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Top 10 Untold Truths About McDonald’s Salad


Top 10 Untold Truths About McDonald’s Salad

Do you order salads from McDonald’s? If you do, you may be curious about whether customers love these menu items as much as you do. There is so much to learn about salad at Mickey D’s! We’re here to share the biggest and most fascinating untold truths about McDonald’s salads.

10. Salads May Contain A Lot Of Sodium

When we think salads, we don’t usually think “sodium”, but maybe we should…especially at McDonald’s! Mickey D’s has been called out for the high sodium level in some of its fresh and crispy salads. There is more sodium lurking in these salads than you might expect. For example, the Bacon Ranch Salad With Buttermilk Crispy Chicken, which is a current menu item, according to the official McDonald’s USA website, features 1120 milligrams of sodium. That’s 47 percent of the recommended daily allowance of sodium. If you’re going to indulge in one of these salads, keep sodium content in mind. Balance things out by eating other meals and snacks that are lower in sodium during the day. It’s no surprise that fast food tends to be higher in sodium than food that’s prepared at home or in finer restaurants. Most people love food with a salty kick, so fast food joints give the people what they want.A lot of sodium isn’t really a good thing, health-wise, but you should be ok if you stay under or around the recommended daily allowance of sodium. McDonald’s is very transparent about the sodium content in its salads and other menu items. Just visit a McDonald’s in your area, or an official McDonald’s website, to get full nutritional information for every single menu item. reports that 90 percent of people in the USA consume too much sodium.

9. McDonald’s Has Made The Grilled Chicken In Its Salads Healthier

McDonald’s execs definitely hear any criticism about their salads and, sometimes, they spearhead changes to the recipes, with the goal of making the salads healthier in mind. For example, the grilled chicken utilized in Mickey D’s salads is now prepared differently, to make the fast food joint’s salads with grilled chicken healthier choices. In 2015, McDonald’s decided to take the maltodextrin out of all of its chicken recipes, including the recipe for chicken that’s added to salads. This change signaled a big shift in McDonald’s attitude towards its customers. The company was responding to a wider cultural shift, whereby people were learning more about the ingredients in food and looking for cleaner options. This change was reported at the website and got press coverage all over the world. McDonald’s goal with the whole grilled chicken change was to eliminate an ingredient that its valued customers might not be familiar with. Maltodextrin was used as a form of sugar that facilitated the browning of poultry.  The company also took the sodium phosphates out of its chicken products. Sodium phosphates were formerly utilized in order to preserve the moistness of chicken. By making its salads “cleaner”, McDonald’s hoped to generate more sales and goodwill. A lot of other eateries were following suit around that time. Many restaurants started reformulating their products in order to give them more appeal with health-conscious consumers.

8. One Salad Had More Calories Than A Double Big Mac

McDonald’s infamous Kale Salad was notorious for having more calories than a double Big Mac. In 2016, the chicken salad was promoted as a “Keep Calm, Caesar On” salad with shavings of genuine Parmesan cheese, as well as a delectable lettuce blend that included baby Kale. It all sounds delicious and healthy, but it was topped with a rich Asiago Caesar salad dressing and could be ordered in a higher-calorie “crispy chicken” format. With dressing and crispy chicken, the salad contained a whopping fifty-three fat grams, as well as 730 calories. It also had 1,400 mg of salt, based on information provided by McDonald’s. In contrast a Double Big Mac, which isn’t known as a diet-friendly option, contains 38 fat grams, 680 calories and 1340 mg of sodium. So, fast food salads may look light, but they are sometimes a lot heavier than people think. While the Kale salad was surely a tasty choice, it didn’t offer calorie or fat gram savings, and it contained quite a bit of salt. McDonald’s execs probably didn’t enjoy the press coverage that this salad’s high calorie count received. Salads were offered to be healthier choices for consumers. 

