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In The News: When Eating Out, Always Stay Alert

Posted Aug 25 2008 6:55pm
This Wall Street Journal article investigates restaurants chains' low-calorie (and often low-fat) menus. Do they truly deliver what they sell?



The results are surprising. While many of the meals fall within the advertised calorie count, some clock in at an additional 100 calories!



Company reps make the case that the advertised figures are for the most bare-bones options (i.e.: skipping the cheese in a Subway sandwich), and that customers could alter these numbers with their specific selections.



At Romano's Macaroni Grill, temptation literally follows you everywhere!



"We ordered a takeout meal from Romano's Macaroni Grill... our plate of chicken, broccoli and asparagus was the least fattening meal of any in our test (319 calories, 7.7 grams of fat).



But we had to throw away the almost irresistible loaf of bread (520 calories) and olive-oil dip that came in the bag."



Remember that even when low in calories and fat, national restaurant chains offer sodium-laden meals -- often times containing a day's worth of the already over-consumed mineral.



My rule of thumb is to always tread with caution at these establishments. Many appetizers contain just as many calories as some entrees (which, coincidentally, often feed two people)!



Feel free to enjoy their meals occassionally if you wish, but don't bank on them for weight management support.



Whatever you do, don't give the salads a free pass. The amount of dressing poured on them can raise the caloric content by 50 percent! Always ask for the dressing on the side.



Then, enlist the trusty "fork dip" method (dip your fork in the dressing before each salad poke) -- you'll be surprised at how much extra dressing (and calories!) you leave behind.



(Thank you to Fred Tripp for bringing the article to my attention).

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