The name McDonald's is synonymous with fast food. It's a convenient and affordable option when you're on the go and don't have time to cook a meal at home. And with an option that nearly everyone in the family can agree on, it's no wonder that McDonald's is one of the world's most popular fast food chains.
But many people don't realize that McDonald's isn't necessarily the best choice if you're trying to avoid harmful seed oils in your diet. Seed oils are a type of polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) that has been linked to a number of health problems, including inflammation, heart disease, and cancer.
So what seed oils does McDonald's use? And is it possible to avoid them if you're eating at the restaurant? Let's take a closer look and see.
Before we look at McDonald's, let's first understand what seed oils are and why they can be harmful to our health.
Seed oils are extracted from the seeds of plants, such as sunflowers, soybeans, and flaxseeds. They're high in polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), a type of fat linked to inflammation and a number of chronic diseases.
While our bodies need some PUFAs for things like brain function and cell growth, we don't need a lot. In fact, most experts recommend that we limit our intake of PUFAs to no more than 10% of our daily calories.
But the average American diet contains much more than that. In fact, one study found that the average American gets 20% or more of their calories from PUFAs.
So why are we eating so many PUFAs? A lot of it has to do with the processed food industry. Seed oils are cheap to produce and have a long shelf life, making them an attractive option for food manufacturers.
As a result, seed oils are found in a lot of processed foods, including crackers, cookies, and chips. They're also commonly used as cooking oils in restaurants.
And that brings us to McDonald's - one of America's favorite fast food chains.
Now that we know what seed oils are and why they can harm our health let's take a closer look at McDonald's and see if their food contains these oils.
In general, the buns used for McDonald's burgers contain soybean oil. The fries are usually made in a blend of canola and other oils. The patties and sausages do not contain seed oils, but the crispy patties do. This means that if you're ordering a burger with a crispy patty, it will likely be fried in seed oil.
As for the condiments, ketchup and mustard do not contain seed oils. However, all of the other sauces, such as the Big Mac sauce and ranch dressing, do contain soybean oil.
So what does this all mean? McDonald's is not the best choice if you're trying to avoid seed oils. There are technically ways to order your food so that it doesn't contain these oils, but there is still a potential for seed oils used in the preparation of at least part of your meal.
And even if your meal doesn't contain any seed oils, you're still likely to be exposed to them when eating at McDonald's. That's because the restaurant uses cooking oils containing these harmful fats, which means there is a potential for cross-contamination. You can check McDonald’s full ingredients list yourself online here.
If you're trying to avoid harmful seed oils in your diet, McDonald's is not the best choice. While there are ways that you can order your food so that it doesn't contain these oils, the restaurant uses cooking oils across nearly all parts of its menu, which means that there is a potential for cross-contamination.
At Seed Oil Scout, we score restaurants on how well they avoid using harmful seed oils in their food. McDonald's gets a Dine Shamefully rating, which means that you're likely to be exposed to these oils when you eat there.
If you're looking for a restaurant that does a better job of avoiding seed oils, check out the Seed Oil Scout app - your one-stop shop for finding restaurants that don't use these harmful fats in their food. Download the app today and start eating seed oil-free!