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You "Ask", I Answer: Healthy Eating At Restaurants

Posted Aug 24 2008 10:53pm
[In response to your posting about chain restaurants not providing nutrition information: ] So eat at home where you can control what goes in the food.

If you eat out, indulge.

Live life!

Don't make enjoying a meal out a science.

-- Sly

Via the blog

As regular readers of this blog know, I am a huge proponent of enjoying food and always experiencing eating as a pleasurable activity , not a punishable one.

I don't expect -- or want -- anyone to bring a calculator and scale to every meal they eat.

However, the point of that post -- and what brought up sufficient frustration in me to want to write about it -- was that consumers have a right to know what they are purchasing at a restaurant.

Obviously, a triple bacon cheeseburger with onion rings will never be confused for a "low calorie" or "heart healthy" meal.

However, a lot of the chain restaurants I mentioned (Olive Garden, TGI Friday's, Applebee's) offer entrees that sound healthy and are anything but.

Entree salads often contain as much saturated fat and sodium as a hamburger due to the sheer volume of dressing dumped on them.

My call for these restaurants to offer nutrition information isn't for people to obsess over numbers, but to have information available to help them make the right choices.

A "little appetizer" might be viewed differently when you discover it provides 900 calories.

When you go to a restaurant, I'm sure you like to know the cost of each dish before ordering. Wouldn't you hate to see a menu with no prices on it, only to get an expensive bill at the end?

If you're on a "financial diet", it helps you to know that the fish entree you're eyeing is $15 more expensive than the chicken entree you're also thinking of getting.

Apply the same principles to someone on a nutritional diet or eating plan.

Also, it's one thing to "indulge" if you eat out once every two weeks and follow generally healthy eating patterns. If dinner at a restaurant is the norm, though, giving yourself permission to indulge every time isn't such a good idea.

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