McDonalds has been a fast food industry for many years. It seems to persist on even through numerous PR snafus. Over time, the company has begun to slowly shift away from being entirely junk food, and has tried to introduce “healthy” options here and there in efforts to rebrand.
The latest “healthy” offering in their lineup in Canada includes a new salad, named the “Keep Calm and Caesar On” salad. It sounds healthy enough, with a promising description of a “nutrient rich lettuce blend with baby kale”. But what is really in this salad?
If you’ll look inside its packaging, its contents include a lot of ingredients besides vegetables and greens. It also contains the following: bacon, croutons, parmesan cheese, chicken and a creamy Kraft branded Caesar dressing. There is also an option to get crispy chicken on it instead of regular. When all is said and done, McDonald’s Canadian website states that this salad contains 530 calories. But wait! That is BEFORE adding in the information for the dressing, which brings the contents to a whopping 730 calories, with 53 grams of fat and 1400mg of salt.
This means that this innocent sounding salad with all its kale and lettuce has a higher calorie and sodium count than not only a Big Mac, at 530 calories and 950mg of sodium, but also a Double Big Mac, which has 680 calories and 1340 mg of sodium! In fact, this “healthy” salad also beats out most of the other sandwiches on the McDonald’s menu, from the Quarter Pounder with Cheese to the Filet-o-Fish.
The recommended maximum daily intake of sodium in Canada is 2300mg a day, and the ideal is closer to 1500mg, so eating this salad would more than get a person their sodium intake for the day.
Aside from its caloric and sodium levels, there are even more reasons to rethink this salad. The bacon in the salad contains sodium nitrite, which is carcinogenic, and the greens, which are not listed as organic, are quite likely sprayed with pesticides.
Only time will tell if efforts like this kale salad will be able to help spur the company to stay with the times and keep up with the current health trend. For now, if you are hungry for their kale salad, it sounds like you might just as well eat a Big Mac instead.