Pandemic Food Casualties: Costco sheet cake, McDonald’s salads, yogurt parfaits

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of food purveyors, whether retailers or restaurants, to cut back menus and just concentrate on their top sellers, or, for restaurants, on items that are quick to prepare. So several of my favorites have fallen by the wayside.

The most painful loss is that McDonald’s has cut what I considered the two healthiest items on its menu — salads and yogurt parfaits. I was a regular at a local McDonald’s before the pandemic, ordering a salad, side salad and two parfaits. The staff came to know me by my order, which I usually placed ahead of time through the McDonald’s ordering app.

What had been my weekly Costco lunch is no more. Who dumps chocolate from the vanilla-chocolate combo? Shame on you Costco.
Those were the days my friend — gone now. No frozen yogurt at Costco, no salads at McDonald’s.

With those options gone now, there’s no reason for me to stop at McDonald’s, even if it has reopened for eat-in service.

On the other end of the food scale — totally unhealthy but delicious, Costco has stopped selling its giant sheet cakes. Those were a mainstay when we had large parties, there was inevitably enough to freeze for ourselves to have on later occasions as well.

Costco already broke my heart when it dropped its fat-free chocolate frozen yogurt for the trendy acai. I used to eat lunch there once a week, getting a salad (bringing my own oil and vinegar to avoid it’s fatty dressing) and a yogurt swirl. I had shifted to McDonald’s salads after that. Now with both gone, there’s I am confined to eating lunch at home.

By the way, Costco also has dropped acai from its food court! Ha!!!!

More advice on what’s healthiest to order at McDonald’s

McDonald’s is everywhere across the United States, so chance are you’ll find yourself in one for a meal from time to time even if you’re on a low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet. I actually go to a local McDonald’s once a week, getting a salad and bringing my own oil and vinegar packets so I don’t use the high-salt Paul Newman dressings.

A McDonald's breakfast platter my mother once loved.
A McDonald’s breakfast platter my mother once loved.It didn’t make the healthy breakfast list on

And I’ve written before about what nutritionists recommend there. So I was interested to see a story from headlined What’s the Healthiest Thing to Eat at McDonald’s? Continue reading “More advice on what’s healthiest to order at McDonald’s”

Fast food breakfast choices — the salt flows like water

WebMD recently did a series of posts about fast food choices which I wrote about recently. The news was mostly bad, especially when it came to salt content of even what WebMD considered the best alternatives in several categories.

A McDonald's breakfast platter my mother once loved.
A McDonald’s breakfast platter my mother once loved.

The medical site is at it again, sending me this look at fast food breakfast choices. Again the news is bad even for the choices WebMD says are you best bet, or at least better bets than the calorie and salt monsters profiled first. Continue reading “Fast food breakfast choices — the salt flows like water”

Fast food breakfast top food story for 2015 — woe is us

Fast food breakfast was named the top food story of 2015 in a survey by Hunter Public Relations, a New York firm that works with food clients, reported Ad Age recently. You can thank McDonald’s decision to offer some of its breakfast items all day for that.

Want half a day's salt in one meal ? Here it is.
Want half a day’s salt in one meal ? Here it is.

Love it or hate it, when McDonald’s does something, the world notices, as this survey confirms. Other reports I’ve seen say McDoanld’s business is up because of its decision, people apparently like buying Egg McMuffins at any time of day.

Maybe they should check the McDonald’s Meal Builder site first to see how much sodium is in an Egg McMuffin — 730 mgs, or about half what someone like me who has heart troubles is supposed to consume in a day. Continue reading “Fast food breakfast top food story for 2015 — woe is us”

Lose It! weighs in on fast food menus

Lose It! is a calorie-tracking, weight-loss app I’ve been using since long before my angioplasty in 2012. I love it’s versatility and ease of use, especially when I’m offline but still want to find food in a database it offers that stores on my phone.

My Almost healthy burger creation for McDonald's
My Almost healthy burger creation for McDonald’s. Lose It! says get the smallest burger possible at fast food places.

I’ve written about the badges it sends out to encourage healthy eating. Now it apparently has started an e-newsletter with eating tips as well. I received one last week that gives some fast food tips, along with other articles. Continue reading “Lose It! weighs in on fast food menus”

McDonald’s burger buildoff could use more tools

McDonald’s, which has been trying a variety of ways to better connect with potential customers of late, has a new sales aid it’s trying in the Chicago area called the Burger Buildoff. If you click through to the site, you can construct your own customized McDonald’s burger.

My Almost healthy burger creation for McDonald's
My Almost healthy burger creation for McDonald’s.

It’s a fun exercise, but it has it limits. I would have liked to start with leaner beef, for example. The only choices are burgers McDonald’s already sells. If I could, I would have started with 96% lean ground beef.

