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TCANNO SparkPoints: (344,745)
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2/25/13 2:06 P

With thing like this I order chips. I then push half to one side and don't eat them

MUSCATDBQ SparkPoints: (3,450)
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2/25/13 1:50 P

If it were me, I'd pick the baked potato, but mainly just because that would be my preference of the three regardless of nutrition (unless the pasta had a marinara sauce). When I go to restaurants, I usually pick one thing that I really want and then balance the rest of the meal around it. That way I don't feel deprived. If the options are extra sides that I don't really want/need for that meal, I'll pick the one that I like the most that is repeatable and then I'll take it home for another meal.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
2/25/13 1:36 P

I encountered this dilemma over the weekend - went to my favorite Greek restaurant, where every entree comes complete with "Greek salad, Greek potatoes, rice pilaf and pita bread."

Now, I do love those potatoes and I do love that rice. But I was already having lamb, knew it was going to be a big meal calorie-wise just from the meat... soooooo i bravely said, Could you just leave off the potatoes and rice, maybe toss a bit extra salad on there instead? NO PROBLEM.

Turns out, I didn't even miss the starches. And when I added up the meal later, turns out that the starch items that each meal "comes complete with" add up to more calories than the rest of the meal itself. Yikes. So many calories for the "filler" used to bulk up the plate. emoticon

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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2/25/13 11:10 A

Add me as another who would probably ask for veggies or a sweet potato instead (I looooove sweet potatoes). However, I'm not at all anti-carb (I'm mostly vegetarian, so it's not exactly practical!) and would take the potato if veggies were not an option, for all the same reasons as the others have said. Potatoes do have real nutrition in them. It's just that, especially for a restaurant meal that's probably pretty high calorie anyway, I'd rather be filling up my plate and my body with other things and eat my potatoes at home as part of a tasty stew or some such if I want to have them.

DIETER27 Posts: 8,863
2/25/13 11:06 A

i usually stay away from all three of those choices and ask to substitute veggies instead . Given your three choices the baked potato is the best and halve it because restaurants serve large portions. Good luck.

2/25/13 11:05 A

Since most restaurants don't offer whole-wheat pasta, I'd also choose the potato, with butter on the side so you can control your fats. And you don't have to eat the whole potato. I can go into serious overdrive with a big buttery baked potato and sour cream and chives, so I really have to apply the brakes on these. In moderate quantities, though, with one pat of butter and a little seasoning, they're okay.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,271
2/25/13 10:51 A

Plain baked potato is probably the best choice out of the three-- the rice is probably white rice, and the pasta is probably not whole grain. Even with the potato though, restaurants usually serve colossal potatoes that are easily 2+ servings apiece.

I'll get a sweet potato instead, if they're offered; sometimes there's an extra charge for it. Or I'll ask for steamed vegetables or a side salad, if one doesn't already come with my entree. Or if I'm in the mood for say, rice pilaf, I'll go ahead and get it and then just eat what would be a "normal" portion and not the super-size they sometimes give you. The way I look at it, not *every* single choice I make, *has* to be the absolute, most healthy one. No food is "off limits"-- some are better choices but there's nothing that says I HAVE to always choose the healthiest thing and ignore what it is I truly want to eat.

LOVELYINATX22 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/25/13 10:38 A

Personally, I would choose a veggie substitute. I try to stay away from higher card options. I will usually ask for steamed broccoli or green beans. But to pic between the 3 you mentioned, I would say a plain baked potato with a smidge of butter.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
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Posts: 2,171
2/25/13 10:31 A

From those 3, I think the healthiest option is the baked potato, plain. You can add your own toppings.. I usually find just a tiny bit of butter (like a tsp or less) and some pepper is plenty for a baked potato.

The rice, you don't know what they've added to it, and I have nothing against pasta, I love pasta, but the potato is healthier and less calories.

KKKAREN Posts: 12,754
2/25/13 8:41 A

would ask for a vege substitute, if not, go for the potato

PSCHIAVONE2 SparkPoints: (20,650)
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2/25/13 8:14 A

I always ask for a vegetable and many restaurants will do that. Because of a condition that I have I will add oils to pasta, rice, or potato. I have reactive hypoglycemia, which means those foods will spike my blood sugar and send it tumbling down. A little butter and sour cream on the baked potato actually slows down the sugar absorbed into the blood stream.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
2/25/13 8:02 A

those three items were my daughter's mainstay during her teenage years, which got her in a mess of trouble, health-wise (mainly because her doctor told her to go low carb because of health concerns - and she didn't)

back to your original question: I think the answer you've been given is a good one.

Personally, given options, I try to avoid all three, but if I had to choose one; I'd choose a plain, baked potato, and perhaps add a pat of butter to it if necessary

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (247,245)
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2/25/13 4:12 A

For me it would come down to preferences - and then portions.

Usually the rice in a Restaurant is white, and it is much higher in calories than plain potato or pasta, but they may use Basmati which is (I gather) a bit better choice than plain white. Also, some use butter - others Olive Oil. Some Pilafs have not much in the way of veges added, and some are loaded.

Pasta often comes with loads of creams/oils

Baked Potato is not always as healthy as it seems. Strange as it may seem there are loads of ways of doing them, and some are far from healthy.

I would be inclined to ask how they do them if you are concerned Other than that - go with whatever your stomach tells you it wants ......... AND ENJOY :-)


WANRAS SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 1,130
2/25/13 12:59 A

When going out to dinner, what is the best choice? Backed potato, Rice Pilaf, or Pasta.

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