Does McDonald’s Has Salads, And Is It Healthy?

Fast-food chains are usually not popular for healthy eating options like salads, green tea, vegetables, fruits, etc. However, due to more people turning to healthy eating, the global food chains like Burger King, McDonald’s, etc., had to cater to the demand for vegetable salads, chicken salads, and similar eating options.

McDonald’s started to serve salads after the competitor Burger King started serving salads. This initiative was taken by McDonald’s in the year 1987.

Different types of salads are available for the customers at Mcdonald’s in different countries.

But many USA citizens are often found asking does McDonald’s has Salads.

Before 2020, the answer was very obvious: yes, McDonald’s in the USA serves salads. But does it hold the truth in 2022? This article is all about exploring the answers to this question. Besides, we will look at the salad options McDonald’s offers and their health index.

So let’s get into it without any further ado.

What Are McDonald’s Salads?

The popular belief of salads as a healthy eating option becomes questionable when ordering from McDonald’s. Salads are generally a mixture of different healthy eating options like raw vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, etc.

However, when you think about McDonald’s salads, they are something different. The simple salads serve at McDonald’s are similar to any raw salad. However, the game is changed when it comes to salads with dressings and toppings.

McDonald’s Menu

Generally, McDonald’s menu doesn’t contain any healthy diet options. They are serving some vegan and vegetarian dishes around the world.

However, you will hardly find something when it comes to diet food. Therefore, when someone talks about McDonald’s salads, the nutritional value of these salads is not trusted by most conscious eaters.

The general items on McDonald’s menu are as follows:

  • Burgers(Chicken, Beef, Fish, Vegetables, Bacon, Mayo, Cheese, etc.)
  • Wraps
  • Coffee
  • Nuggets
  • Breakfast Menu
  • Desserts
  • Fries and Sides
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Shakes
  • Soft drinks
  • Etc.

The typical menu at McDonald’s does not have room for adding salads. And if McDonald’s does, we will question their signature salads’ nutritional value.

So let’s explore does McDonald’s has salads or if it’s just our thinking that they do serve salads(healthy ones)!

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Does McDonald’s Have Salads?

Well, fortunately, the answer is yes. McDonald’s has been serving salads at many outlets since 1980. The salad options vary by country as different publics have varying tastes.

But the good news is that you can order salads at different outlets of McDonald’s around the world. Let’s explore different salad options, the ingredients, and nutrition values across many countries.

McDonald’s India

It’s surprising that McDonald’s India does not offer any salads or sides on its menu. But it makes sense as most menu items at McDonald’s India are for vegetarians and vegan people.

However, they could have added salads to their menu for people craving raw vegetables combined with flavored dressings.

So for Indian McDonald’s, there are no salads at McDonald’s.

McDonald’s in the USA

Let’s talk about McDonald’s USA. McDonald’s USA had been offering different salads until the pandemic. The fast-food company has stopped serving salads on the menu to optimize the time at drive-thrus.

According to Wall Street Journal, McDonald’s has instructed the franchisees to keep time-taking items on the sidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, after two years, the salads have not come back on McDonald’s menu. It means that salad-lovers will have to wait for more to enjoy the salads again.

Before the pandemic, McDonald’s USA was offering three types of salads across different states of America:

Bacon Ranch – Bacon Ranch has a double dose of bacon or chicken with tomatoes, red lettuce, green Romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, etc.

Side Salad – Side salad is for vegetarian people and doesn’t contain any meat. It includes carrots, spinach, green lettuce, kale, and tomato.

Southwest Salad – The Southwest Salad is a combination of chicken with the same topping as in Bacon Ranch.

However, the Tex-Mex theme is added to Southwest salad, including beans, corn, dressing sauce, lime, tortilla strips, etc.

McDonald’s UK

Let’s come to McDonald’s of Britain people.

There are three types of salads served at McDonald’s UK as well.

