Friday, September 3, 2010

The Guide to Sit-down Restaurants

If I was to write a post on the nutritional bankruptcy of fast-food chains would anyone really be surprised? I would say not. We all know that fast food is bad for us, and most people only eat it when they are hard pressed for time or short on cash. 

But thankfully today is Friday, you got some extra coin in your pocket and a few hours before that movie starts, feeling good about your decision to avoid the fast-food today you head to your favorite sit-down restaurant. The dark atmosphere, and badly places televisions distract you from the similarities between their menu and McDonald's menu (Burgers, wraps, salads, desserts, ect.) so without so much a though you order up. It takes a while for your meal to come, but that is okay, because you are having a good time talking with friends, snacking on chips, and sipping your mountain dew. The main course finally comes, and by this time your so involved in the conversation that you fail to recognize that french fries are the "vegetable" of your meal. You quickly clean plate, close check, and leave a tip, and head out the door excited for Toy Story 3 for the third weekend in a row.

Now let me first say that I am not anti-restaurants, they are a great place to meet up with friends, (socializing is a crucial aspect of a healthy lifestyle that I will explore in a later post.) convenient, and really do provide some nutritious choices on their menu. It is not my goal to deter you from going to a restaurant this weekend or the next, my goal is simply to show you what that food really is.

When i say sit-down restaurant I mean those chain places like Applebees, Perkins, TGIFridays, IHOP, Chilies, Ruby Tuesdays, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Denny's, and other chain places like them. Your mom-and-pop restaurants may or may not be just as bad, and unless they release their nutrition info you really can not tell.

Here is the nutritional info for Denny's I hope you noticed right off the bat the same thing I did TRANS FAT! It seems that Denny's is still one of the few places remaining that cook with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils resulting. Besides the dangerous amounts of fat, you will notice that some of the burgers weigh in at 1,500+ calories, while the rest hover around 900. And this is just the burger we are talking about, not including the sides it comes with

This is where I would love to analyse the menu of Applbees (a favorite among college students), but they have yet to release the nutritional information on anything but their weight watchers menu.

So before you go out this weekend take some time to reaserch your favorite resturantes menue, chances are they will be several tasty options that don't set you back five pounds. A great web site for this is it has listing from most every restuarnt you can imagine. Or check out Eat This Not That! A great book on making better-for-you choices when dinning out. Eat This Not That! 2010: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution
So enjoy the weekend, enjoy the company, and enjoy the food!

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