.

  That's compared to just 35 menu items too-salty-for-kids items offered on the McDonald's menu in 2012.

Why should McDonald's diners and McDonald's leaders be equally concerned about the salt content of McDonald's foods?  According to the American Heart Association, a high sodium diet puts both children and adults at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and contributes to obesity, for one thing.

 The FDA adds kidney, brain, and eye damage to the list of consequences of consuming too much salt.

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 contain in 2016, 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.

Worst McDonald's Menu Food Items for Fat Content and Fat Calories


Bacon & Cheese Sirloin Third Pound Burger
2016 - 2070 mg salt content
90% of the sodium recommended daily allowance (RDA) for the average adultBig Breakfast with Hotcakes and Egg Whites

2016 - 2000 mg salt content
87% of the sodium recommended daily allowance (RDA) for the average adult

Big Breakfast with Hotcakes (Regular Size)
2016 - 1960 mg salt content
2012 - 2150 mg salt content 90% of the RDA
85% of the sodium recommended daily allowance (RDA) for the average adult

Chicken McNuggets (20 pieces)
2016 1800 mg salt content

Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit (Large Size Biscuit)
2016 - 1630 mg. sodium

 Lettuce & Tomato Sirloin Third Pound Burger
1600 mg. sodium

Steakhouse Sirloin Third Pound Burger
1550 mg. sodium

Big Breakfast (Large Size Biscuit)
2016 - 1630 mg.

sodium

Premium McWrap Chicken & Bacon (Grilled)
2016 - 1490 mg. sodium

Big Breakfast with Egg White (Regular Size Biscuit)
2016 - 1470 mg sodium

Bacon Clubhouse Burger
2016 - 1470 mg. sodium

Premium McWrap Chicken & Bacon (Buttermilk Crispy)
2016 - 1440 mg. sodium

Steak, Egg & Cheese Biscuit (Regular Biscuit)
2016 - 1440 mg. sodium

Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese
2016 - 1330 mg. sodium
2012 - 1360 mg salt content
57% of the recommended daily salt intake for the average adult

Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles
2016 - 1280 mg. sodium
2012 - 1360 mg salt content
57% of the recommended daily salt intake for the average adult

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Bagel (with egg whites)
2016 - 1270 mg. sodium
2012 - 1300 mg salt content
54% of the recommended daily salt intake for the average adult

Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit (Regular Size)
2016 - 1270 mg sodium

Bacon Egg & Cheese McGriddles
2016 - 1260 mg sodium

Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles with Egg Whites
1260 mg sodium

Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit (with Egg Whites)
2016 - 1250 mg sodium

Bacon Egg & Cheese McGriddles (with Egg Whites)
2016 - 1230 mg sodium

Premium McWrap Chicken & Ranch (Buttermilk Crispy)
2016 - 1240 mg sodium

Premium McWrap Chicken Sweet Chili (Grilled)
2016 - 1200 mg. sodium

Quarter Pounder with Cheese
2016 - 1140 mg sodium (no longer more than 50% of the sodium RDA)
1180 mg salt content
49% of the recommended daily salt intake for the average adult

2012 McDonald's Menu Items More than 50% of RDA for Sodium (Not on 2016 Menu):

Angus Bacon and Cheese
2070 mg salt content
86% of the recommended daily salt intake for the average adult

Angus Deluxe
1700 mg salt content
71% of the recommended daily salt intake for the average adult

Big Breakfast
1560 mg salt content
65% of the recommended daily salt intake for the average adult

Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich
1200 mg salt content
50% of the recommended daily salt intake for the average adult

Southern Style Chicken Biscuit
1180 mg salt content
49% of the recommended daily salt intake for the average adult

RELATED: Political Affiliation of McDonald's and Its Leaders

The average adult consumer 3,400 mg of sodium per day, however, according to the Mayo Clinic.  The primary cause for the excessive daily intake of sodium is processed and preserved foods like those served in America's fast-food restaurants like McDonald's.  Many foods on the McDonald's have a dangerously high sodium content, even though these familiar fast food choices might not taste salty to the average McDonald's diner. 

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.  But times have changed, food supply chains have changed, the Standard American Diet (SAD) has changed, and sentiment about fast food has changed.

NEXT:   Worst McDonald's Menu Items for Fat Calories