If you head to your local McDonald’s soon, you may notice a new/old addition to the menu: the McRib. That’s right — the boneless pork sandwich that first made its debut in 1981, came and went in the ’90s, and now makes regular, seasonal returns is back again, briefly, in more than 9,000 of the country’s 14,000 McDonald’s locations.
And people are legitimately freaking out about it online:
The McRib is back and it’s so fucking good
— atl this weeeek (@oheyjawjar) December 5, 2018
Want a McRib
— Catherine (@catcallfilms) December 5, 2018
That was my first McRib. And it was godlike. pic.twitter.com/vD5L3sA26z
— kye russell (@kyerussell) December 5, 2018
But some have pointed out that the latest McRib seems a little different from the sandwich of the past:
Tried the #mcrib at @McDonalds today and its nowhere near as good as i remember them from when i was young.
And whats the deal with all those pickles along it ?
Is there some mob of pickles lovers petitioning for picklathons on burgers ?
Just stop it
— 🌹 🚬🚭🐱 ..kylo rey .. 🏏🌈 (@lachellabella) December 5, 2018
Pass on that McRib bro. It’s not what it used to be.
— Drayson McDonald (@Im_Just_Drayson) December 5, 2018
They’re right — the ingredients have changed. In 2011, Time pointed out that the sandwich’s ingredients (of which there were about 70, 34 in the bun alone) contained some that were questionable, including azodicarbonamide (a flour-bleaching agent most commonly used in manufacturing foamed plastics like gym mats) and ammonium sulfate (a fertilizer). Now, those ingredients are nowhere to be found, according to the McDonald’s ingredients list.
With about 45 ingredients, the patty is made of pork, water, salt, dextrose (a form of sugar) and rosemary extract. The sauce has 18 ingredients, three of which are sugar or variations of sugar, and the bun has 17 ingredients, but most are recognizable or pronounceable.
As for the nutritional information, McDonald’s says the McRib contains 480 calories, 22 grams of fat, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 24 grams of protein, 890 milligrams of sodium and 12 grams of sugar.
“Although they decreased the amount of ingredients from 70, there are a lot of preservatives and highly processed ingredients present,” registered dietitian Beth Warren, founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Also, there is added sugar in the bread and the grains are refined. Overall, this points to the sandwich being pro-inflammatory, especially if eaten in excess and over time.”
The McRib is also still high in fat, and the 7 grams of saturated fat is pushing the American Heart Association’s daily recommendation to stay under 13 grams a day for a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, Warren says. “The total carbohydrate count is three servings of carbs and the sugar content is also high for this type of meal,” she adds.
Still, it’s OK to treat yourself to a McRib here and there. “It’s an enjoy-on-occasion item, so I would say that means about once or twice a month,” registered dietitian Julie Upton, co-founder of nutrition website Appetite for Health, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. Just “be sure to keep your intake for that day well balanced in quality carbs, low in saturated fat and added sugar, and high in vegetables to balance out the indulgence,” Warren says.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
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