Surprise: A McDonald's kale salad still isn't a "healthy" choice

Dec 19 2017, 7:58 pm

In a desperate scramble to bolster their appeal in the kale-eating hipster demographic, McDonald’s launched a set of new salads in 2015. Now, in a stunning investigation from CBC (aka reading the nutrition information), the salad McLovin’ population is reeling from the news that just because it’s a “salad” and has “kale” in it, it’s still not a healthy choice.

“One of McDonald’s new kale salads has more calories, fat, and sodium than a Double Big Mac,” reveals CBC.

So does McD’s specially seek out kale and lettuce producers who genetically engineer their leafy greens to have the maximum salt, sugar, and fat content?

No. It’s all the extra crap in the salad that weighs the menu option down.

First, when you order your salad, if you pick “crispy” chicken to go on that Caesar, crispy means fried (gasp!). It’s horrifying, really, how fried foods manage to eff up a perfectly healthy salad with all that oil and saturated fat and sodium. Oh, and don’t forget, your little paper-tubbed and plastic-domed salad comes with a packet of dressing. The Pure Kraft Asiago Caesar Dressing adds a nice 22 grams of fat to your kale and lettuce and chicken.

In case you’re wondering where all these hidden details about the secret un-healthiness of McDonald’s menu items is buried, it’s on McDonald’s Canada’s Nutrition Centre website. So if you were to hit up McDonald’s and be, like, responsible for your eating choices, you might have already taken a gander at what the nutritional information said about their burgers, sides, and salads.

Screenshot/McDonald's Canada

Screenshot/McDonald’s Canada

That information, and the ingredients, can help consumers figure out how nutrient-dense their choices are (like that, say, there’s more benefits to eating kale than a fried fish square with processed cheese and tartar sauce between two refined flour white bread buns) and that perhaps modifications might need to be made in order to ensure the salad is as “healthy” as possible. That would include getting grilled chicken instead of fried chicken, holding off on dumping in all the bacon bits, croutons, and cheese, and opting for a lighter dressing, or skipping the dressing all together.

Of course, then you’re just eating some pretty plain, simple, unadorned fare. And that’s not what McDonald’s is for, now is it? Thankfully, CBC has trotted out a registered dietitian and an “obesity expert” to explain how things work for all the not-so-bright folks who blindly choke down fried chicken Caesar salads smothered in high-fat dressing bought at McDonald’s in the name of “health.”