You were good. You ordered the grilled veggies for dinner last night instead of the patty melt you wanted. You gave yourself a big pat on the back. Only one problem – those veggies were worse for you than you thought. According to Health magazine, a lot of so-called “healthy” foods contain more fat and calories than the menus indicate. In fact, a group of television stations across the country ordered several of these dishes and had them sent to a lab for nutritional testing and the results were scary!
For example, one popular chain’s “Guiltless Grilled Salmon” had 664 calories and 35 grams of fat, rather than the 480 calories and mere 14 grams of fat that the restaurant boasts. So how can you be sure you’re getting the diet-friendly dinner you ordered? Here are three tips. These come from Phil Lempert, food industry expert and editor of SupermarketGuru.com.
- Ask about oil. Chinese restaurants may use cooking oil PLUS sesame oil for flavor. Just one extra teaspoon will add 40 calories and 4.5 grams of fat. So, have your server ask the chef to ditch the extra oil and replace it with a few more herbs and spices instead.
- The same goes for butter. If you order grilled fish, ask for it to be prepared without butter, because otherwise, it will be. Be just as specific with veggies and other healthy picks.
- Bring your own dressing. If you love salads, go ahead and grab your favorite lo-cal dressing from home. Yes, restaurant dressings on the side are OK, but if you don’t use them sparingly – watch out! They’re a main source of fat and you don’t wanna turn your garden salad into a 3,000 calorie nightmare.