Thirty-four percent of U.S. adults are considered overweight, and an additional 31 percent are obese.
Fast food companies have been the target of criticism, obesity lawsuits and threats of fat taxes. Their response has been to create new diet-conscious options.
But are these really the best choices? Let’s see what McDonald’s is doing. The Go Active! Happy Meal for adults, launched May 6, includes the choice of 1 of 6 premium salads, bottled water, a Stepometer and a booklet created by Oprah Winfrey’s personal trainer, Bob Greene, that lists walking and exercising tips.
We have used the interactive McDonald’s Bag a Meal online to compare the premium salads. These salads offer 2 choices of chicken, crispy or grilled. The crispy chicken adds another 110-120 calories per serving, mostly in fat. In fact the total fat found in the Crispy Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad is 21 grams, or 51% calories from fat. The sodium racks in at almost a half-day supply. And this, like all the others listed above, is without dressing.
The Newman’s Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette is only 40 calories per serving instead of 120-190 of the regular dressings.
Pedometers can play an important role in helping people to see what their activities are on a daily basis. They can be encouraging to people who have been sedentary for a long time.
Holly Scherer, RD, says, “We encourage our participants to be creative in how they increase activity and that ALL movement counts, even standing up every 30 minutes if you have a sedentary job or getting up to talk to your co-worker rather than emailing.”
We do recommend that everyone takes the time to research favorite foods online to be aware of calories, fat and sodium. Finding small ways to cut calories, as in ordering grilled chicken instead of crispy and using low-fat dressing will certainly help.
FMI see www.mcdonalds.com.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.