Sometimes when you hit the local drive-through, you are just craving a juicy burger. At other times, simple convenience is your goal. You may even find yourself at a fast food restaurant only because your companions chose to go there. At those times, you may be seeking a healthy option among the vast array of high-calorie fare. Fast food salads, including those at McDonald’s, often get a bad rap. Before you assume that nothing good can come from a salad at the Golden Arches, consider these points about the leafy options at your local McD’s.
11. The Salad Greens
In years past, the McDonald’s salad consisted of pale, wimpy, iceberg lettuce leaves. In recent years, McDonald’s has upped the nutrient content in its salads by including romaine, kale, red-leaf lettuce, and spinach as well. These greens are not only darker in color than their iceberg counterpart, but they are also higher in vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Leafy greens like kale and spinach contain vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K. They also provide folic acid, riboflavin, magnesium, and manganese. These critical nutrients help with functions like protein metabolism, immunity, growth, and bone health.
With the exception of the side salad, the McDonald’s salads provide protein in the form of chicken. The grilled chicken is coated with a blend of olive and canola oils and seasoned before grilling. In addition, the southwest chicken salad contains fiber and protein in the form of black beans. The artisan grilled chicken breast used in the grilled chicken salads contains easily pronounced ingredients like garlic powder, lemon juice concentrate, honey, onion powder, and dried vinegar. The protein content of the salads containing chicken ranges from 28-42 grams.