How Your Food is Deceiving You
The smoothie was filled with strawberries, bananas and frozen yogurt and 55 grams of sugar!
Yes fruit is high in natural sugar, but it is important to recognize just how much sugar, sodium and fat you are taking in when eating out. Unfortunately some of the most innocent sounding meals are filled with the unhealthiest ingredients and they are invisible because you are not preparing the food yourself.
It is important to be wary of exactly what you are eating. While some options are much healthier than others, they might not be as healthy as you think!After my delicious smoothie this morning, I came to the understanding that many places add ice cream, sugar or sherbet to their smoothies for a better taste but the consumers are completely unaware. A smoothie can be a very healthy treat but making it at home allows you to control the amount of sugar and fat that is added!
An extremely dangerous culprit is fast food salads…
What you might not realize is the salad dressings are filled with sugar and the croutons are made from refined white flour.
A recent finding was that McDonald’s Crispy Bacon Ranch Salad has more fat and calories and just as much cholesterol as a Big Mac.
The Steakhouse Salad at Outback contains over 1,000 calories while the 6oz Outback Special with a side of mashed potatoes and a vegetable contains almost half the amount of calories. While someone may order a salad in an effort to be “healthy” they would be severely mistaken.
Sodium is added to a number of food items that we consume on a daily basis for better taste. The U.S. Guidelines suggest that we consume less than 2,300mg of sodium per day. As a result of increased sodium intake, our bodies crave more and more sodium with subsequent meals.
Restaurants use MSG, large amounts of oil, butter, cream and more additives to make their food taste better. As a result, your body craves this taste and you keep going back for more! It is so difficult to “replicate” the same recipe at home because of these things that may be added that you are unaware of.
One of the biggest guilty foods for high sodium is packaged turkey and other deli meats and cheeses.
Turkey is a great source of lean protein and can be very healthy but unfortunately, packaged turkey is loaded with sodium. One 2-ounce serving of some turkey brands contain nearly one-third of our recommended daily sodium intake.
Also, canned vegetables have a number of preservatives or seasonings that add extra sodium. More obvious, but often overlooked places for sodium to hide in your diet are sauces and marinades. Soy sauce and Teriyaki are both very high in sodium, in addition to canned tomato sauce and salad dressing. Look for “low-sodium” or “no sodium” options when grocery shopping!
Food Label Cheat Sheet:
Sodium-free: Less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving
Very low-sodium: 35 milligrams or less per serving
Low-sodium: Less than 140 milligrams per serving
Reduced sodium: Sodium level reduced by 25%
Unsalted, no salt added, or without added salt: Made without the salt that’s normally used, but still contains the sodium that’s a natural part of the food itself.
Sports drinks and energy bars are great to replace some important electrolytes, it is important that they are used for just that. They are extremely high in sugar and calories. Many energy bars are filled with high fructose corn syrup, added sugar and saturated fat.
While fast food is usually targeted as the worst option, sit-down restaurants have been found to be just as bad, or worse. The Margarita Grilled Chicken on the “Lighter Choices” menu from Chili’s has approximately 550 calories, more than a Big Mac. Unfortunately, when eating out many diners expect large portions for cheap prices and this is one of the biggest mistakes. Restaurants like Chili’s, Olive Garden and Ruby Tuesday offer their diners large portions for an affordable price and substantially more calories than one should consume in one sitting.
In 2014, The Cheesecake Factory was named the unhealthiest restaurant in the country. Many of their dishes have well over 2,000 calories and high amounts of saturated fat.
Although, they had some tough competition with Red Robin, Maggiano’s Little Italy and Joe’s Crab Shack as close runner up’s.
A huge red flag should be placed on appetizers, as they are usually the worst in terms of fat, carbs and calories. Free refills on sugary drinks are also dangerous because many people don’t even realize how much they are consuming in one sitting!
Of course it is not expected that you would avoid eating out at all costs but be mindful of the food that you are consuming and the amount of additives that you may be unaware of!
Eating out regularly can lead to feeling tired and bloated. Many restaurants offer their nutritional information to their customers and may even have a “lighter” or “healthier” section on their menu.
Did you know…
Cheescake Factory’s Farfalle with Chicken and Roasted Garlic: 2,410 calories
Red Robin’s Gourmet Burger’s Monster Meal: 3,540 calories
PF Chang’s Pork Fried Rice: 1,370 calories, 2,130mg of sodium
Smoothie King: Power Peanut Plus Chocolate Smoothie: 1,396 calories, 982mg of sodium
Olive Garden’s Tour of Italy: 1,450 calories, 3,830mg of sodium
Outback Steakhouse Baby Back Ribs: 1,547 calories, 1,674mg of sodium, 97g of fat
Smoothie King’s Lage Power Plus Grape Smoothie: 1,460 calories, 39 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR