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McDonald's head chef says meals are not 'unhealthy'

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Chef Daniel Coudreaut, the senior director of culinary innovation for McDonald's USA — the guy knows everything about what's on the menu at the fast food chain's 14,000 U.S., outlets recently told Cleveland's Akron Beacon that he's tired of critics blaming fast-food chains for the nationwide obesity epidemic.

Defending the offerings on McDonald's menus, he said: “I don’t see anything on the menu that’s unhealthy.” 

Coudreaut, on a trip to promote the McDonald's new banana nut oatmeal, said that if people stop buying Big Macs or bought more of McDonald’s healthier options, the company would have no choice but to overhaul its menu. 

McDonald's has been offering more healthier options, like smoothies made with with real fruit and apple slices in Happy Meals. But burgers and fries are still more popular.

Coudreaut told the Journal that his 11-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son eat McDonald’s food about once a week, usually on the way to football practice.

"I’m sure I could eat a 2,000-calorie meal at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry," said Coudreaut.

How unhealthy is McDonald's, anyway?  Well, Coudreaut would meet more than half of his 2,000 calorie mark with just a single item: the Chocolate Triple Thick Shake, which has 1160 calories.  I would rather eat at French Laundry.

Here are some other top offenders:

--Strawberry Triple Thick Shake, 32 oz. (1110 cals)

--Angus Chipotle BBQ Bacon (800 cals)

--Big Breakfast, large-size biscuit (800 cals)