The McDonald's hamburger chain is continuing its efforts to reverse its junk food image into a healthier one by reducing the percentage of fat in its meat from 17.5% to 9%. The chain is also offering new whole-wheat buns produced by the Angel bakery.
The chain's main competitor, Burger Ranch, has already lowered the percentage of fat in some of its products below 5%.
The number of calories in the McRoyal burger has gone down to 495. According to the chain, it now has only 2% saturated fat and a total of 5.5% fat (meat and other components). A McRoyal with a whole-wheat bun has 399 calories, 1.8% saturated fat and a total of 4.5% fat.
As a result, the McRoyal burger sold in Israel has 30% fewer calories than McRoyal and Big Mac burgers sold abroad, although its composition and weight may be different in other countries.
The new diet plan follows steps taken by the chain in the past few years, including adding more salads to its menu, increasing the amount of vegetables in its products, marking the food's nutritive value, shifting to canola oil and reducing the percentage of fat in the dressings and the percentage of saturated fat by two-thirds.
According to McDonald's Israel CEO Omri Padan, "The 'smart nutrition revolution' is a McDonald's Israel strategy which will not change. Any change published by the FDA or USDA or Israeli Health Ministry will be adopted by the Israeli chain, which will take the necessary steps to implement them while maintaining the quality of taste of all products on the menu."
The chain has 150 restaurants in Israel, 30 of which are kosher. Seven new restaurants are expected to be opened by the end of 2010, and some 20 will be renovated at a total investment of NIS 30 million (about $8 million).