Trading your bun for greens has become so widespread that even popular fast food chains like Mickey D's have made healthy burgers a menu staple
Last winter, when McDonalds launched their Create Your Taste kiosk—a touchscreen in-store option where customers can mix and match buns, meats, toppings, and condiments to create whatever kind of franken-burger they fancy—we were a little wary. The last thing the world needed was a triple patty, triple bacon, and cheese-coated burger more caloric and artery-clogging than the Big Mac already is. (Want to clean up your patties at home? Try one of these 6 New Burger Twists Under 500 Calories.)
But one option seemed especially promising—you could trade the traditional bun for two huge lettuce leaves. And customers actually concocted this healthier-than-normal stack often enough for the fast food chain to take notice: A McDonald’s location in Australia announced that they will now offer burgers in a lettuce wrap on their menu full time. (Try it at home with our Wrap Sheet: Your Guide to Satisfying Green Wraps.)
Ditching the bun will save you around 150 calories, according to MyFitnessPal.com. It can also deliver more vitamins and minerals than you’d otherwise be getting. And while the lettuce burger hasn’t made it onto Mickey D menus in America yet, more than 2,000 of their U.S. locations have the Create Your Taste touch-screens where you can opt for the swap. Plus, building your own burger also allows you to beef up your stack with other fresh and nutritious toppings, like guacamole, beetroot, tomatoes, and red onions (not that we necessarily recommend all those at once). (See: Your Guide to Building the Best Burger.)
The notoriously unhealthy fast food giant is trying to clean up their menus, it seems, as mainstream culture is trying to clean up their diets. Earlier this year, McDonalds announced they will be phasing out the use of chicken raised with antibiotics over the next two years, and that they are testing the addition of kale to certain dishes on the menu. While heading to the Golden Arches may not be our first idea when hungry on the go (these 25 Healthy Grab-and-Go Lunches work though!), we’d be willing to reconsider if they keep making swaps like this.