The name sounds so healthy, right? I mean, it’s got the world famous “Mc” in front of it, so it’s got to be loaded with healthy goodness! Plus, it’s got this fancy new green wrapper, which studies have shown indicates health food in people’s minds. Oh, you thought they just randomly chose green?
The official word on this McWrap is that McDonald’s was going to have it as a temporary menu item, but have decided to make it permanent in order to compete with the young fast food customer base who are heading over to Subway for healthier options (that’s a whole other can of worms), and so they repackaged it with a nice healthy green wrapper and are hoping for the best!
The question is, how healthy IS the McWrap?
Let’s take a look under the hood of this bad boy. For the record, this information comes directly from the McDonald’s website.
The McWrap contains 360 calories, 27g of protein, 9g of fat, 44g of carbs, and 1030mg of sodium (that’s a lot of sodium!).
Now, that alone isn’t horrific…it really comes down to where those numbers come from, so let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?
The basic ingredients are grilled chicken fillet, flour tortilla, shredded lettuce, cucumber, spring mix, sweet chili sauce and creamy garlic sauce (2 sauces? Really?) Sounds simple, but what are these ingredients made of?
The “grilled chicken breast fillet” consists of:
Chicken breast fillet with rib meat, water, seasoning (rice starch, salt, sugar, yeast extract, canola oil, onion powder, maltodextrin, chicken skin, paprika, flavor, sunflower oil, chicken, garlic powder, chicken fat, spices), sodium phosphates.
Prepared with Liquid Margarine: Liquid soybean oil and hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oils, water, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, soy lecithin, mono-and diglycerides, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), artificial flavor, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate, beta carotene (color).
Wow, there’s soy, skin, and all kinds of other disgusting stuff in there! That doesn’t sound like any chicken breast I’ve cooked!
Let’s check the Flour Tortilla:
Enriched Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Shortening (Interesterified Soybean Oil and/or Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and/or Soybean Oil and/or Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil), Contains 2% or Less of: Sugar, Leavening (May Contain One or More of: Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Corn Starch, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Calcium Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Salt, Wheat Gluten, Dough Conditioners (Sodium Metabisulfite [Contains Sulfites], Distilled Monoglycerides).
Wow, that seems like a lot of ingredients for a flour tortilla, and there’s that soy again! Let’s check the recipe for a flour tortilla from Food.com:
flour, salt, oil, baking powder, warm water or milk
How did we go from 5 ingredients to I can’t even count how many?
Fortunately the lettuce, cucumber and spring mix can’t really be messed up so they’re fine. Let’s check the sauces! First off the sweet chili sauce:
Water, Sugar, Distilled Vinegar, Cayenne Peppers, Modified Food Starch, Salt, Garlic Puree, Dried Red Peppers, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative).
Good ole sugar, salt, starch and preservatives! Now let’s look at that creamy garlic sauce:
Yogurt (Cultured Nonfat Milk, Modified Food Starch, Gelatin, Pectin), Water, Soybean Oil, Distilled Vinegar, Whey Protein Concentrate, Egg Yolks, Roasted Garlic (Garlic Puree, Evaporated Cane Syrup), Sugar, Modified Food Starch, Rice Vinegar, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate (Preservatives), Sodium Acid Sulfate, Natural Flavor (Plant Source), Calcium Disodium EDTA (Protect Flavor).
*Some restaurants are using Mayonnaise Dressing in this menu item instead of Creamy Garlic Sauce:
Water, Soybean Oil, Distilled Vinegar, Maltodextrin, Modified Food Starch, Enzyme Modified Egg Yolk, Salt, Sugar, Xanthan Gum, Mustard Flour, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Lemon Juice Concentrate, Polysorbate 80, Natural Flavor (Animal Source), Calcium Disodium EDTA to Protect Flavor, Beta Carotene (Color).
Wow…just wow. I mean, they start off well with yogurt, but it’s not plain greek yogurt, it’s the food starch gelatin kind, and then once again with the soy and they even add whey protein concentrate, which is generally not as good as whey protein isolate. Even the roasted garlic has sugar in it, followed by more sugar, more starch, more salt, propylene glycol alginate…that sounds super healthy right, sodium acid sulfate, another ingredient they have to use initials for….it’s rather sad when the mayonnaise option actually sounds healthier.
Oh, and here’s the really fun part! The cost for all of this wonderment in a McWrap? $3.99.
How appropriate, because the cost for one serving of Shakeology, the daily dose of dense nutrition that tastes like a frosty? $3.99. I’ll let you compare the ingredients HERE with those above, and you can also see the nutritional equivalent of one serving of Shakeology right here:
If your choice is Shakeology, go here to grab some and save yourself the headache of the McDonald’s McWrap: