Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The myth of healthy restaurants

Are you like me in that cooking is just not your thing? That being said, I probably eat out a little more than I should. And, when I do go out, I like looking for that healthy-type restaurant, so that, at least, I feel a little bit better ordering off the menu there.

Well, I just learned that this may be a bad move. According to this article from Fox News, most people ingest more calories when eating out at so-called healthy restaurants.
Researchers say healthy restaurants often prompt consumers to treat themselves to higher-calorie side dishes, drinks or desserts than they would normally eat at fast-food and other restaurants that do not claim to be healthy.

"We found that when people go to restaurants claiming to be healthy, such as Subway, they choose additional side items containing up to 131 percent more calories than when they go to restaurants like McDonald's that don't make this claim," said Brian Wansink, Cornell's John S. Dyson professor of marketing and applied economics and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, in a news release.
Yeesh! I admit that I totally do this. Oh boy, now what am I going to do? The easy solution is to just forget all those "additional side items" that they are talking about above. But, of course, maybe I should just ditch the entire healthy restaurant thing, because isn't that what I'm doing anyway? Man, I'm such a hypocrite... hehe..


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

oh doc i know exactly what you mean!!! and we are about to embark on a 26 day cruise, oh my... the food and the desserts - i will have to waddle off the ship i'm afraid, but at least i got my fly shot! ha ha ha

smiles, bee

Anonymous said...

Well, all "fast food" items are higher in calories--that may be a no brainer. And indeed, even though they appear to look healthy, it is deceptive.

Actually, all prepared foods are higher in calories whether or not you go to a fast food joint or a restaurant. Well, maybe unless it's a really healthy place like an organic vegetarian/vegan restaurant?

To me, it would only make sense that if your intake was higher of the food regardless, you would be consuming more calories. But then again, I have some insider knowledge as my ex-partner knows the industry *laughing* It might just depend on how much you are eating as it may even out with your "side dishes and desserts." It actually can vary quite a bit and surprise you the caloric differences between some things.

Most of these places (or they should) offer breakdowns of caloric content etc... for you to peruse of all items on the menu. I know they are supposed to in Canada. In fact, they are to be displayed in the store but if they are not, they should be on hand if you ask for them.

Anonymous said...

Hey you're welcome doc,

by the way, isn't easier to lose weight by actually using a smaller plate, because somehow the brain thinks that it's full. And when every time you put food in your mouth with the utensils, just put it down on the table (forcing yourself to eat slowly). Or use chopsticks/left hand to eat. Totally unscientific though.

Travis Cody said...

But Doc! I must have my tuna sammich from Subway! And just a little cheese. And lite mayo.

But the rest is veggies I swear!

No chips and no cookies.

Anonymous said...

At my restaurant, they tried to have healthy food, and it was a lame attempt. Even our "Adkins friendly" menu item, not items, but item, is so funky and calorie/fat filled, it's just wrong. We use more butter on our green beans than a fat woman uses on a pound of pancakes.

OHN said...

OHHHH Dr. A....we hear report after report about eating well but the draw to that first bite of a juicy burger with that first pop of salty grease caressing your tongue,,sometimes it is more than a normally sane person can avoid :)