Posted: November 27th, 2013
Restaurant Meal Analysis
Restaurant Meal Analysis
Currently people have become increasingly aware that eating healthy is positively correlated to good health and have since been careful about what they eat. It is therefore left to the restaurants to provide food that meets these healthy requirements to satisfy customer demands. McDonalds is one of the leading fast food restaurants in America, which has changed its menu to offer healthier meals to its customer. In this paper, we analyze one of McDonalds’ meals in detail and give a brief overview of the whole menu. This paper will focus on the grilled Ranch Snack Wrap from this restaurant in terms of the meals nutritional values as well as ingredients.
The ingredients and their nutritional content for the grilled Ranch Snack Wrap are as follows: First, the meal contains new grilled chicken fillet that has up to 45 calories, those from fats being 5 with none of the fats being saturated or Trans fats. The new grilled chicken contains no carbohydrates, no dietary fiber and zero sugar (mcdonalds.com, 2011). Additionally, it contains 30 (mg) cholesterol, 10 (g) 8 (IU) of vitamin A, 1 (mg) of vitamin C, 2(gm) of calcium and 0.5 (gm) of iron. The second ingredient is flour tortilla that contains 150 calories, 40 calories from fat and total fat of 4(g). It does not contain any Trans fats, cholesterol or vitamin C and A. It also contains, saturated fats of 1.5(g), 330 (mg) of sodium, 22 (g) of carbohydrates, 1 (g) of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugar, 4 (g) of proteins, 30 (mg) of calcium and 1.5 (mg) of iron. The third ingredient is shredded cheddar/ jack cheese that contains 40 calories, 25 calories from fat, and total fat of 3 (g) (mcdonalds.com, 2011). It contains no Trans fats, no dietary fiber, no sugars, no vitamin C and no iron. It also contains 2 grams of saturated sugars, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 100 (IU) of vitamin A, and 70 milligrams of calcium. The fourth ingredient is shredded lettuce that contains none of the above-mentioned nutrients in the three ingredients. The fifth ingredient is new premium ranch sauce that contains 40 calories, 35 calories from fat, and 4 grams total of fat. It does not contain Trans fat, any dietary fiber, sugars, proteins, vitamin c and iron. Additional nutrient contents are 0.5 grams of saturated fats, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 30 (IU) of vitamin A, and 6 milligrams of calcium (mcdonalds.com, 2011).
The total nutritional values of the whole meal are 270 calories (110 calories coming from fats), 12 grams of total fats, 4 grams of saturated fats, zero trans fats, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, I gram of dietary fiber, 2 gram of sugars, 16 grams of protein, 140 (IU) of vitamin A, 1 milligram of vitamin C, 110 milligrams of calcium, and 2 milligrams of iron. This is presented in a table format at the end of the paper (mcdonalds.com, 2011). The contents of each of the five ingredients are as follows. First, the new grilled chicken fillet contains chicken breast fillet and a rib meat, seasoned with rice starch, sugar, yeast, onion powder, maltodextrin, paprika and sunflower oil among others. It is prepared with hydrogenated cottonseed liquid margarine and salt among others. Flour tortilla contains enriched flour, hydrogenated soybean oil and little sugars among others. It also contains wheat. Shredded cheddar/ jack cheese has cheddar cheeses, pasteurized milk, salt, and potato starch. The new premium ranch sauce contains soybean oil, butter milk, distilled vinegar and in general contains milk, egg, soy and wheat (mcdonalds.com, 2011).
This meal could be considered healthy depending on the nutritional needs of the individual since different people taking different activities will have different nutritional needs. Generally, the meal may be considered healthy since it contains proteins, calories, vitamins, sugars, fats, and carbohydrates as well as minerals such as calcium and iron. These nutrients should come from foods such as meat for proteins, vegetables for vitamins, fats, starch or carbohydrates and minerals from salts. However, the meal contains many nutrients that are not natural and have added sugars, fats and oils. Moreover, they are not in the right proportions. This is one of the fast meals McDonalds have improved to make its menu healthy to meet this demand. However, the meal cannot be considered healthy as it lacks some important nutrients such as dietary fiber that are highly needed by the body. It also contains sodium that does not come from natural foods but from additives and refined salts.
