McDonald’s is one of the biggest fast-food chains in the entire world and was established in 1940 as a restaurant in San Bernardino, California. Their founders, Richard and Maurice McDonald, then rebranded into a hamburger stand which they built into the franchise we all know and love.
Boasting almost 37,855 outlets worldwide in 100 different countries, McDonald’s has the ninth-highest global brand valuation as of 2020.
If you’re looking to pick something healthy off the McDonald’s menu like a salad or yogurt, you might be disappointed. Does McDonald’s have salads? The short answer is no, as they no longer serve salads on their menu. But there are still some healthy alternatives available now, which you can find out by reading on!
Does McDonald’s Have Salads?
McDonald’s have been serving salads on their menus since 1987 – 30 years! Recently though, many have noticed that salads started to disappear from their daily McDonald’s menu, but the Golden Arches does sell Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, and corn.
The main reason for this change is the Covid-19 pandemic, especially the new added costs attributed to it. According to Business Insider, McDonald’s slashed many of its less-popular items from the menu, including salads, grilled chicken sandwiches, and yogurts. They made this choice to cut costs, simplify and speed up operations.
According to “Eat This, Not That!”, the fast-food chain is hesitant to reintroduce salads to their menu due to lack of demand. In fact, this move has increased profits and even surpassed their pre-pandemic numbers, according to Wall Street Journal.
What Are the Healthier Food Items on McDonald’s Menu?
Now that you’re out of options for Salads at McDonald’s, what are your other options? McDonald’s is generally well-known for burgers and fries, which are usually not very healthy, but they do have some health-friendly options on their menu.
We’ve compiled some of them and have ranked them from healthiest to least healthy.
300 Calories, 12 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 760 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), and 17 g protein.
The Egg McMuffin is one of the lowest-calorie food items on the McDonald’s menu. The sandwich contains a toasted English Muffin topped with butter as a base, a freshly cracked Grade A egg, and lean Canadian bacon with melty American Cheese.
400 calories, 21 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 560 mg sodium, 39 g carb (1 g fiber, 5 g sugar), and 14 g protein.
McChicken is a burger packed with protein and the least fat compared to its compatriots. It contains a slice of lettuce, 14 grams of protein with mayo, and a bun to top it off. At 400 calories total, this is an optimal meal to keep your tummy filled while consuming the least calories.
6-piece Chicken McNuggets
475 calories, 22.5 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 715 mg sodium, 46 g carb (2 g fiber, 15 g sugar), and 24 g protein.
The Happy Meal includes 6-pieces of Chicken McNuggets, apple slices, 1% milk, and fries. This combo has the lowest amount of saturated fat with a high volume of protein, keeping you full for a more extended period.
What Are The Unhealthy McDonald’s Foods To Avoid?
Similarly to the list above, here is a compiled list of the top 3 most unhealthy foods on the McDonald’s menu to avoid if you’re keen on staying healthy. This list is ranked from most unhealthy to least unhealthy.
Big Breakfast with Hotcakes
1,340 calories, 63 g fat (25 g saturated fat), 2070 mg sodium, 158 g carbs (5 g fiber, 48 g sugar), and 36 g protein.
This meal includes scrambled eggs, a warm biscuit, a crispy hash brown, golden brown hotcakes, and a sausage. This meal lives up to its name as a big meal with its caloric and fat content with 63g of fat and 48g of sugar in a single serving. You should avoid this meal
McFlurry with M&M’s 16 oz cup
930 calories, 33g fat (18g saturated fat), 260mg sodium,139g carbs (2g fiber, 128g sugar), and 20g protein.
The McDonald’s McFlurry is usually served with soft vanilla, and M&M’s chocolate candies swirled inside. The large 16 Oz cup usually spells danger because it is high in sugar content and low in protein. Not advisable for people with high blood sugar, cholesterol, and diabetes.
McCafe Shakes, 22 Oz cup
820 Calories, 21g fat (13g saturated fat), 370mg Sodium, 138g carbs (0g fiber, 92g sugar) & 18g protein.
The McCafe Shakes are usually packed with calories and fat, even containing more calories than your average meal from Mcdonald’s. They come in 3 types of flavors, Vanilla, Strawberry, and Chocolate.
The ingredients of a shake are usually a soft serve (flavor of your choice), and it’s topped with whipped cream for a cool and tasty treat. This is super unhealthy for people with high blood sugar levels and diabetes.
Does Burger King Have Salads?
Burger King, one of McDonald’s direct competitors, does serve salads on their menu. According to Burger King’s official website, they serve two types of salads that you can order. The two options of salads on the menu include the Chicken Garden Salad & the Side Garden Salad.
The Chicken Garden Salad clocks in at 870 calories of proteins and fibers, while the Side Garden Salad has about 322 calories. These are excellent health choices if you are looking to watch your diet at Burger King.
Does Wendy’s Have Salads?
According to Wendy’s website and store, they serve five different salads on their menu. The salad items include a Chicken Caesar Salad, Taco Salad, Apple Pecan Salad, Jalapeño Popper Salad, and the Southwest Avocado Salad.
Each of these salads is between 400-600 calories per serving, making them excellent meals when going on a diet.
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McDonald’s has taken many steps to rehabilitate their image as a healthier fast food outlet compared to its competitors. That plan has changed direction due to the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, which forced them to cut costs to adapt to the new normal.
This move has seemed to work out well for them, seeing a rise in profits over the last few years, while customers don’t seem to miss the McSalad menu. If you’re looking to have some healthy eats at a fast food joint, consider visiting Wendy’s or Burger King, as they serve a variety of salads on their menu.