Over the past few years, the fast food chains have attempted with a modicum of success to cater to the health conscious. For various reasons (see below), they have yet to be successful. If you are too busy to find food however and a place like McDonald’s is your only option – choose what goes into your salad with caution.
The new “healthy” salads at McDonald’s a) Bacon Ranch b) California Cobb, and c) Caesar can each be ordered with crispy chicken, grilled chicken, or no chicken.
The base of the salad with the greens, tomatoes, carrots and even sprinkles of light cheese are MUCH healthier than any of the other options on the menu. However when you add in the dressing and the chicken, the landscape begins to change.
A McDonald’s Bacon Ranch salad with crispy chicken and Newman’s Own Ranch dressing has 660 calories, 11½ grams of saturated fat, and 1570 mg of sodium — much higher (in every area) than a Quarter Pounder with a small order of fries. The Newman’s Own Ranch dressing alone has 300 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.
Your best option is to choose the Caesar salad with grilled chicken and half of a packet of Newman’s Own Caesar dressing.