Why McDonald's Cheeseburgers Are Better For You Than You Think

Every so often, when a fast food craving hits, it just can't be ignored. Even harder to ignore, is when you see those famous golden arches approaching up ahead as you drive by. Swinging into the drive-thru, you can retire the idea that fast food automatically equals unhealthy food, as a simple cheeseburger from McDonald's isn't as bad for you as you may think.

While it's certainly not the healthiest option when compared to fresh fruit or vegetables, choosing a cheeseburger off the McDonald's menu is one of the better choices you can make. Amy Goodson, Registered Dietitian, health consultant, and author of "The Sports Nutrition Playbook", tells Eat This, Not That!, "If you are craving a burger, the basic cheeseburger is the way to go! With 15 grams of protein and only 300 calories, this burger can satisfy your craving without killing your calorie budget for the day," she says.

It's all about comparisons and portion size

Sharon Zarabi, a Registered Dietitian and the program director of bariatric surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, tells Shape that while the cheese on the cheeseburger adds an extra 50 calories and 4 grams of fat, the meat patty is where you will score some healthy points. "The 3.5-ounce serving of meat in the classic burger contains a healthy dose of 12 grams of protein and is lowest in calories of all meat patties," she says.

It all comes down to comparisons and portion size. If you order one of McDonald's other popular menu items like the Big Mac, you would nearly double your calories and fat intake. According to Medical News Today, a Big Mac contains 540 calories and 25 grams of fat. Unfortunately, opting for a salad isn't much better either, as the "Keep Calm, Caesar On" chicken salad boasts a whopping 730 calories and 53 grams of fat, claims CNBC.

There's nothing wrong with fast food as an occasional indulgence. However, these quick and delicious food items are best consumed in moderation.