Beware The Kale: McDonald’s New ‘Healthy’ Kale Salad Has More Calories And Fat Than A Double Big Mac

If you’re at McDonald’s and looking to eat healthy, be sure to skip the kale salad.

The fast food chain introduced a series of kale items to certain test markets, including Canada and Southern California. The new menu appeared an attempt to appeal to health-conscious diners, offering a bit of an alternative to the greasy hamburgers that dominate the menu.

But a new report from the CBC shows that McDonald’s patrons would be better off passing on the kale salad and picking the Double Big Mac. The report found that it would take three traditional hamburgers to meet the same amount of calories as the kale chicken Caesar salad, and that the Double Big Mac was actually healthier.

The report found that the kale salad had a massive 730 calories once the Asiago Caesar dressing was added, along with 53 grams of fat and 1,400 mg of sodium. That compared to 680 calories and 38 grams of fat for the Double Big Mac.

“By eating that salad, you’re getting your sodium for the day,” Shauna Lindzon, a registered dietitian in Toronto, told the CBC.

The chicken Caesar salad was not the only kale menu filled with fat and calories, the CBC report noted.

“Combined with the Greek Feta Dressing, the ‘I’m Greek-ing Out‘ salad with grilled chicken amounts to: 420 calories, 26 grams of fat, and 1,080 milligrams of sodium. That’s almost the same calorie, fat and salt content as a Double Cheeseburger.”

The introduction of kale to certain test markets was part of a larger plan for McDonald’s to address sagging sales worldwide. The company’s president and CEO, Steve Easterbrook, announced last year that he had plans to “reset” a number of parts of the business.

“The reality is, our recent performance has been poor,” Easterbrook said in a video released (via NPR). “The numbers don’t lie. Which is why, as we celebrate 60 years of McDonald’s, I will not shy away from resetting this business.”

Easterbrook said the changes would turn McDonald’s into a “modern progressive burger company.” This included not only items for the health-conscious, but some others to help McDonald’s better compete with some of the trendier burger joints.

NPR’s Marilyn Geewax reported the following (via the Salt).

“McDonald’s has been struggling in recent years to keep pace with fast-casual chains like Five Guys and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

“So the fast-food giant is testing different menu options to lure back customers. Starting later this month, McDonald’s diners will be able to choose a $4.99 sandwich — the Sirloin Third Pound burger.”

McDonald’s has already addressed concerns about high calorie counts in its food, including additions to make its Happy Meals more health-conscious. The fast food chain reduced the size of french fries included in children’s meals, and added options like sliced apples and small oranges. This actually put McDonald’s on the cutting edge, making it one of the first fast food chains to alter its kid’s menu.

The changes have paid off, with McDonald’s posting better-than-expected quarterly earnings last week. Same-store results rose 5.7 percent in the quarter, and total profit climbed 10 percent to $1.2 billion.

“We begin 2016 in a much better place than we were 12 months ago,” Easterbrook said during a conference call with analysts.

But McDonald’s is still plagued by some bad headlines related to its fattening, calorie-filled options. But they are working to counter this, including introducing a menu highlighting all the items under 400 calories. The kale chicken Caesar salad is nowhere to be seen on the list.

[Photo by Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images]