McDonald’s Craptastic Oatmeal

To kick off National Nutrition Month, I will start by explaining the downfalls of McDonald’s processed, sugary oatmeal.

When I think of oatmeal I think of a heart healthy, delicious, filling breakfast. I also think of food bloggers and their oats, and Starbuck’s now offering oatmeal. But, never before did I think I would associate McDonald’s with oatmeal. I got a coupon for a free oatmeal in the mail the other day, and it got me thinking…

If you order a regular fruit and maple oatmeal at McDonald’s here is what you are getting:

290 calories, 4.5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated, 57 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 32 g sugar
Ingredients: Whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color; Apples, calcium ascorbate; Dried sweetened cranberries (sugar, cranberries), California raisins, golden raisins, sunflower oil, sulfur dioxide (preservative); Milk, cream, sodium phosphate, datem, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium citrate, carrageenan.

Have you ever seen an ingredient list for oatmeal that long?

The main problem I have with this is that there is too much sugar (32 grams!), and this is an unnatural version of oatmeal. None of these ingredients have been clearly shown to cause any harm to health, but c’mon, all these things combined can’t be good for you.

By comparison, Starbuck’s oatmeal base is just made of oats (and a pinch of salt, about 100 mg, and guar gum in order to thicken the oatmeal more quickly).

The best option would be to make your own oatmeal at home. Then, you can have natural, simple ingredients to mix into your oats, or eat it however you like!

To read on more, Mark Bittman’s NY Times article is a good read. There are other people out there who are saying this oatmeal is a great healthy choice on the McDonald’s menu, but I can’t seem to agree because of all the sugar and unnatural ingredients. What do you think?


  1. says

    I think it’s a heck of a lot better than a sausage biscuit. I also think it provides the opportunity to have a “decent” breakfast for people that may not have time otherwise. Understand, however, that the definition of decent varies, but if you think about people in different socio-economic classes, this may be a better food choice than what is current available.

    • says

      Yeah, I love the idea of the oatmeal. It gets people choosing foods that they might not normally choose. And yes, I guess I did forget to mention that this is a big step up from a sausage or fried chicken biscuit!

  2. says

    Wow! thank you for the comparison! I never though there would be such a difference in the way oats are prepared. I usually always make my oats at home, but now if I’m on the run I definitely stick with Starbuck’s oats.

  3. lciaravi says

    Dang, I had no idea there was MILK in it! I’m vegan and I thought I’d found something I could eat on the McD’s menu. Dang!

  4. Kevin says

    Wow, I just had that oatmeal, and it was fantastic! Then I read this blog, and now I know why. When I think of oatmeal, “delicious” isn’t usually what comes to mind. I’ve run the gamut of oatmeal, from the quick oats, to the individual packet oats (flavored and non-flavored), and even cooking up a vat of my own steel-cut oats, but I can only have so much of it before I get sick of it.

    Too bad McDonald’s couldn’t make their oatmeal healthier; I would’ve been a loyal customer.

  5. margaret says

    Thank you Thank you Thank you – I should’ve known there’s nothing “good for you” at Micky D’s!!! – I always made my own but someone suggested their blueberry oatmeal and it was scrumdilly. I thought it was a way to treat myself and still stay within the limits of my healthy lifestyle. Luckily Ive only been eating it for a week. – Well its back to my own oatmeal since i dont pass Starbucks on the way to work.

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