We’re talkin’ Big Macs around the world, from the least healthy to most.
But wait, I always thought a Big Mac is a Big Mac is a Big Mac. Isn’t that McDonalds’ whole thing? No matter where you are, or how weary you’ve become of trying new foods, you can (usually) hunt down those golden arches, and get a little taste of the familiar, whether in Mexico City or Myanmar. Sure, we know McDonald’s has special ethnically-inspired menu items found only in specific countries, but I always operated under the assumption that their signature burgers—like the world-famous Big Mac—were made uniformly, and thus had the same basic nutritional implications. Wrong.
Amica, a UK-based kitchen supplies retailer had some suspicions about the homogeneity of Big Macs around the world, and decided to collate Big Mac data points, and nutritional info for the signature burger. The study looked at Big Mac calorie count, salt content, carbs, protein, and total price for Big Macs in twenty different countries, and the results are far more varied than we would have imagined!
For a quick refresher as to what’s in one—in case that commercial jingle has finally become dislodged from your brain—a traditional McDonalds Big Mac consists of (sing it with me) two all beef patties, special sauce, cheese, lettuce, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun. Below is the nutritional breakdown and pricing for the original U.S. Big Mac, and how the rest of the world stacks up!
The “healthiest“ Big Mac in the world can be found in Israel, clocking in at just 379 calories (not so bad, really), and if you’ve ever been to Tel Aviv—that beach bod-laden city on the Mediterranean—then you may not be surprised. Why so much healthier? The main reason is religious, actually. Serving dairy with meat isn’t kosher, so Israeli Big Macs are 100% cheese-free.
The least healthy is in Egypt with over 604 calories, and 36 grams of carbs. And while you CAN eat keto at a fast food joint, you’d need to make some serious alterations if you wanted to claim this one as diet-friendly. The reason for this being the most caloric of all Big Macs is simply its size. The Egyptian Bic Mac is 10% heavier than the average, though it does have less salt than most others.
Egypt’s is also the cheapest Big Mac in the world, incidentally, priced at just $1.46 USD. Sweden, where everything is expensive (except healthcare), has the most expensive Big Mac in the world, at a whopping $5.40 per sandwich!
A snapshot below of global Big Mac economics.
Other interesting wrinkles in global Big Mac prep come courtesy of Argentina, the only country where Big Macs are cooked over coals instead of fried, and India, where Big Macs are made with chicken patties since cows are sacred to the Hindu people.
Read Amica’s full list of Big Macs facts from 20 countries around the world here.
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Header image courtesy of McDonald's