The largest fast food chain in the world has been known for many things since the very beginning of their formation. Many critics have spoken out about the health consequences of consuming their food products and most recently those voices have gotten louder, forcing them to make some moves. Yes, its McDonald’s and they are actually facing declining sales and customer complaints.

As a result, the McDonald’s food chain has debuted seventeen menu changes that perceptually will improve their products to be healthier. Although these alterations to their food preparation seem positive at first glance, they’re not so promising that you should be eager to stop by for lunch without feeling somewhat guilty.

On August 1, 2016, McDonald’s announced the changes that attempt at making the menu healthier for consumers. There are many modifications that affect almost half of the menu, including:

  • Serving chicken treated without antibiotics important to human medicine
  • Eliminating high-fructose corn syrup from buns
  • Removing artificial preservatives from numerous items, such as the Chicken McNuggets

A comprehensive list can be found on McDonald’s website.

Though these changes look great for regular consumers, upon further investigation it looks as if there is a ways to go before McDonald’s reaches the ideal. For example, as McDonald’s delivers a guarantee for more natural products like butter and eggs, it’s not surprising that neither the butter nor eggs come from organic, free-range animals. To quote Dr. Mercola, “not all butter and eggs are created equally.” The nutritional value of products and meats that come from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) are considerably lower than pastured, organic raised animals. Not only are you sacrificing nutritional value, but also consuming poultry and cows fed with genetically engineered (GE) food that have had “horrific results in several alarming animal studies.” In conclusion, these butter and eggs aren’t all that much better then the previous artificial elements.

Additionally, McDonald’s has also promised to switch from high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to refined sugar. This is yet another change that doesn’t produce the most ideal results. Another step in the right direction, however this will not substantially reduce the overall grams of carbohydrates or number of calories, thus not really increasing health value. Continuing to consume foods high in sugar and carbohydrates can be the culprit behind your weight management and is simply not part of a balanced diet.

“It’s more about perception about the actual healthfulness of the product rather than its nutrition value.”- Food analyst Stephen Dutton

The alterations to food preparation are not really giving customers anything to particularly celebrate about. The changes are fundamentally being made as a result of marketing attempts to drive sales. Perceptions over increased health will increase sales, but not your nutritional value. While McDonald’s is doing everything to improve perception like remodeling restaurants and changing some ingredients, they have done little to reduce carbohydrate count or calories.

So don’t rush out and expect to reap the benefits of a new and improved McDonald’s menu. Your best bet continues to be skipping out on fast food and eating real whole foods.