7. A Hong Kong McDonald’s Has A Salad Bar

If you visit the McDonald’s NEXT restaurant in Hong Kong, prepare yourself for a unique experience. This eatery features sleek and sophisticated decor, including a glam salad bar encased in shining and sculptural stainless steel. This is the McDonald’s to visit if you want quinoa or other trendy, healthy ingredients. According to a story published in 2016, the Hong Kong eatery also offers table service during the evenings, as well as Wi-Fi that’s free to access. If you’re not in the mood for a salad during your visit to NEXT, don’t worry. You can grab pastries and lots of other tempting menu items. The branch also serves very good coffee. Equipped with ordering booths that feature high-tech touch screens, as well as phone chargers of the wireless type, this futuristic McDonald’s allows guests to make their own gourmet burgers. NEXT Hong Kong was created to appeal to health-conscious consumers. This particular restaurant is situated in Hong Kong’s Admiralty district. It’s a convenient place to grab a snack or meal, as it’s possible to place orders without lining up at the counter. However, a lot of regular McDonald’s locations now have touch screens, so customers can order without talking to staff at McDonald’s counters. The salad bar at NEXT looks truly awesome. If you’re hungry for heartier fare, you may choose from some unique menu items, including the Beef and Egg Burger and the charmingly named, “Cheesy Champion” thick-cut Angus Burger. 

6. The Salads Don’t Sell That Well

97 percent of customers are not ordering salads at McDonald’s locations. Most people come into Mickey D’s to enjoy the tried-and-true, such as burgers, fries and McNuggets. Salads are always an option, but only around three percent of customers make the decision to order them. Part of it is probably the fact that customers can smell the greasier fare offered by McDonald’s, such as the golden French Fries, as soon as they enter McDonald’s locations. It can be tough to resist the lure of classic fast food sometimes. People who are really into salads probably have other places to go to get what they want, such as Whole Foods stores. McDonald’s has salads on the menu, but the eatery really isn’t synonymous with salads. People don’t usually think of salads when they think of McDonald’s. What’s important is that McDonald’s does give customers the opportunity to get side salads instead of fries, if the customers are so inclined. The salads are there if customers want them, even though some of them are a bit higher in calories than some people realize. McDonald’s isn’t really doing the whole salad thing to make money. It does make money off the salads, but they represent a very small sliver of McDonald’s profits overall. The salads are offered to show customers that McDonald’s is trying to move away from its “super size me” image.

5. Premium Salads Will Be Nixed From The Late-night Menu

In early April of this year, reported that McDonald’s is planning to make some significant changes to its late-night menu. If you’re in the habit of ordering premium salads between midnight and three in the morning, you’ll have to pick other menu items instead. The changes are being made so that staff can get food prepared and served faster during the wee hours. Premium salads are being removed from the late-night menu and so are Buttermilk Crispy Tenders, Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwiches, Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwiches and Signature Crafted Recipes. It’ll also soon be impossible to access tasty bagel sandwiches and snack wraps during the late-night hours. Snack wraps are currently available in only some regions. The changes will begin on the 30th of April, 2019, at all locations that stay open after midnight. Some fans took to social media to share their horror over the changes. People get set in their ways and don’t want change, especially when it comes to accessing their preferred late-night snacks. In time, everyone will adjust to this new reality, but there will be growing pains. Remember, it’s only five hours that these menu items will be off-limits. The menu during all other hours is staying pretty much the same. It changes from time to time, but no huge changes are planned right now.

4. Some People Got Sick From Eating The Salads in 2018

Salads are perceived as healthy choices, but, now and then, they cause people to get very sick. Ingredients in salad, including lettuce, may be contaminated with bacteria that makes people ill. Usually, salads causing illnesses is a relatively rare phenomenon. It did happen with McDonald’s salads back in 2018. The Huffington Post reported that a “fecal parasite” was present in McDonald’s salads. Gross, huh? This parasite caused 163 people to fall ill. Three of those people had to go to the hospital for treatment. The CDC and FDA sent out investigators who were able to figure out why people were getting sick. The traced it all back to McDonald’s salads. The restaurants serving the tainted salads were located in Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and a handful of other states. After the CDC and FDA figured out what was happening, Mickey D’s stopped selling salads in restaurants in affected USA states. It also stopped selling salads in other states that were receiving similar lettuce blends from a particular distributor. This was done just in case. Overall, three thousand fast food joints had salads temporarily removed from their menus. McDonald’s actually has a great track record when it comes to food safety, but it does get recipe ingredients from distributors sometimes, and all distributors are clearly not created equal. Food safety is a big deal at McDonald’s. The salad incident was an isolated incident and far from the norm. McDonald’s run a quality assurance program for its suppliers, to ensure that they measure up to the fast food chain’s high standards. Every supplier needs to prove to McDonald’s that it is adhering to every healthy and safety regulation.

