McD's Chicken Kale Salad - © McDonald'

‘Healthy’ Foods Can Be Made Healthier!

I’m sure you’ve seen the recent headlines about how ‘unhealthy’ the new ‘healthy’ McDonald’s Kale Salad menu item really is. I won’t bore you with details here – just enough facts and figures to make a point. And the point is, any ‘healthy’ dish can be rendered ‘unhealthy’ simply by adding stuff…

McDonald's Comparison - © McDonald'
Double Big Mac = 680 Cal   <   Entrée Chicken Kale Salad = 740 Cal

The headlines screamed, “Kale Salad has more calories than a Double Big Mac!” And it’s true that the version tested by a CBC investigative journalism team came in really ‘heavy’, not only in calories but in Fat and Sodium, as well. The Kale Cesar with Chicken strips registered a hefty 730 calories, 53 grams of Fat, and 1,400 milligrams of Salt. Total dietary daily intake recommendations for those factors are 2,000 Calories, 1,500 mg of Salt and 70 g of Fat. Better just munch undressed raw Celery and Carrots the rest of the day, after a ‘McKale’ monster salad, just to be safe!

But let’s take a closer look…

Another version of the Kale Salad (the Greek variation) has just 420 calories, 26 grams of Fat, and 1,080 milligrams of Salt. What’s the difference? Mostly, it’s the dressing! The second salad uses a lighter dressing and lower-Cal, lower-Fat Feta Cheese, which you can choose to leave off isn’t the creamy Asiago stuff on the first example, but a lighter Greek-style concoction. And the Cheese in this one is lower-Cal, lighter-Fat Feta.

Ca the make the second Salad even healthier? Leave off the Feta and/or the dressing. Together, those two components account for much of the Fat and Salt content in the overall dish.

So, you see? It’s really up to you… Are you willing to pay the hefty dietary price for convenience and the cachet of eating kale in a restaurant Salad? Or would you rather have almost the same thing by simply making a few intelligent omissions? Better yet, why not make your own Salads and take total ownership of your Calorie, Fat and Salt intake, while saving money at the same time?

Trust dear old Aunt Maggie to leave you with something to think about…

~Maggie J.