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What's in your food?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I was invited to go out for dinner last night for a congratulatory dinner party at a restaurant. The weather was kind of crappy so I just wanted to stay home. I decided to go out though and be social with friends and coworkers. I always get nervous when deciding to dine out though. I worry about picking the wrong item. When I cook at home I at least have some control over what goes into my food.

I did my best to research the food before I left and feel like I did pretty well. I got a small turkey cobb salad and a cup of tomato soup which I ate about half of. In doing my research, I'm always surprised how many calories are in foods. Most of them at the restaurant had on average about a 1,000 calories per dish. This didn't include any side dishes in most of the dishes.

Can you imagine though? Over 1,000 calories in your dish and you may not even know it. I looked the information up and tried to make an informed decision. Everyone else at my table didn't even give it a second thought. They ordered what they wanted.

I think most people are like that though. Before I really started trying to pay attention to what I was eating I just ordered what I wanted. But even last night I tried to make a good decision and I couldn't believe how difficult it was. Most of the choices on the menu were terrible and unless I was going to completely revamp an order I had limited choices.

I wonder if these restaurants feel at all responsible though. Don't get me wrong. I know that it comes down to the individual and they need to think about it but I honestly don't even think most people think about it. Even if you order something that you think is healthy there is a strong possibility that it really isn't. I know I've done that in the past. Restaurants can control this though. Although, I wonder if they think people go by the mantra, all in moderation. Which granted things in moderation is usually fine but how often in our society do you eat out? It's pretty commonplace now a days. A lot more than it ever was when our parents were young. Even for myself it's difficult to always eat in. I'm a single girl and sometimes it's easier or cheaper just to eat out than to buy groceries and cook. Imagine what it's life for a busy family of four or more. I have coworker who talked about not being able to eat in now a days because today's society doesn't allow for it with how busy they are. I have another who refuses to cook anything that can't be microwaved for them and their small children. They also eat out every chance they get.

Some of it comes down to personal choice but I honestly think that it would go a long way if restaurants were more open about their nutritional information and tried to help all of us make better choices just in case we forget to look up the nutritional information before going out to dinner.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I used to get really nervous about going out, too. I guess I still do sometimes, but I feel like it's getting easier now. Restaurants are starting to put the Caloric content of their foods on menus, or at least making it easier to get the information so you can plan ahead. I've started splitting meals with a friend of mine. A 1,000 Calorie dish instantly becomes a 500 Calorie dish when you only eat half of it, and let's face it- most restaurant meals are huge! Good job on finding the balance between being social and sticking to your goal!
    1593 days ago
  • LINDA!
    I agree that it can be difficult to choose an item on the menu. I often do look up the items on the menu ahead of time with a chain restaurant. If it is a small establishment, you are often not able to look up their calorie count.
    1593 days ago
    KRZYKAT3 is correct and I can add the following to it, my brother owned the Grub Shack, their is a fact if you want to survive, Fat is good because that is where the flavor is, sugar, cheese, and gravies are also important. All of these are full of calories and know he did not even think twice about how much most ordered. Five years ago I designed 10 direct to market pizzas (money kept the project from going forward, but 1/5 pizza was about 300-500 calories. Both the crust and sauce had lots of sugar and the toppings were heavy in fats, to me it was all about the bottom line.
    1594 days ago
    I think more restaurants are open about their information, most have if you ask for it. I find the local restaurants are less likely to have as much because they do not have the resources to pay for the information. I find most will tell you if you ask ore even prepare foods as you like if they can.

    I say ask away and bring awareness to your friends as well!
    1594 days ago
    Awareness is the first step... Good for you for doing to research.
    1594 days ago
  • SUCCESSN2018
    This is why I try to only visit establishments that have their nutritional information posted online. I can make an educated choice before even leaving the house.
    1594 days ago
  • AJB121299
    1594 days ago
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