Restaurant Menus, What to Avoid

Author: Tammy Parkinson, CPT, ACSM, NASM, Nutritionist,
Body Firm Personal Training & Nutrition Consulting

Your body is the coolest thing you will ever own!

Ordering off the menu at a restaurant can be sabatoge your healthy hard work. One difference in preparation can take your dinner choice from a 700 calorie meal to a 2,700 calorie meal. Use the following as a quick guide for preparations to avoid at your favorite restaurants. And remember: graduation parties, summer vacations, business meetings, and “date nights” do not have to be the enemy of a healthy lifestyle. Be careful especially about eating at fast food restaurants. Here are some ideas that the fast food restaurants should heed.

Healthy eating habits can keep your health insurance rates down, find out more about affordable health insurance rates here. Here’s to a healthy and low calorie eating out! We have more information on eating healthy in the home.

Au Gratin: Baked side dish (using potatoes, cauliflower, or another vegetable) typically made with cream or whole milk, butter, and cheese and topped with buttery bread crumbs
Hollandaise: Heavy, classic French sauce made with butter and egg yolks
Scalloped: Baked side dish (usually potatoes) made with heavy cream and/or whole milk
Creamed: Cooked with cream (as in creamed spinach)
Smothered: Usually covered in some sort of heavy sauce or gravy

Parmigiana: Coated in a mixture of bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese and fried
Alfredo: Heavy sauce made with butter, cream, and grated cheese
Scampi: Sauce often served with shrimp or other seafood that’s typically made with lots of butter
Fritto (Fried): Fried in oil (*Some restaurants in all cuisines have gotten more savvy in an effort to sound healthier and now refer to deep-fried foods as “lightly fried” or “crispy” on their menus. Don’t be fooled; if you have any doubts ask the waiter to explain the preparation.)
Breaded: Coated with bread crumbs and then typically deep-fried in oil where it can soak up lots of calories, especially if not fried at the proper temperature
Carbonara: Pasta sauce made from bacon, whole eggs, cheese, and sometimes cream

Remember, eating healthy can keep your doctor bills down which may reduce health insurance costs, so get your free medical insurance quote now. We also talk more about you in your recreational life here.

Con Queso: Topped with cheese
Refried: Fried, often in lard
Deep-Fried/Crispy: Fried in oil
Loaded/Supreme/Grande: Often used in reference to nachos, quesadillas, or burritos; this indicates that a dish is served with ALL the toppings, including cheese, sour cream, refried beans, and sometimes meat
Chimichanga: Burrito stuffed with meat and fillings, then deep-fried

Egg Rolls: Vegetables and meats wrapped in dough and deep-fried in oil
Fried: Fried rice, dumplings, meats, seafood, and more soak up excess oil which adds more calories to your plate
Chow: “Chow” indicates that a dish has been stir-fried, typically in liberal amounts of oil; chow mein and chow fun (or chow foon) are both dishes made with pan-fried noodles
Egg Foo Young: Egg dish (similar to an omelet) made with whole eggs, pan-fried, and usually smothered in salty brown gravy
Sweet and Sour: A sugary, syrupy sauce that’s very calorie-dense
General Tso: Bits of meat (most commonly chicken) are coated in an egg and cornstarch mixture, deep-fried, and mixed with vegetables in a high-salt sauce

We have much more information about healthy living at home.

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