3.  5 Salads Are Currently Offered

Right now, McDonald’s restaurants in America offer five tasty salads on the menu. As we mentioned, premium salads will soon be nixed from the late-night menu. During all other hours of operation at McDonald’s restaurants, customers may choose from Bacon Ranch Salad with Buttermilk Crispy Chicken, Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad, Southwest Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Salad, Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad and Side Salad. These choices are based on information from the McDonald’s USA website. Menus may vary in other countries. In Canada, customers have some different options, including Caesar Side Salads and “I’m Greeking Out” Salads with Crispy or Grilled Chicken. “Keep Calm, Caesar On” salads with Crispy or Grilled Chicken are also available. The typical Side Salad is available in Canada, just like the USA. There are a lot of good salad offerings at McDonald’s. The salads aren’t strong sellers, but there are always there if people want them, except when there’s a food contamination issue or during late-night hours in places where salad’s been taken off the late-night menu. If Mickey D’s customers want to get salads, they can. Most prefer to get cartons of fries, burgers, McChicken sandwiches or other “traditional” McDonald’s menu items. Have you tried the salads at McDonald’s? What do you think of them? If you haven’t, you may want to give them a whirl now that you’ve learned more about them.

2. Salads Were Launched In 1987

Salads have been around at McDonald’s restaurants since the late 80s, when hair was big, Madonna and Duran Duran were superstars and John Hughes movies like Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club were popular favorites. The whole move towards health-conscious fast food started up in the late 80s and continues today. In particular, Millennials are concerned about the ingredients in what they are eating. The Web means that it’s simple for Millennials and others to learn more about the food that they are eating. When standards started changing, McDonald’s was there to initiate the whole salad thing. While salads don’t thrill customers the way that Big Macs and Chicken Nuggets do, they fill an important need. They offer alternatives. Plus, the salads are yummy. They come with tasty dressings and plenty of fun and delicious add-ons. If you’re not used to eating fresh greens for lunch or dinner, you may want to give it a try by ordering McDonald’s salads. In the age of Uber Eats, you can get McDonald’s salads delivered right to your door if you want to. Greens are good for us. If you want to reduce the calorie count in McDonald’s salads, skip the Crispy Chicken and dial down the dressing, or skip the dressing entirely. I personally can’t eat a big salad without dressing, but you may be different.

1. Different Salad Dressings Are Available

One great thing about McDonald’s salad dressings is that they are truly yummy. McDonald’s offers Newman’s Own dressings. You probably already know that this salad dressing company was created by the late Hollywood icon, Paul Newman, who was known for his beautiful blue eyes, as well as his kindness and compassion. Sales from his products go to charity. Anyway, right now, according to, which is the McDonald’s USA website, customers may choose from Newman’s Own Ranch Dressing. French Dressing, Low Fat Family Recipe Italian Dressing and Low Fat Balsamic Dressing. Newman’s Own dressings are really good. So are the company’s pasta sauces, which aren’t available at McDonald’s. If you want to support a worthy charity while you nosh, you’ll feel good knowing that your salad dressing is helping charities. With Newman’s Own, which has been around since 1982, one hundred percent of net profits, as well as royalties, from the company’s collection of products are given to non-profit organizations worldwide. Now that you have the inside scoop on McDonald’s salads, you know all of the untold truths. These salads aren’t best-sellers, but they are fresh and tasty and so easy to access. Designed to please consumers who want a break from typical fast food fare, they provide McDonald’s customers with more options and more ways to boost their intake of healthy greens.

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