I’m sure you’re saying to yourself “November Sunflower has gone and lost her mind. Nutrition and McDonald’s? WTF?” I don’t blame you for the profanity, I was thinking the same thing when I was sitting there, waiting to hear Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, and New York Times best-selling author, speak about NUTRITION at McDonald’s. She did not disappoint. Tanya Zuckerbrot nutrition talks are always full of insight.
Tanya Zuckerbrot nutrition talk about McDonald’s healthy menu options
Let me remind everyone I’ve been doing a major overhaul in my home. We’re changing our eating habits, because doctors just want to medicate me for everything. Instead, I delved into an unknown world: healthy eating. However, I don’t want to give up all the things I love! What if I want to head out to dinner, or grab lunch, with friends, family, or the kids, like a normal person? Off to the internet to search “assistance” in finding a way to eat out, without totally corrupting all of my wonderful “healthier choices.” I found a great site, HealthDiningfinder.com. Shockingly, I found a few healthy options at McDonald’s, and a few other fast food places.
McDonald’s New York Metro Nutrition Network
Now we’re caught up, so let me tell you about McDonald’s and their new nutrition initiative. McDonald’s New York Metro Nutrition Network is a phenomenal new program. It positions McDonald’s as a resource for grassroots efforts taking place in local communities, to bring nutrition into non-profits, such as schools. Along with this fantastic program, they have menu items that fit a healthier lifestyle. I was SHOCKED to find them on the healthdiningfinder.com, but then to hear a REGISTERED DIETICIAN explain the amazing options on the menu! Mind blown.
Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD and author of F Factor Diet, hosted the launch of the McDonald’s New York Metro Nutrition Network. During her presentation, all of us listening learned some things about making smarter food choices.
Did you know an Egg McMuffin can be a fantastic choice over a bagel? Seriously! An Egg McMuffin has 300 calories, 12 grams of fat, 18 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber. A Bagel, without anything on it, is over 300 calories, and has no protein at all.
Here’s something that surprised me. It should surprise everyone. McDonald’s no longer has any trans fats in their products. They also fry their french fries in Canola Oil, instead of Peanut Oil. Plus, their potatoes are non-GMO. It means they’re natural, no scientifically altered potatoes happening for their restaurants.
Nutrition is a young science
Nutrition is a young science, and changes all the time. However, the things that will NOT change:
- fiber is essential for your daily life
- eating fiber helps you digest food slower
- consuming fiber helps keep your blood sugar more level
- fiber makes you feel fuller for longer
Sugar is not your enemy, but rather TOO MUCH sugar is your enemy. Just like everything else in life, you need to eat it in MODERATION. Don’t ADD sugar to things, just take the natural sugar that comes from your fruits, your dairy, and stick with those. No added sugar needed.
One thing most people probably don’t know about McDonald’s: you can ask for things without salt. If you want your burger, or fries, with no salt, they’ll make it without the sodium. But here’s a fun fact for those who feel bloated after eating a meal high in sodium: drink more water. I know, you’re asking yourself “water, even though I feel bloated? What?”
The answer is YES: drinking more water helps flush out the sodium, which will then help relieve the bloating.
Tanya’s menu selections at McDonald’s
Tanya created meals for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. It showed what McDonald’s could offer, without sacrificing budgets, or nutrition. Her idea of nutrition fits into a normal, every day, realistic day in the life.
In her own words: “who wants to live to 100 years old if you’re going to be [not very lady like, but totally my kind of word used here] miserable?” It’s not about depriving yourself of all fast food, because it’s not necessary. Just choose a few healthier options, even for the kids.
These days, Happy Meals come with apples, along with fries. And the fries are now SMALLER, so the portion control comes into play. Additionally, kids can get fat free/skim milk with the meals, or chocolate milk, which she assured all of us Moms, is not the worst thing in the world for our kids to drink.