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The Secret Reason Calories in Your Next McDonald's Meal Will Skyrocket

A change to the menu means a change to the healthier options you can order.
Mcdonald's southwest chicken salad

There's been a lot of news about McDonald's menu recently. When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, the chain took over 100 items off the menu to make the transition to drive-thru only easier on guests and employees. Then they kept the smaller menu because it shortened drive-thru times and sales kept up — a positive trend other restaurants couldn't hop on to. McDonald's is now opening up restaurant dining halls and bringing back a few menu items.

Three dessert options (including the classic vanilla cone), two Quarter Pounder options, the Bacon McDouble, and hot tea will all be back soon, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, one item not on the list is one of the brand's healthiest.

RELATED: Every Menu Item at McDonald's—Ranked 

Salads won't be back on McDonald's meal menu any time soon, if ever, meaning your choices for a low-calorie, vitamin-rich option is smaller. The side salad paired with grilled chicken was a perfect option for a protein and iron-rich meal. It could be as low as 290 calories with a certain salad dressing. The southwest salad was packed with beans and corn. This gave it some healthy fiber to keep you full with only 470 total calories. Plus, it was packed with four different greens like kale, spinach, red leaf lettuce, and romaine. Unfortunately, you may have to pick from options with fewer vegetables and more calories in the future.

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With salads potentially out of the picture forever, McDonald's healthiest meal item may surprise you. The McDouble notably has 23 grams of protein, only 340 calories, and 18 grams of fat. Of course, two beef patties, a slice of cheese in between two buns can't fully replace greens and vegetables in a salad, but if you're looking for a lighter option, that's one to go with.

You might not be able to order breakfast items all day anymore, as well, the company says. The National Owners Association, which represents about 80% of franchised locations in the U.S. voted recently to stop all-day breakfast.

RELATED: Learn how to harness the power of tea to lose weight.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda McDonald is a health and food writer and a certified yoga instructor. Read more
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