Monday, August 6, 2012

Can you eat healthy at McDonald's?

McDonald's Under 400 Calories Menu
I have a confession, I went to McDonald's yesterday! Shameful I know... But the truth is, we all go there at some point.  Now it's been a while and it seems what I saw there, although new and shocking to me, is not all that new to the rest of the world. I walk up to the counter to order and right in front of me was, "wait, what is that?" calorie details of selected menu items. It seems while I've been out of the country and avoiding the TV, McDonald's has kicked off a new "Under 400 Calories Marketing Campaign". I'm not really surprised. They've been trying to market their food as healthy for years now.  If you notice most of their newer commercials are about their salads and smoothies and the new and improved "healthy" happy meal! 

So, does this new marketing campaign work? Can you eat your favorite things at McDonald's for under 400 calories?  

My favorite thing at McDonald's is a cheeseburger happy meal, with no ketchup.  Oh, but that's not on the new Under 400 Calories menu.  According to their site my happy meal is 510 calories without the ketchup. Now, if I leave off the milk and apples I can get it down to 390 calories.  But that does not change the fact that the burger and fries are fried, contain 17 grams of fat, 40 mg of cholesterol, 790 mg of sodium, and 46 g of carbs, nor does it make me feel less guilty, which I believe is the hope of McDonald's.  "If healthy people can feel less guilty about our food, they'll continue to eat here."

This is not a rant about how horrible McDonald's is. I go there, I take my grand-kids there. I don't dislike them and I don't think they are the reason so many American's are overweight. I do believe they want to get in on the $500 billion "wellness revolution".  

So, can you eat healthy at McDonald's?  

Yes, but not necessarily just by choosing from their new Under 400 Calories menu.  Choose a salad, leave off the bacon, cheese and croutons and limit the dressing.  It won't be as healthy as the salad you make at home, but it'll be the better choice at McDonald's. 

What do you think of this Under 400 Calories campaign? Has it already tricked you or did you see right through it?

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