McDonald's Highest Fat Content Menu Items

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

If you're wondering what the worst McDonald's menu food items are in terms of fat calories and fat content, you've come to the right place. Despite the universal focus on fighting obesity and eating healthy, this is the most frequently asked question in the international countries where McDonald's restaurants do business.

Many Foods on the McDonald's Menu Have High-Fat Content

While there is conflicting research about the consequences of a high-fat diet, experts agree that a high-fat diet of processed fat foods isn't the healthiest choice over the long-term.

Certainly, consuming a McDonald's Big Breakfast with Hotcakes, which delivers a whopping 96% of the recommended intake of fat calories (based on a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet), is not the healthiest way to start each day.

The risks associated with eating too much fat include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and of course, obesity, according to the Mayo Clinic. And yet a single McDonald's menu item can have nearly 90% of the recommended daily intake of fat grams.

This is problematic for the value of the McDonald's brand, which has come to symbolize the worst that the U.S. fast food industry has to offer in terms of nutrition. The leaders and marketing teams at McDonald's are working hard to re-position the McDonald's brand in the minds of consumers as a restaurant chain with healthy dining options.

However, as all of the largest U.S. retail chains and restaurants are finding out, branding doesn't hinge on attracting customers with a slick advertising campaign.

Rather, restaurants must deliver on the promises of the brand.  In this case, what McDonald's promises and what McDonald's delivers are two different things when it comes to healthy food choices.

This list of the top ten worst McDonald's menu food items for fat calories is arranged by fat content with the highest at the top.

The second list looks at those menu items with the highest trans fat content.

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

Chicken McNuggets (40 pieces)
2017 - 120g of fat

Chicken McNuggets (20 pieces)
2017 - 60g of fat

Big Breakfast with Hotcakes
2017 - 56g of fat
2012 - 56g of fat
87% of recommended daily fats for the average adult

Big Breakfast (Large Biscuit)
2017 - 52g of fat

Big Breakfast with Hotcakes and Egg Whites (Large Biscuit)
2017 - 50g of fat

Big Breakfast with Regular Size Biscuit
2017 - 48g of fat
2012 - 48g of fat
74% of recommended daily fats for the average adult

Big Breakfast with Hotcakes and Egg Whites (Regular Size Biscuit)
2017 - 46g of fat

Quarter Pounder with Cheese
2017 - 43g of fat

Big Breakfast with Egg Whites (Large Biscuit)
2017 - 41g of fat

Bacon Clubhouse Burger
2017 - 41g of fat
64% of the fat Daily Value (DV)

Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese
2017 - 70g of fat
2012 - 42g of fat
65% of recommended daily fats for the average adult

Angus Mushroom and Swiss
2017 - 40g of fat
61% of recommended daily fats for the average adult

Angus Deluxe
2017 - 39g of fat
60% of recommended daily fats for the average adult

Angus Bacon and Cheese
2017 - 39g of fat
60% of recommended daily fats for the average adult

McFlurry with Reese's
2017 - 37g of fat
58% of recommended daily fats for the average adult

Sausage Biscuit with Egg
2017 - 33g of fat
50% of recommended daily fats for the average adult

Sausage, Egg and Cheese McGriddle
2017 - 32g of fat
49% of recommended daily fats for the average adult

Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich
2017 - 29g of fat
45% of recommended daily fats for the average adult

McDonald's provides nutrition information online, including the total fat grams for each menu item, broken down by saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol. This information is mandated by from the Affordable Care Act, which requires businesses with more than 20 locations to publish the nutritional content for all menu items. 

Most medical professionals agree that "zero" is the recommended Daily Value (DV) for trans fats. In fact, in 2013, the FDA removed partially hydrogenated oils (the source of artificial trans fats) from the GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) foods list.

Today, McDonald's signature Big Mac, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and Shakes (which helped shape the McDonald's brand) still contain more trans fats than the daily recommended amount.   

Worst McDonald's Menu Food Items for Trans Fat Content

Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese
2017 - 2.5g Trans Fat

Bacon Clubhouse Burger
2017 - 1.5g Trans Fat

Frappe Caramel (Large)
2017 - 1.5g Trans Fat

Frappe Chocolate Chip (Large)
2017 - 1.5g Trans Fat

Quarter Pounder With Cheese
2017 - 1.5g Trans Fat

Quarter Pounder Deluxe
2017 - 1.5g Trans Fat

Steak, Egg and Cheese Bagel
2017 - 1.5g Trans Fat

Big Mac
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Bacon McDouble
2076 - 1g Trans Fat

Chicken McNuggets (40 pack)
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Chocolate McCafe Shake (Small, Medium, or Large)
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Strawberry McCafe Shake (Small, Medium, or Large)
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Vanilla McCafe Shake (Small, Medium, or Large)
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Daily Double
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Double Cheeseburger
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Frappe Caramel (Small or Medium)
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Frappe Chocolate Chip (Small or Medium)
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Frappe Mocha (Smal, Medium, or Large)
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Mac Snack Wrap
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

McDouble
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Oreo Frappe (Small, Medium, or Large)
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Jalapeno Double
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Shamrock McCafe Shake (Small)
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Steak & Egg Biscuit (Regular Biscuit)
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

Steak & Egg McMuffin
2017 - 1g Trans Fat

In June 2015, the FDA gave food manufacturers three years to remove partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) completely from all food intended for human consummation.  Companies that want to use PHOs after 2018 must get special approval from the FDA.  

While McDonald's did replace the partially hydrogenated oils it uses to cook its signature french fries in 2007, as one of the oldest U.S. retail franchises, the brand has a long way to go to shake the bad image created by its shakes and Big Macs.