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Side Salad

The side salad is a vegetarian option for McDonald’s lovers. The ingredients of the Side salad are:

  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato

The nutritional value of the side salads is as follows: 18kCal per serving, and most of it is fiber and carbohydrates in it. Therefore, you can enjoy this freshly prepared side salad with your meals.

Crispy Chicken And Bacon Salad

Then comes the favorite of many: Crispy Chicken and Bacon Salad. The ingredients of this special salad are as follows:

  • Chicken legend patty
  • Lettuce
  • Beechwood Smoked Bacon
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato

The making of the Chicken patty and beechwood smoked bacon is what makes this salad comparable to a McDonald’s burger. The calorie count of crispy chicken and bacon salad is around 311kcal per serving with 16g of fat and 16g of carbohydrates in it.

Crispy Chicken Salad

The third option of salads served at McDonald’s is Crispy chicken salad which is also a treat for people who don’t eat bacon. 100% fresh vegetables accompany a 237kcal serving chicken legend patty to make your dinner more appealing.

The ingredients of crispy chicken salad include:

  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Crispy-coated chicken breast
  • Tomatoes(sliced)

You will get around 261kcal of energy from 1 serving of the crispy chicken salad, which is around 13% of daily requirements. It contains 16g of carbohydrates and 4g less fat than the bacon & chicken salad.

McDonald’s UAE

At McDonald’s UAE, there are also three types of salads, but these are different from what is served in the USA or UK. The following three salads can be ordered by McDonald’s lovers in UAE:

Chicken Caesar Salad

Chicken caesar salad is a cheesy treat of chicken, lettuce, and bread croutons. The topping of tangy Caesar dressing adds to the flavor of this caesar salad.

The calorie count of chicken caesar is 161kcal which means a perfect side for your meal. A single serving of salad contains 6g of carbs and 4g of fat.

Garden Salad

Garden salad, as the name suggests, is all about vegetables and fruits accompanied by cheddar cheese. This salad gets bites of tomatoes, lettuce, carrot, and cheese.

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Besides, it’s a great choice as the calorie count is as low as 78kcal for a single serving.

Garden Salad With Warm Crispy Chicken

Garden Salad with Warm Crispy Chicken is everything in Garden salad + warm crispy chicken patty. The calorie count is high with around 352kcal, 29g carbohydrates, and 15g fat.

Lettuce, cherry tomatoes, chicken, cheddar cheese, and carrot, that’s how this amazing salad is prepared for you at Mcdonald’s UAE.

Salads or Healthy Salads

It’s a common concept that salads are healthy –isn’t it?

The restaurants have changed the definition of salads, and now everything tossed together is called salad. Whether you have crispy noodles, fried chicken strips, cheese, and some vegetables tossed together, you will call it a salad.

Since it’s salad, it should be a healthy option. But, the reality is that all salads are not made the same.

But actually, in the modern food industry, salad and healthy salads must be differentiated.

Are McDonald’s Salads Healthy?

Now the real question is whether McDonald’s salads are healthy ones or not. The answer is that not all the salads served at McDonald’s are healthy when we talk about nutrition.

All kinds of salads served at McDonald’s are fresh but might not be a diet option or healthy option.

The crispy chicken salad, bacon salad, cheese salad, etc., might contain more calories and fat content than a cheeseburger. Therefore, it was an illusion if you had been ditching yourself by calling McDonald’s salads a healthy eating option.

Final Words

We have talked about different types of salads offered at different outlets of McDonald’s across the world. The question about McDonald’s burgers being a healthy eating option is debatable.

However, one thing is for sure McDonald’s burgers are made fresh and just in time.

That’s one of the reasons why McDonald’s cut salads out of their regular menu during a pandemic to improve their average waiting time for each order.

So, we hope you will enjoy McDonald’s salads in the UK or UAE. However, McDonald’s lovers in the USA still have to wait for salads to return to the menu.