Thursday, September 13, 2012

How Many Calories In Big Mac? Now You'll Know

Calories To Be Posted At Restaurants Nationwide

McDonald’s has announced that, starting next week, the company will list calorie information on restaurant and drive-thru menus nationwide to further inform and help customers and employees make nutrition-minded choices.

Since February 2011, in an effort to bring healthier foods to consumers, McDonald’s has reduced sodium across its national core menu of food choices by more than 11 percent. In total, more than half of McDonald’s national food items had a reduction in sodium, ranging from 1 percent to 35percent. 

According to recent research by the International Food Information Council Foundation, only about 15 percent of Americans accurately estimate the number of calories they need to maintain their weight.

Reducing salt, added sugars and fats in foods can lead to a healthier lifestyle and McDonald's has been attempting to meet the demand for better foods. Health advocates say the posting of calories may help consumers choose healthier foods.

The Big Mac currently has 550 calories and contains 29 grams of fat (45% of daily requirements) and 1000 mg of salt (42% of daily requirements). Note though that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day — or 1,500 mg if you're age 51 or older, or if you are African-American, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

“McDonald’s initiatives to provide Apple Slices and a fat-free milk option in the Happy Meals are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, as is the goal to reduce sodium, added sugars and saturated fats in foods,” said Judith C. Rodriguez, PhD, RD, LD/N, FADA, Chairperson and Professor, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Brooks College of Health.

To make nutritious choices more convenient and accessible, McDonald’s revealed plans to test foods that would increase the number of wholesome choices on its menu. The menu items being explored for 2013 include more recommended food groups. Among the additions being tested:

-More seasonal fruit and vegetables options, such as blueberries and cucumbers, during peak seasons.
-Additional produce side options and grilled chicken choices for Happy Meals.
-The McWrap, inspired by McDonald’s Europe, features fresh vegetables and is available in three flavors – -Chicken & Bacon, Sweet Chili Chicken, and Chicken & Ranch –starting at 350 calories.
-New breakfast choices, including an egg-white breakfast sandwich on an English muffin made with 8 grams of whole grain.

Later this fall, approximately 750,000 employees working in McDonald’s and franchisee restaurants in the U.S. will be introduced to a voluntary nutrition e-learning program. The program will help build employees’ knowledge of calories, nutrition and McDonald’s menu offerings.

Calorie Counter - How Many Calories Do You Need Daily To Lose Weight?

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