Restaurant Shockers

Another interesting article from Active.com that I’m not so sure is really put together all that well.  Some of it I think is bad advice period and some of it I think is a little over the top.

Here’s the article: http://www.active.com/nutrition/Articles/The_Diet_Detective__Restaurant_shockers_–_you_think_you_ordered_healthy_.htm?cmp=18-258&utm_source=sendible&utm_medium=feed

I realize the gist of the article is dead-on, some stuff you order at restaurants may not be as healthy as you think, even when it’s prepared in the traditional “healthy” ways such as grilled or broiled.  Having worked in a kitchen I can tell you this is probably pretty accurate, but looking at the examples they give what the heck are they talking about? It sounds like they are describing a five star restaurant in NYC.  Dishes partially cooked to be finished for table service later? Cream sauces and wine sauces mounted with butter? Grilled veggies marinated for days in oil? This does not describe any restaurant I know of in North Carolina.  I’m sure there are places like this in swanky neighborhoods in Downtown Charlotte and Raleigh but obviously I’ve never been there.  Steaks drowning in butter? Yeah, Ruth’s Chris does it that way, but I’ve only been there twice in my whole life and who is going to eat healthy when you are celebrating college graduation?

The problems I have with the article is I think most of the advice is stupid.  First off, why are you eating at a fancy restaurant in the first place if you are concerned with your diet?  The author may be correct that the oil on something like grilled fish may add 100 calories, but she’s describing a 3000 calorie dish (yes, even with “healthy” fish).  You can’t eat this stuff everyday.

Second, the “i just got back from the hospital and I need to eat it this way” advice is double stupid.  If you were truly back from the hospital, again why are you eating at a fancy restaurant, and they are going to know you are lying if you don’t even remotely look sick.  Make a cook mad and your food will be terrible.  They will “forget” about it on the grill until it’s overcooked and dried out.  And even if the cook’s not mad at you the server will be.

Surely most people can find a local restaurant that makes fresh veggies and doesn’t drown everything in cream sauces and it will be healthier than what she describes in this article.  Still when you go out to a restaurant caveat emptor, grilled may not be as healthy as you like it, but then again you should have stayed home and made it yourself.  My wife and I don’t eat out anymore for both financial and health reasons.  We cook at home and we know exactly what is in every bite.

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  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.