The Truth About McDonald’s Oatmeal

With much hoopla, McDonald’s recently launched oatmeal as a new menu item. Ostensibly, the fast food giant added the cooked oats as a healthy alternative to such breakfast mainstays as hotcakes and sausage and the Egg McMuffin. But just how healthy is it? Food writer and New York Times blogger Mark Bittman weighs in with a post at the, How to Make Oatmeal … Wrong.

1. It’s more expensive than a double-cheeseburger: $2.38 per serving in New York.

2. “Cream” is automatically added. Bittman uses quotation marks because the cream contains seven ingredients, only two of them are actual dairy. Brown sugar is optional, but is added unless a customer specifically requests otherwise.

3. The oatmeal alone contains seven ingredients, including “natural flavor.” Bittman says, “Real oatmeal contains no ingredients; rather, it is an ingredient.”

4. McDonald’s description vs. Bittman’s description:

McD’s: “100% natural whole-grain oats,” “plump raisins,” “sweet cranberries” and “crisp fresh apples”

Bittman’s: “Oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.”

5. Comparing other foods:

*McDonald’s Fruit and Maple Oatmeal: 290 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 32 grams sugar

*A typical 2 ounce Snickers bar has less sugar and calories: 280 calories, 14 grams fat, 30 grams sugar

*An Egg McMuffin has 10 more calories: 300 calories, 10 grams fat, 3 grams sugar

2 Things to Know About Real Oatmeal

1. Quaker Oatmeal takes 5 minutes to make; not the instant kind, the regular kind.

2. If you cannot spare the time to cook oatmeal and put it in a container you still don’t have to wait in line. Bittman suggests that you “put some rolled oats (instant not necessary) in a glass or bowl, along with a teeny pinch of salt, sugar or maple syrup or honey, maybe some dried fruit. Add milk and let stand for a minute (or 10).”

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22 thoughts on “The Truth About McDonald’s Oatmeal

  1. You people are crazy. Its fast food. If I had time to make it at home I would, but when I don’t, I need a healthy alternative… And with flavor might I add. I wonder what the naysayers are ordering from McDonalds… Hmmm, I know you go there.

  2. Point taken, but please make realistic comparisons. A Snickers bar has a whole lot more fat and worse ingredients than MD ‘oatmeal’.

  3. But it makes a darn good enema. The 11 weird ingredients add extra cleaning & lubing power. Easy in, easy out.

  4. I always ask them to leave off the brown sugar when I have my oatmeal with my Big Mac and large french fries.

  5. But it’s so good,I eat it cuz it’s good not for a health kick. I still like it.

  6. Like we need the NYT to tell us McD isn’t the healthiest of foods.

  7. The only real problem is they add a “cream” that is highly artificial. The oatmeal and fruits are good. If you request it without cream and without brown sugar but with Splenda it becomes healthy, ignoring questions about the Splenda.

  8. Mikkie D’s came out with this product in a weak effort to look good. This product is crap!! For what they charge, I can go to Wally World and buy a box of instant for under $2.00 and make it to my preference, which is thick like concrete. Ask Whitey Bolger ‘ bout that.

    Big Mac Rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. I work at McDonalds. This is how i make the McDonalds oatmeal: first pour the packet (just like packets from Quaker Oats), add very hot water to a certain point, at one cream, and add fresh apples and raisins and what not. its not complex at all. Just like the kind you make at home.

    1. Yeah I watch them make it .it’s good. I love it.and that’s all that matters to me!

    2. That’s not how i make it at home at all. Turning something so nutritious as oatmeal into junk food is completely idiotic.

  10. unbelievable. I just put down my McDonald’s oatmeal. it is going to the garbage can.

  11. Much as I like raw oats soaked in cream, cooking converts starch to sugar and makes them tastier and more digestible. -Pro tip.

    1. Every single carbohydrate turns into glucose in the blood stream aka sugar.


      A carb is a carb.
      It’s all fuel for the body.

      Even excess protein converts into sugar.

      1. While you are correct, there is a dramatic difference between a simple carb and a complex carb. The simple carbs have the fiber removed which is an integral part of our digestive process. Complex carbs are the way to go!

  12. oatmeal and water, nothing else, takes one minute in the microwave.

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