McDonald’s® is a mainstay in the fast food industry and is well-known around the world. You can smell their all-beef patties cooking from miles away, and this makes many people stop by to get a bite on their way to work or their way home. For those on the low FODMAP regimen, it is not so easy to go through the drive-through for a bite. Follow the tips below to find a safe meal or snack at McDonald’s®.
All-Beef Patties are OK
The 100% all-beef patty is low FODMAP friendly, but the Angus beef patty contains garlic powder and onion powder, so is not low FODMAP safe. Chicken items contain garlic and onion powder, while nuggets and fish filet are battered in wheat flour. Other meats and proteins that are low FODMAP at McDonald’s® include:
- Quarter Pound 100% Beef Patty
- McRib Pork Patty (without McRib sauce)
- Natural Swiss Cheese
- Pasteurized Process American Cheese
- Shredded Cheddar/Jack Cheese
- Egg (prepared with liquid margarine, which is low FODMAP friendly)
- Scrambled eggs
- Canadian style bacon
No Special Sauces
Stay simple with condiments and spices such as mustard, salt, and pepper. Lime is also available at some restaurants and is ok to squeeze on top of your salad for extra flavor. Ketchup contains high fructose corn syrup, so is off limits.
For breakfast, the hotcake syrup is safe, but unfortunately the hotcakes themselves are not. The whipped margarine, grape jam, and strawberry preserves are ok, but unfortunately there is no gluten-free bread to enjoy them on.
No bun so load up on veggies
All buns, biscuits, English muffins, and wraps contain wheat flour, so opt for a lettuce wrap if available at your local McDonald’s®. Safe veggie choices at McDonald’s® include crinkle cut pickle slices, leaf lettuce, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes. Safe salads at McDonald’s® include:
- Premium Bacon Ranch Salad (without chicken, croutons, or dressing): contains salad mix of greens, grape tomatoes, shredded cheddar/jack cheese, and bacon bits.
- Premium Caesar Salad (without chicken): contains salad mix of greens, grape tomatoes, and shredded parmesan cheese.
- Side salad: contains salad mix of various lettuce greens as well as carrots and grape tomatoes.
Unfortunately, all the salad dressing offerings at McDonald’s® are not low FODMAP friendly since they contain ingredients such as molasses, garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, and buttermilk. Therefore, just dress your salad with salt and pepper, or bring your own dressing to meal time.
Drink and dessert?
Stick to simple drinks like water, orange juice, and coffee to be safe. Coffee add-ins such as sugar, Equal®, and Splenda® are ok. Liquid sugar may be safe but stay away from syrups that are high in fructose. Coffee drinks contain milk, and smoothies are also off-limits since they contain apple juice concentrate and cow’s milk-based yogurt.
For dessert, there is a cranberry raisin blend that is low FODMAP. Unfortunately, the apple slices, cookies, pies, and ice cream options are all high FODMAP.
Where are the fries?
Unfortunately, I must report that the French fries and hashbrowns at McDonald’s® contain “wheat and milk derivatives” in their natural beef flavor, which itself is found in the vegetable oil in which the fries are fried.
So, what do I order?
The basics of building a low FODMAP safe meal at McDonald’s® are:
- Pick a safe protein or two.
- Grab a safe salad.
- Choose a safe drink.
- Grab some salt and pepper for seasoning.
Disclaimer: Menu items may vary per restaurant.