You CAN lose weight still eat McDonald's – the healthiest picks on the menu revealed

MCDONALD'S and dieting are two words that don't normally appear together.

But trying to keep your calorie count down doesn't necessarily mean that you have to give up the odd Macci D's.

Having a little of what you fancy is often the best way to ensure that you don't fall entirely off the wagon.

And often, the "healthy" foods at fast food joints aren't always the lightest items available.

In fact, we previously revealed at many of McDonald's "healthy" options contain more calories than some burgers, soft drinks and puddings.

So, here are five of the lightest options on the menu:

1. Hamburger: 250cals, 8.3g fat, 13g protein, 6.6g sugar

Bizarrely, the McDonald's hamburger really isn't as calorific as you'd think.

But you've got to be prepared to have it without any extras – including cheese.

Load up on lettuce and pickles and you'll be alright.

It's also worth saying that consuming processed meats are increasingly being linked to bowel cancer.

Eating just 25g of the stuff a day (that's the equivalent of one rasher of bacon) can increase your risk of colon cancer tumours by 20 per cent.

So if you do want to have a burger, make sure that you really are having it as an occassional treat…and definitely think about skipping the bacon.

2. Apple Pie: 250cal, 14g fat, 2.3g protein, 9.5g sugar

OK let's not kid ourselves here that a deep-fried apple pie is anything but an occasional treat. It's not healthy and you'd definitely be better off going for one of the fresh fruit bags.

But if you do want a proper pudding, then the classic apple pie is lighter than choosing a McFlurry and it's lower in sugar too.

It's also got a decent amount of fibre in them too – so you could do worse.

h2>3. Porridge: 194cals, 5.3g fat, 9.6g protein, 9.2g sugar

If you like grabbing your breakfast on the go, you don't have to resign yourself to an Egg McMuffin.

Try going for one of the porridge pots, which are made from whole grain oats.

They'll keep you energised and full throughout the morning – avoiding those 11am hunger pangs which see you reaching for the biscuit drawer.

4. Grilled Chicken Salad: 133cal, 3.7g fat, 20g protein, 3.3g sugar

Not all of McDonald's salads are that light. Many come with fatty bacon toppings or calorific sauces, but the grilled chicken salad is really high in protein, low in sugar and fat and full of fresh veg.

The sauce that it comes with adds an extra 30kcals and 1g of fat which could be worse.

5. Crunchy Carrot Bag: 34kcals, 0.2g fat, 0.5g protein, 5.8g sugar

McDonald's sells bags of carrots and fruit which are the perfect accompaniment to any meal – and an easy way of upping one of your five a day.

If you want to keep your calories down and your nutrients up, think about swapping your 500kcal fries for some carrot sticks.

That way you're getting a side order of vitamin A rather than a gut-full of saturated fat.

Of course, calories aren't everything

Nutritionist Helen Bond previously told The Sun: "Whilst calories are ‘king’ when it comes to weight loss and weight maintenance, they don’t take into account the nutrient composition of the food – which is equally important for health and well being.

"As a nation, we still consuming too much cholesterol-raising saturated fat, blood pressure raising salt, added or newly termed free sugars and not enough gut-healthy fibre and nutrient-rich fruit and vegetables.

"Use this calorie information as a steer to your food choices, but where possible cook from home using quality plant foods ingredients (whole grains, pulses, nuts, seeds and fruits and vegetables), so you know exactly what is going into your food."

If you really want to eat healthier, there's no substitute for wholesome home cooking – using as much fresh veg as possible.

But if you do fancy a treat at McDonald's, you may as well get something that you'll enjoy.

"McDonald's has got itself a pretty bad rep over the years and research does suggest that an excess of fried or fast food is not good for our health in the long run," Sophie Bertrand, Registered Associate Nutritionist at Rhitrition, told The Sun.

"If you are visiting McDonald's every so often, I would say choose whatever takes your fancy on the menu! There is no point picking a meal that you are not going to enjoy.

"We know that more and more research is concluding that variety in the diet is very important so if you are trying to be ‘healthier’, instead of going to fast food places to opt for a salad, try making a conscious effort to add more fruit, veg and wholegrains in to your overall diet.

"And remember that one meal at McDonalds cannot compete with a well-balanced way of eating. It is about looking at the whole picture."



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