This neighborhood grill and bar is a convenient spot to take the family any night of the week. But does it offer the healthy choices you and your family deserve?
Tag: restaurant menus
You’re feeling hungry and hankering for some comfort food, so you slip into your local diner and scan the menu, looking for healthy options. You know they’re in there, hidden among the burgers and fries, shakes and floats, waffles and three-egg omelets loaded with cheese. A spinach salad? A fresh fruit plate? A low-cal veggie soup, not too heavy on the sodium? The trick is to find them.
The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) just released the “winners” of its annual Xtreme Eating Award, which tracks the calorie, saturated fat, sodium and sugar content of meals served at chain restaurants across the US. Amongst such expected “dis-honorees” as double-bacon cheeseburgers (that’s the 1,770-calorie Bacon Cheddar Double at Johnny Rocket’s) and heavy, sugar-laden chocolate cake (the Chocolate Zuccotto Cake at Maggiano’s Little Italy, which has over 1,800 calories) were some unexpectedly healthy-sounding foods. Who would have thought that a large Peanut Power Plus Grape smoothie from Smoothie King would weigh in at 1,460 calories – three-quarters of the generally recommended 2,000 daily calories? The smoothie also contains 22 teaspoons of added sugar — enough for three and a half days! Could you have guessed that The Cheesecake Factory’s seemingly nutritious Bistro Shrimp Pasta – with its shrimp and fresh arugula, tomato, and mushrooms – would in fact have the highest calorie count (3,120 calories!) of any entrée on the menu? The 89 grams of saturated fat in the pasta is four and a half times the recommended daily maximum of 20 grams.
With options like this out there, it would be easy to inadvertently sabotage your New Year’s resolutions by picking such virtuous-sounding dishes. Make sure you check the calorie count, as well at the fat, sodium, and added sugar content, of food that you consume while out; also, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on portion size. Or even better, make restaurant-style meals at home so you control the ingredients and thus the fat, calories and portion size.
You probably already know that many restaurant foods are higher in calories than their homemade counterparts but some establishments take the calorie counts to new heights. We’re not saying you should never eat at these places, just don’t order these belly-busting menu items.
Diet Danger Zone
We’ve sifted through countless restaurant menus and come across some pretty scary stuff. While 1800 to 2000 calories are enough to feed most folks for the entire day, some of these popular eateries top that in just one dish.
The Cheesecake Factory is well-known for its high calorie appetizers, entrees and especially decadent desserts. Starting August 9, however, the chain restaurant will debut a calorie conscience menu, called “SkinnyLicious.”
The menu contains almost 50 new and signature items all under 590 calories. Some of the dishes include Mexican Tortilla Soup and Tuscan Chicken, plus revamped versions of current menu items like Chicken Pot Stickers and Asian Chicken Salad. Five cocktails, under 150 calories each, are also featured.
“We wanted to create a menu that delivers an exceptional dining experience to our calorie-conscious guests, without compromising the delicious taste that people have come to expect from The Cheesecake Factory,” David Overton, founder of The Cheesecake Factory, said in a press release.
To learn more, read the full release.
What do you think? Will the new low-calorie menu be a hit or will people still choose the old menu options?