Sunday, April 5, 2015


When we go out to eat, quite often for some of us, it is for a special occasion. For others it may be a regular event several times a week.  We all want to enjoy our meal without thinking about the extra fats and calories we will be consuming. 
However, if we don’t put some thought and planning into what to order it’s likely that the ‘bad stuff’ will very happily move into our cells and stay there for quite some time.  Several years ago I was at a business lunch and decided to order fries with my meal.  The people I was with said that the fat from the fries would stay in my body for about 14 days; so I switched to a small side salad even though my taste buds wanted the fries. 
Some guidelines are as follows:
  1. Limit fried foods; baked, broiled, or grilled are better options.
  2. Ask for your meal to be prepared without butter or oil.
  3. Ask that sauces and gravies be served on the side.
  4. Order extra portions of veggies to replace potatoes.
  5. Limit breads and butter.
  6. Alcoholic beverages contain a lot of extra calories.
  7. Drink water with your meal, rather than soft drinks which are high in sugars.
  8. Salads can be high calorie with extras like bacon, cheese, and mayo.
  9. Portion size is so important.  We live in a super-size world.
  10. 10. Don’t super-size anything.  Smaller is better.
  11. 11. Share a meal, or order from children’s menu.
  12. 12. Desserts can make or break a meal. Try fresh fruit or a coffee.
  13. 13. Stop eating when you are full.
  14. 14. Don’t finish everything on your plate; ask for a take-out bag.
Cooking Method Examples:
  1. 10 oz potato – 200 calories
  2. 10 oz baked potato – 235 calories with one pat butter
  3. Large french fries – 400 calories
  4. Large baked potato with chili and cheese – 630 calories
  5. YIKES!!!!!
Watch your fast food sodium intake
High salt/sodium contributes to cardiovascular disease.  Adults should stay under 1500 mg of sodium per day and never go higher than 2300 mg per day.
A study by the New York City Health Department surveyed 6,580 meals bought at fast-food restaurant chains and found that:
  1. About 57% of the meals exceeded the 1,500-mg daily sodium level.
  2. Fried chicken outlets were the worst offenders, with 83% of meals exceeding 1500 mg of sodium and 55% of the meals surpassing 2,300 mg of sodium.
Fast food is usually cheap, and yes; it is convenient, and it usually tastes so good too.  The bad part is that just ‘one’ fast food meal can give us enough calories and fat, as well as, sodium for a full day or more.  If we eat fast food every day we could be sabotaging our health and adding inches and pounds to our body.  So what are we to do when it’s so hard to resist going out for fast food.  We could make healthier choices.  Moderation is the key.  We could check online about the nutritional content of meal choices before we go to a specific restaurant.  Or if we’re already there and don’t know what to order, ask to see the nutrition information available for the menu items in your cafeteria, restaurant or fast food restaurant. Use it to help you choose the healthier menu options.
Check out Canada’s Health Food Guide website and their excellent Tips for Eating Out.  If we follow these guidelines, we can always eat healthy at any fast food restaurant. 

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