Friday, July 24, 2009

Your Guide to Eating Out.. or should you really?

Energy-dense foods, such as fast food (picture...Image via Wikipedia

July 23rd, 2009 , Nick DeBenedetto, a 48-year-old resident of Tinton Falls, N.J., and the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit advocacy group, filed lawsuit against Denny's Corp. in New Jersey, Reuters reports. (Read more on this story from the Los Angeles Times)

The suit contains data about some of the chain's high-salt meals. The Meat Lover's Scramble, for example, which contains cheese, eggs, bacon, diced ham and sausage, and comes with more meat on the side as well as hash browns and pancakes has 5,690 milligrams of sodium — the equivalent of nearly three days' advised maximum salt intake. (you can calculate it from Denny's Nutrition facts table)

Is there something special about Denny's? Not at all. There are many more restaurants and chains that have worse items on their menu. Many of them do not even want to display their nutrition facts on websites or answer requests to provide this information. Americans don't really know what's on their plates.

Keep in mind that most people should limit themselves to about 2,000 calories, 20 grams of saturated fat, and 1,500-2,400 mg of sodium per day and look at these items:
Consider why you should avoid dining out: Researchers have found that restaurants are full of environmental cues—from plate size to bread condiments—that encourage us to eat more.

Fast food eateries and the finest diners have limited choices if your goal is not to overeat and limit intake of fat, salt, sugar and common triggers of food intolerance.

Even restaurant salads - adored by people trying to eat healthy - are coming with many unhealthy ingredients (watch this video, for example). This includes processed salad dressings including trans fat, artificial flavors, excess sugar, harmful preservatives such as MSG, sodium nitrites (for example, in bacon bits). Restaurant salads are often based on iceberg lettuce that has way less useful nutrients than romaine, red leaf, green leaf lettuce, or spinach.

Aurametrix is working on tools to help you make the right choices.

Aurametrix is working on tools to help you evaluate your personal health risks and benefits and make the right health choices.
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