The same is true for choice of buns. There is a whole grain bun, kudos for that. But I would have opted for salt-free whole wheat bread to cut the salt content. The cheeses do not include any fat-free cheese, not to mention any low-sodium cheeses (which are much harder to find). Continue reading “McDonald’s burger buildoff could use more tools”

McDonald’s healthy eating? Here’s what nutrition pros buy there

McDonald’s menu, changing as it may be, is not exactly friendly to my post-angioplasty low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet. I’ve written about how I will order a salad there but bring my own oil and vinegar in packets I purchase via Amazon to avoid the high-salt Newman’s Own dressings.

McDonald's planned artisan chicken sandwich, with fewer harmful ingredients.
Want a chicken sandwich at McDonald’s? Hold the mayo and don’t eat the bun, one healthy eating expert recommends.

So I was interested in reading a recent article I saw headlined “What Diet Experts Eat at McDonald’s.” The piece speaks with nine people who call themselves nutrition and health eating experts to see what they buy at McDonald’s.

I was amused by one who gets a kid’s meal to get a taste of a hamburger in that tiny serving. I had been buying a double McDonald’s burger once a week to do the same thing before my 2012 surgery but have dropped that since. Now I buy 96% lean ground beef at a local supermarket and make my burgers at home.

Another gets a salad and leaves off the cheese and tortilla strips and uses less of the high-salt dressing to cut sodium. I too take off the tortilla strips but leave the little bit of cheese, opting to cut salt by using oil and vinegar instead of the prepared dressings. Continue reading “McDonald’s healthy eating? Here’s what nutrition pros buy there”

No salt, no sugar diet concerns? Check our expanded Eating Out page

No salt, no sugar, no fat diet. That’s what the first nutritionist I saw after my 2012 angioplasty told me to follow, or as low of each of those as possible, 1,500 mgs of sodium a day, 40 grams of fat, 10 of saturated, and 40 grams of sugar.

Nathan's hot dogs and waffle fries, wondrous stuff.
Nathan’s hot dogs and waffle fries, wondrous stuff that were a major splurge for my diet.

Trying to do that while eating away from home at restaurants, fast food outlets and on special occasions can be nearly impossible. But we’re here to help. Our eating away from home page has more than 50 posts on restaurants in eight metro areas across the country plus posts on national chains of all strips from McDonalds, to the upscale Seasons 52 and the in-between Houlihan’s and Yard House. Continue reading “No salt, no sugar diet concerns? Check our expanded Eating Out page”

How much fat and salt is in McDonald’s new sirloin burger?

McDonald’s has a major advertising blitz going on for its new third-pound sirloin burger. Emphasizing the use of sirloin positions the burger as better somehow, at least that’s what McDonald’s must be hoping.

McDonald's third-pound sirloin burger has too much salt and fat for me to eat it.
McDonald’s third-pound sirloin burger has too much salt and fat for me to eat it.

But a quick check of its nutrition information on the McDonald’s website shows it’s not something anyone worried about salt and fat intake can eat, unfortunately.

I say unfortunately because I miss hamburgers dearly. The ones I eat now I make at home with either 96% lean ground beef or ground white-meat turkey and they’re just not the same because fat tastes good and so fattier beef tastes better than lean beef. Continue reading “How much fat and salt is in McDonald’s new sirloin burger?”

McDonald’s chicken recipe is getting simplified; Bravo!

McDoanld’s is a difficult place to get anything low-salt, low-fat or low-sugar. These days all I eat there are salads and yogurt parfaits. The parfaits have come in for criticism for being high in sugar. The salads have a lot of salt, and an impossible amount if you add any of the dressing supplied, so I usually bring my own vinegar and oil packets instead.

I’m not the only one eating there less, Millennials who grew up with Ronald are turning away in droves. The Big Mac seems to be getting the message and is moving as fast as a major company can to change some things. I applaud the changes and say do more, more quickly, now.

McDonald's planned artisan chicken sandwich, with fewer harmful ingredients.
McDonald’s planned artisan chicken sandwich, with fewer harmful ingredients.

A major recent change was announced for its chicken. “The biggest change is the removal of sodium phosphates, which it said was used to keep the chicken moist, in favor of vegetable starch. The new recipe also does not use maltodextrin, which McDonald’s said is generally used as a sugar to increase browning or as a carrier for seasoning,” reported Fox News, and other outlets, recently.

Anything to cut sodium is great for me. A McChicken sandwich at the moment has 650 mgs of sodium, about half what I can eat a day, which is why I never buy one.

McDonald’s new Artisan chicken also will be cooked in an olive oil blend instead of margarine, according to another report. That can only help as well.

“McDonald’s new grilled chicken sandwich recipe has been introduced in response to consumer demands for simple ingredients, the company said. By removing artificial ingredients consumers are not familiar with, the company is making an effort to simplify their recipes and respond to increasing demands for natural foods,” reported Olive Oil Times.

Keep it up McDonald’s keep it up.


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