Eating healthy in restaurants takes more than avoiding menu items with words like “fried” and “creamy” in the name. Here’s a list of some not-so-obvious restaurant “fat traps,” according to the book Secrets Of The Best Chefs, by Adam Roberts:
Steamed vegetables. Surprised? Roberts says the latest craze in restaurants today is for chefs to toss veggies and salads in a sauté pan, with a little bit of bacon grease or butter to “amp up” the flavor. But when vegetables are steamed, they have softer interiors – and they soak up more fat and oil! So, a side of steamed carrots, for example, could easily hide an extra 200 calories! The fix? Order your vegetables dry. That’s restaurant code for: “Don’t mess around with my food!”
Broiled fish. Most people think ordering fish is always healthier than red meat, but Roberts says it really depends on the portion sizes. Because the average restaurant steak is only 6-ounces, while the average serving of fish is 8-ounces! That means your broiled salmon filet can have more calories than a serving of lean sirloin, just from its size.
Even your healthy-looking salad can pack on the pounds. Because a lot of restaurants now add things like goat cheese and candied walnuts to their tossed green salads for a little extra “flavor,” which can also add up to 500 extra calories!
Bread dipped in olive oil. Roberts says many restaurants serve olive oil with their bread – instead of butter – and diners think it’s healthier. The problem is that bread soaks up oil like a sponge. So, just two rolls with olive oil can have more than 400 calories! So, the next time you’re served bread with olive oil, ask for some balsamic vinegar too. Mix them together and you’ll get more flavor – and cut your oil consumption by at least half.