Seriously? This is a healthy lifestyle blog & we’re talking about McDonalds? You know it!
Something that we set out to do on this blog was not to make anyone feel guilty about anything, make better choices & to provide resources to improve your life in the easiest way possible.
As someone who spent around 6 years working at the golden arches, I can confidently say that some people are addicted to McDonalds. We would see people come in three times a day, seven days a week, feeding themselves and sometimes their family. There were the Friday dinner regulars and the Sunday breakfast go-ers. I once did a whole assignment on the concept of McDonaldization which is how society adopts management techniques that mimic the way that McDonalds is run – there is a reason people keep going back! It’s a whole thing, but I know that’s why you’re not here. So we’ll move on.
This article isn’t to say that you should go to McDonalds, but it’s just here as a tool that if you choose to go, you can make some better decisions about what you’re ordering.
1. You can easily find out everything that goes into the food.
Did you know, when you go to any McDonalds store, you can ask to see the full nutrition and ingredients list? You can also check nutrition details, allergen information and ingredients for all items on their website. This is a super useful tool, especially if you’re calorie counting or are avoiding certain food groups. If you look at the individual menu items on the website, you can see it all listed clearly.
2. You are more than welcome to modify your food or take your own parts in!
Did you know that you can request burgers without the bread? We had a regular once who would bring her own gluten free bun and we’d prepare her burger for her. You can ask for unsalted fries, if you’re happy to wait. You can request for no sauce. You can add extra beef patties if you’re after extra protein. And yes, despite popular belief, the beef patties are 100% beef. You can even request no salt and pepper to be added on top if you’d like. If you’re modifying your meals, you usually have to wait for special requests. It’s not that the items aren’t made to order (because they are) it’s just because the employees need to read the dockets extra carefully. If you’re ordering in drive thru, expect to be put in the waiting bay. Every now and then, the staff will make mistakes as they are trained like robots – but as long as you’re patient and kind, you can pretty much order whatever you want!
3. Happy meals are surprisingly healthy these days.
When I was a kid (I’m talking like I’m elderly, but this was only about 20 years ago), Happy Meals were a cheeseburger or nuggets, fries and a soft drink. After a while, McDonalds then introduced apple slices that you could have instead of the fries, and juice & water options instead of the soft drink. Now, you can have grilled chicken bites, cherry tomatoes and water as a meal. Or, you can have a wholemeal grilled chicken wrap with apple slices and a milk. It’s so good that you can take your kids there to play on the playground, they can get a new toy and you can have a coffee without stressing about what’s going into their bodies.
4. They have a healthier option for pretty much every menu item.
I’m going to write full separate posts on this as I think that people jump a little too quickly on the ‘McDonalds is the culprit’ bandwagon. They offer salads, wraps, fruit, vegetables, sandwiches, healthy drink options and even gluten-free desserts. It just takes a bit of willpower to order those items instead! A lot of the sugar that you get in a McChicken burger is actually from the bun itself, but, you can order a chicken wrap or salad instead which means you can still enjoy your McDonalds chicken, but without the extra sugar!
5. They support local farmers.
I believe that if McDonalds didn’t do so much good, they would be seen as so bad. But, as someone who has had a keen eye on the business for over 10 years now – I can safely say, they certainly try and do their bit! One thing that is impressive is their continued support of local Australian farmers. They have been doing this for over 40 years too – not just in the last year where we’ve seen farmers in drought pleading to the media. If you want to see the farmers involved and where the produce is coming from, you can read about it HERE.
As mentioned above, we will explore ‘junk food’ alternatives more, guiding your way around fast food chains and encouraging you to make better choices. This post, while a touch preachy, isn’t sponsored. We just believe that it’s important that people take responsibility for their own health instead of blaming others (whether that be people or corporations).
Over to you! What are your McDonalds hacks? What do you like to order while you’re there? Or, do you avoid it all together?