Monday, June 2, 2008

Restaurant Surprises

It's disappointing when you think you're eating something healthy, only to find out later that you're actually not. This story came out a few weeks ago where reporters ordered twenty so-called "healthier" items off the menus of well-known restaurants and had them tested in a lab for nutrition content.

What they found was quite surprising. Many of the dishes had way more fat and calories than the nutrition information indicated. For instance, all four items from Chili's Guiltless Grill menu contained more than twice the fat that they should have.

Macaroni Grill claimed that Pollo Magro was healthier, containing less than 6 grams of fat and 500 calories. When it was tested, they found it actually contained over 1,000 calories and just under 50 grams of fat. That is quite a difference.

There are a few things you can learn from this. First, never rely solely on the nutrition information on a restaurant's website. Unless the chef cooks it with the exact measurements and with the exact same method, it will never be right on. You have to use your best judgment.

Second, if a "healthy" dish looks unhealthy (i.e. it's swimming in oil), it probably is. Learn to order foods cooked in healthier ways, like grilled meats and steamed veggies. And always listen to your body - when you get full, stop eating.

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