There are many meals served in McDonalds that are closely related to this meal and others that are even more nutritious, such as the salads served with main meals. Some of the menu items at McDonalds are chicken nuggets, snack wraps – such as the one just analyzed – burgers, sandwiches, grilled and crispy bacon, chicken, and beef. More include Big Mac bun, mayonnaise dressing, McRib bun that contains wheat and soy and French fries. Some of the breakfast menu items are egg muffin, sausage muffin and more. All the meals are closely related containing the same nutrients, lacking dietary fiber and other important nutritional needs for a healthy diet (mcdonalds.com, 2011). Most of the contents have hydrogenated oils, additives and sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup that is rich in fats. The bigger portion of the nutrients are fats and calories that add weight if consumed over a long time. In addition, most of the meals are cooked by frying where the hydrogenated fats are heated to high temperatures. Such fats may clog the blood vessels, which can be a serious health problem. Generally, the food from this fast food restaurant is not healthy and over-consumption may lead to other unwanted health conditions such as obesity.
McDonalds is the world’s leading fast food restaurant. Majority of its customers prefer buying to eat out rather than cooking at home. The restaurant offers take-out meals. Many people find having meals at McDonalds quite convenient, as they are not involved in the time it takes to cook. This way, they can save time for other activities they may want to fulfill. When people are used to this kind of lifestyle, they are not fully aware of what the meal served contains in terms of nutritional content as method of cooking does make a difference. By providing ready to eat fast foods, McDonalds may be discouraging people from maintaining a healthy diet. Some people need specific meals to keep a healthy diet, which they may find hard to do.
Moreover, McDonalds fast meals are tasty and very alluring causing people resort to them on a regular basis. The meal discussed above is considered healthy, but most of the other meals might not be as healthy and may cause weight gain if consumed daily. Most of the meals that are made at McDonalds as already seen to contain relatively high fat and calories that could lead to weight gain for many people as well as other health complications. Most people forget that fast foods are not supposed to be relied on for a long time or regularly as they do not provide all the nutritional value needed in the body. However, they have added salads as side meals to their main meals to make them healthier, but this does not mean that people will stop eating the other delicious but unhealthy foods.
Another problem caused by the restaurant is the frequent dinner programs where customers are offered rewards for eating at the restaurant to encourage them to frequent the restaurant. This keeps customers coming back due to the offers they get from the restaurant and incentives such as soft drinks that are rich in refined sugars, contributing to the unhealthy eating. Moreover, most of the foods in this restaurant are high in hydrogenated oils that are not healthy and continue to cause weight gain.
Food from McDonald’s is very tasty and delicious but it cannot be considered healthy as most of the nutrients are lacking or are not in the right proportion. From the analysis, it can be concluded that the major nutrient in this restaurant is carbohydrates, sugars and fats that are not natural as they come from refined ingredients.
|calories||Calories from fat||Total fats||Saturated fat||Trans fats||Cholesterol||sodium||carbohydrates||Dietary fiber||sugars||protein||Vitamin A||Vitamin C||calcium||iron|
|New Grilled Chicken Fillet||45||5||0.5||0||0||30||200||0||0||0||10||8||1||2||0.5|
|Shredded Cheddar/Jack Cheese||40||25||3||2||0||10||75||1||0||0||2||100||0||70||0|
|New Premium Ranch Sauce||40||35||4||0.5||0||5||85||1||0||0||0||30||0||6||0|
mcdonalds.com. (2011). Ranch Snack Wrap (Grilled). Retrieved from http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/full_menu/snacks_and_sides/ranch_snack_wrap_grill.html
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