Is Eating Out Sabotaging Your Weight Control Efforts?
If you are among the millions of Americans who frequently eat out, the chances of overeating your recommended daily calorie amount is a risk you take when doing so. Consumers should be aware that the calorie counts of items listed on the menu are not necessarily the correct amounts.
According to a recent Tuffs University research project, most restaurant menus are accurate, however almost one fifth are wrong, oftentimes understating the calories by as much as 100 calories or more. These extra calories quickly add up, especially if you are eating out multiple times a week.
The research team accurately measured the calorie content of 269 foods purchased for takeout from 42 restaurants. Among the 42 were seven fast food places and seven sit-down establishments from three different states. Those restaurants whose meals were tested included: Burger King, McDonald’s, Olive Garden, Chipotle, Taco Bell, Boston Market, Bob Evans, P.F. Chang and Denny’s.
The food was taken back to the laboratory where it was carefully measured for the heat it produced from the foods’ combustion. Approximately 40% of the food tested had more than 10 calories than stated on the menu. The sit down places were the most accurate with their calorie report.
There was a substantial fraction with more than 100 extra calories in them. Usually these were those items listed as low calorie on the menu and in the desert category.
Several examples demonstrate theses discrepancies.
The Olive Garden’s chicken and gnocchi soup was nearly double the stated count of 250 calories. In addition, the minestrone soup totaled 295, compared to its stated 100-calorie listing. P. G Chang’s brown rice came in at 477, over twice the menu count of 190!
The passing of the 2010 health care law requires some food providers to reveal the calorie counts of their food. However, the helpfulness of such a rule depends a great deal on the accuracy of the numbers presented to the public.
Accurate calorie numbers affixed to the food we consume helps us all make wiser choices when dining out.
Stay strong, and remain passionately committed to your heart’s chosen path.