McDonald's recently introduced a kale salad to test markets in California and Canada as the struggling fast-food giant looks to lure health-conscious customers put off by the restaurant's usual high-calorie, high-fate fare.
Using the slogan "Keep Calm, Caesar On," McDonald's says its new salad features "real parmesan petals" and "a nutrient-rich lettuce blend with baby kale." The salad might seem like an attractive alternative, but as the CBC notes, with the asiago caesar dressing, the chicken-and-kale salad packs a whopping 730 calories, 53 grams of fat, and 1,400 milligrams of salt.
That's more calories, fat and salt than the restaurant's Double Big Mac. Its calorie count is also equal to about three regular McDonald's hamburgers, the CBC reported.
While McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook said he would combat sagging sales by transforming the Golden Arches into a "modern, progressive burger company," nutritionists say the new offerings are healthy in name only.
"Health-wise, I think it's fat and sodium overload," Shauna Lindzon, a registered dietitian in Toronto, told the CBC.
Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an obesity expert and family medicine professor at the University of Ottowa, said foods like kale are meant to make customers "feel like they're not making such terrible choices."
"Words like 'kale' can help do that," Freedhoff said.
The kale salads aren't the only changes McDonald's has made to keep up with the times. In October, McDonald's began serving all-day breakfast, something customers had been requesting for years, TIME reported. It also revamped its Happy Meals for kids, including smaller portions of french fries and offering options like sliced apples.
Those tweaks helped the 75-year-old restaurant chain regain some of the ground it lost in the fast food wars over the past few years, the Inquisitr reported. Quarterly earnings released in the last week of January showed a 10 percent increase in profits.
Still, nutritionists recommend skipping McDonald's and its competitors.
"There really aren't many safe things to order at any restaurant," Freedhoff told the CBC. "If you want to learn how to eat healthy, eat out less often [and] learn how to cook."