You’ve probably heard a lot about superfoods: foods that have much higher nutritional value and benefits to people who eat them. Some of these foods really are wonderful, but other foods that have been labeled superfoods may not be quite so good for you, especially when they come from a corporate giant with a history of unhealthy food.
For example, take kale. Kale is incredibly healthy. It is low calorie; high in iron; high in vitamins A, C, and K; high in antioxidants; is anti-inflammatory; good for your cardiovascular system; high in calcium; and it’s high levels of fiber and sulfur can help detoxify your liver and the rest of your body (hat tip to here for the information).
With a list like that, you might be thinking that kale is the end-all-be-all of superfoods and that you should eat it at every meal including on your breakfast cereal and in your coffee. And, if you just added kale to an already healthy diet, than this would be a smart move.
But leave it to a corporate fast food giant to take a healthy food, sell it as a healthy food, and then make it terrible for your health. In this case, McDonald’s has now started to offer a line of salads in Canada including a caesar salad which includes “a nutrient-rich lettuce blend with baby kale.”
If McDonald’s left it at that, this might be a good dinner choice from their restaurant. Unfortunately, though, McDonald’s decided to put a lot more into their salad than kale. Carey Wedler writes,
“The only problem? The caloric and sodium content in this new ‘healthy’ option exceed those of a Big Mac. And a Double Big Mac.
“Though the salad’s packaging invites the consumer to ‘get [their] greens on with eight different kinds of lettuce,’ the meal also includes parmesan cheese, bacon, croutons, chicken, and a Kraft-made dressing. McDonald’s Canadian website informs consumers that even with the ‘crispy chicken’ option, the salad has 530 calories — but this figure excludes the dressing. As the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) noted, once it’s added, ‘the salad tops up at 730 calories, 53 grams of fat, and 1,400 milligrams of salt.'”
To give you comparison, “the classic Big Mac has 530 calories and 950 milligrams of sodium. Even the Double Big Mac has ‘only’ 680 calories and contains ‘just’ 1340 milligrams of sodium.”
When you look at the whole picture of this salad in context, it doesn’t seem so healthy now, does it?
The bottom line? Know what you are actually eating and don’t buy into the marketing hype at face value.