The majority of lead very hectic lives with many meals in restaurants due to lack of time to cook. If you eat out a lot, you know the obstacles that are put in front of you. Restaurants have menus of mouthwatering dishes, in many cases, with very high calorie counts and high amounts of fat and carbohydrates/sugars. But do you worry about the calories or nutritional information when you go out? If you eat out frequently during the week, you should worry about what you are consuming. If you eat out once per month, chances are it’s not going to impact you much. Below is a list of entrees at chain restaurants to give you an idea of nutritional value and calorie counts:
  • The Cheesecake Factory's Pasta Carbonara with Chicken, 2,500 calories and 85 grams of saturated fat.
  • Outback Steakhouse New Zealand Rack of Lamb, with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables, 1,820 calories, 80 grams of saturated fat and 2,600 milligrams of sodium.
  • Bob Evans' Cinnamon Cream Stacked and Stuffed Hotcakes, 1,380 calories and 27 grams of saturated fat and 7 grams of trans fat. Four tablespoons of syrup adds 200 more calories.
  • P.F. Chang's Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo, 1,820 calories, 7,690 milligrams of sodium.
If you ate out 3 times per week and had these or similar choices you could be taking in 5400 to 7500 calories, 54-255 grams of fat with 3 meals, no bread, beverages or dessert. Assuming that they are excess calories not burned off, it would be equivalent of gaining 1.5- 2 pounds every week. Many restaurants are beginning to offer lighter fare with fewer calories as a healthy options. Entree salads are also better choices but before of those with nuts, fruits,avocado or other high fat, high carb selections. Withe salads, remember to order with salad dressing on the side instead of tossed. It can add more than 500 or more calories .   Yours in good health, Linda Hlivka Clinical Nutritionist